Blandair
 

The Future
Present to Future
 

A rich collection of documents are available that provide us with an increasingly clear picture of the history of Blandair, and indeed, of the entire region.  From the personal histories kept by families and laborers living and working at Blandair, to records from state and national movements, such as the industrial and transportation revolutions, we have a wealth of research, much yet unplumbed.  The combination of political, military, agricultural and social histories gives us a substantial foundation upon which to interpret Blandair's past.  This, in turn, guides us in knowing how to restore and preserve Blandair for the future, and how to offer it as living history for the future, for the many generations of visitors and learners to come.

The Manor House at Blandair is just one of several significant 18th, 19th and 20th century structures that will form an interpretive network within the 300 acres at Blandair.  Each of the outbuildings, upon its eventual restoration, will add a significant piece to the puzzle and picture of what life in this region was like in the late 1700's through the early 1900's.  Additionally, each of the outbuildings offers a unique perspective upon life in that era; the slave quarters, as an example, provides rich opportunities for studying and experiencing subjects as diverse as the cultural and social mores of the time, the implements used in agriculture and household operations, and the economics of estate life during slavery.

The County's main mission is to preserve this key piece of history; simultaneously, practical objectives in preserving and restoring Blandair to its proper condition include serving the civic and recreational needs of the community while appealing to the Heritage Tourism Market.  The combination of these objectives will allow the site economic feasibility.  Such feasibility can be accomplished over time by catering to community needs during weekdays and evenings and charging admittance fees for visitors to historic exhibits and historic interpretive programs on weekends.

In keeping with the stated goals, the Manor House has several large parlors on the first floor.  The two largest interconnecting parlors can be used for a variety of purposes.  If sparingly appointed with period furnishings, the space can be used for theatrical living history interpretations, recreational classes, community meetings, corporate and community receptions and fundraising events such as scholarly lectures, Victorian teas and period fashion shows.  The uses of this space are limited only by the imagination of the community and site management.

The remaining parlor lends itself to be developed as gallery space suitable for revolving static exhibits on various historical sub-themes to be interpreted and as an exhibit space for historic objects on loan from related institutions, a number of which are under the aegis of Howard County, and thus are amenable to loan programs.

The varied lives of the inhabitants of Blandair provide just one such subject for sub-themes that can be interpreted through living history and static art/object exhibits.  These sub-themes can easily be developed within the MS-PAP directives required within the Department of Education of Maryland, thus giving children and adults an entertaining, interactive, state-based learning experience that fulfills requirements that all school-age children must meet.  This potential built-in market, one of many, helps sustain operating costs.