HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM) — The journey started nearly a year ago when the demolition of a condemned building turned into the preservation of a Jonathan Street home.
“I read about the discovery of the cabin and the archeological excavations and it really piqued my interest and I thought I’d love to see what they find and I loved the idea of the way the objects can make you start to imagine other lives,” Executive Director Sarah Hall explained. “So I thought, our museum can really help tell the story.”
While digging through the area, they found the cabin along with tiny artifacts that would start this new exhibit of the history of Jonathan Street.
“I think it’s it’s important for people to understand the different circumstances that have come upon that,” Chairperson of the Western Maryland Community corporation Reggie Turner said. “But it’s more important for people to understand how resilient the community is, and to see this rebirth of this community.”
Now named the oldest historical site in the city of Hagerstown, the exhibit gives the community a boost in economic development which can open the doors for other sites within other black communities to be preserved.
This cabinet this story has become an international story, so this creates an opportunity for economic development increase opportunity for tourism,” Turner said.
Senator Joanne Benson once lived in the Jonathan street community. She says this is something she felt was needed not just for sake of preservation but also for the people who still live on Jonathan street today.
“It sends a profound and wonderful message that yes, we are in this together and we do care about each other in the city of Hagerstown because for so long people in my community where I was raised so that no one cared about them,” Maryland Senator Joanne Benson said. “They found that very disenfranchised, but this coming together to light is a positive and wonderful step in the right direction.”
The exhibit will be open to the public up until September 11th.