Sunday, August 16, 2009

Change in Status

For over two years, now, our team has used the title "Port Tobacco Archaeological Project," a convenient handle that suggested an effort of limited time and scope. The project is not a legal is just a sign on a door. Actually, not having a door, it isn't even that.

All of that changed on August 7. On that date, Maryland's State Department of Assessments and Taxation excepted our filing of articles of incorporation. Simply put, we are now The Lost Towns Foundation, Inc. We will retain the name PTAP, but it will be a project of a permanent non-profit foundation. I will begin the lengthy process this week of filing with the Internal Revenue Service for tax exempt status (501[c]3). That will enable the Foundation to accept tax-deductible donations and to apply for grants in its own name.

Other measures that must be undertaken include formation of a board of trustees (they determine policy and raise money) and a technical advisory board (advising on scientific and interpretive issues), and development of bylaws.

A note on the choice of name: it is my intention to develop an organization that can support archaeological and historical research on town formation in the region. This includes aboriginal towns, Colonial period towns, and 19th-century settlements, including hinterland occupations that supported these larger settlements through trade and agricultural production. Although the focus of the Foundation's work over the near future will be the Port Tobacco area, I hope that it will eventually support this kind of publicly involved, high quality research elsewhere in the region.


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