Letters to the Editor

March 20, 1998

Letters to the Editor

One more challenge for Kammerer house

To the editor:

On Dec. 5, 1974, a front-page headline in the Hagerstown paper celebrated: "Despite Wind, Rain and 200 Years - Kamerer's Old Stone 'Fortress' Survives." How startling that today's headlines are so different and Johann Kammerer's 1774 homestead could now meet its end with the crunch of a bulldozer.

I urge the Washington County Industrial Foundation to work with the historical society to help preserve this threatened glimpse into our nation's earliest days. With stone walls two feet thick, rifle slots in the basement walls for defense from the natives, an indoor spring for survival during siege and the builder's initials carved into a gable stone, this is a piece of Maryland's heritage that, once gone, can never be replaced.

The Kammerer House is one of the few remaining 18th century homes in Washington County and is an important example of early German-American architecture.


There is a local organization ready to make practical and educational use of the site.

The Kammerer House is a comprehensive cultural artifact - the home itself, the documentation of its origin and ownership, the genealogy of its families and how they spanned local, regional, and national history.

The Kammerer house has drawn attention both locally and across the nation, as descendants of Johann Kammerer have traveled from as far as Washington state to visit the homestead.

The small, half-acre property would be a nominal reserve among the much larger corporate area. It would create a park-like setting for both the corporate and residential community.

Helping to preserve the Kammerer House would demonstrate a positive partnership between development interests and community pride.

I believe that development can take place in partnership with the families and buildings that have taken root here through the centuries. The Kammerer House stood while our nation grew up around it - through frontier days, the Revolution, the Civil War, and the founding and growth of the surrounding towns. I appeal to both corporate and community leadership to help us to preserve it for the coming centuries as well.

Lara Lutz

Member, Middleburg/Mason-Dixon Line Historical Society and Descendent of Johann Ludwig Kammerer

Let oil nations pick up the tab

To the editor:

The current military situation in the Persian Gulf, though morally right, is financially unacceptable. Why can't the surrounding nations, which we are ultimately defending, fork over some of the bill to keep our military at their defense?

Sure, the first time we went to the Persian Gulf to defend Kuwait we were helping them out, but the war was to defend our financial interests as well. This time what is the excuse?

What Saddam Hussein is doing doesn't affect us financially, so why should we take full financial responsibility for the United Nation's wishes? Are we to always be the peacekeepers of the world that carry out the U.N.'s agenda for free? I personally doubt it. Certainly because of our military strength and technology our armed forces should be used to provide the threat to Saddam Hussein, but we have our own financial problems and cannot continue to flip for the whole bill.

No way can we continue to spend the millions of dollars a day that are required to keep Saddam in check. Financial help is badly needed and we need to look to the rich Middle Eastern nations whose land, people and money we are defending.

Randall Hoffman

Elon College

Burlington, N.C.

Don't destroy our history

To the editor:

I am writing you to express my concern and dismay over the proposed destruction of the Ludwig Kammerer House at Buck Spring Farm. I hope that the Industrial Foundation will reconsider its decision and work with the Historical Society in developing a preservation plan that can benefit all concerned.

Not only as a descendant of Ludwig Kammerer, but also a person who believes that we, as citizens of the United States, have a responsibility to preserve what little is left of our past for future generations, I am asking that all of us do what we can to save this small area of great importance. Certainly there is enough space and money for both development and preservation. When we lose our history, we lost our connection to those things which have made this country the greatest on earth.

Caryl Simpson

Pekin, Ill.

Credit unions fight back

To the editor:

There have been a number of news reports recently regarding the Supreme Court's 5-4 decision restricting credit union membership. The banking industry's relentless legal effort to severely limit credit union access has culminated in the court's controversial decision. As a credit union member and official, I'm prepared to deal with the court's decision, but I don't have to like it.

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