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Hagerstown students help paint the town

May 10, 1997

By JULIE E. GREENE

Staff Writer

Several Hagerstown high school students and possibly some local graffiti artists will help a local artist paint a mural of the historic Rochester House at its former location, a city official said.

The mural will be of the Rochester House during the Civil War, when it served as a makeshift hospital for Union and Confederate wounded, said City Planner Kathy Maher.

Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., who would later serve as a U.S. Supreme Court Justice for almost 30 years, was treated for a war wound at the house following the Battle of Antietam.

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The house was sold to and razed by the City of Hagerstown in 1953 to provide off-street parking.

Preservation officials wanted to have a mural painted in a public area experiencing graffiti problems because graffiti artists tend to leave murals alone, Maher said.

The mural will be painted this summer on the retaining wall of the Rochester parking lot at the corner of South Prospect and West Washington streets.

The project will cost $3,800, Maher said. The Washington County Arts Council will provide $2,200.

Funds will be raised for the mural project this weekend from ticket sales to the historic homes walking tour on Mother's Day, Maher said. Tickets for the tour cost $10 each.

The seven houses on tour will be open from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Tickets can be purchased on Saturday at the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau in Public Square and on Sunday at the Hager House.

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