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Between Fences

at Montpelier Mansion

9652 Muirkirk Road, Laurel, MD 20708

Monday, September 20 - Sunday, November 7

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Between Fences, a traveling exhibit and part of the Smithsonian Institution’s “Museums on Main Street” initiative, tells the stories of fences and barriers across the U.S. Whether real or imagined, fences can both unite and divide us. This country could not have been settled and built without fences. But fences are more than functional objects; they are powerful symbols as well.

Each host site for Between Fences creates a companion exhibit, based on fences, boundaries and barriers in their own community. For our companion exhibit, Montpelier Mansion, working in partnership with the Laurel Museum, has chosen to examine the invisible, yet very real, barriers – from all times in history - faced by immigrants and forced migrants like Africans brought to be enslaved.

We call our companion exhibit "Barriers and Gateways: The Immigrant Experience in Laurel, Maryland." We will be exploring the challenges and successes of local families, neighbors and communities. Language, how we dress, what we eat and what we believe can set us apart, or provide an opportunity for sharing and growth.

How can you get involved?

If you have stories about your family’s immigrant experience, past or present, in the Laurel area, and you would like to share your family’s stories of challenge and success in a new land, please contact us in one of the following ways:
  1. Fill out the form "Barriers and Gateways Questionnaire," OR
  2. Contact Holly Burnham at 301-377-7817, OR
  3. Email Montpelier Mansion at, and put Between Fences in the subject line.
Thank you for your help!

For more information about Montpelier Mansion, please click here.

For information on other events at Montpelier Mansion, please click here.

Between Fences has been made possible at Montpelier Mansion in Laurel, Maryland, by the Maryland Humanities Council.

Between Fences is part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and the Federation of State Humanities Councils. Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and The Hearst Foundation.

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