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Letters to the Editor 4/4

April 04, 2001

Letters to the Editor 4/4



Kammerer lives in memory only



To the editor:

The first week in April marks the two-year anniversary of the destruction of the Kammerer House. The 1774 homestead was owned by CHIEF (Washington County's Economic-Industrial Foundation) and sat on land adjacent to Citicorp (the prospective buyer). Despite many efforts to preserve and, finally, relocate the house, community efforts were cut short by corporate powers-that-be.

Under an aura of great urgency - within hours of a meeting with Citicorp that would finalize the relocation of the house - CHIEF nevertheless condemned it to rubble. A short while later, Citicorp reneged on its contract to purchase the land. Today, there is nothing on the site but a great deal of wind.

The Kammerer House was built by Johann Ludwig Kammerer, one of Washington County's earliest settlers, who journeyed to the colonies on the same ship as Jonathan Hager. It was a remarkably intact example of early German-American architecture, with thick stone walls and a spring within its basement - unusual, in part, because it was an "everyman's" home on the very early frontier. A gable stone bore the builder's initials and the year 1774. It was headed for Maryland's Historic Register and likely the national register as well. People in the county, the state and across the nation argued on its behalf.

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The Kammerer House stood through virtually every chapter in our nation's history, but Citicorp could not allow it to stand on that site any longer.

And CHIEF could not allow the house to stand long enough to move it. Presumably, there was some enormous gain to be had, but I've yet to see it. Business and corporations come and go, but pieces of our heritage, like the Kammerer House, can never be replaced.

I spoke to an environmental official who played an early role in issuing the demolition permit. He made a site visit to the house as part of his job. His findings showed no environmental reason to prevent the demolition. Then he paused. He said, "But standing there. In the house. It sure gives you a kind of warm feeling, doesn't it?"

It sure did.

Lara Lutz

Edgewater, Md.




Playground plans get assistance



To the editor:

Recently, MIHI, Many Individuals Helping Individuals, conducted its final "Dream & Design Workshop" with the area's children to enter the the final design phase of the "Rainbow Connection," Washington County's new boundless playground to be constructed this summer at the Martin L. Snook Park in Halfway.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the Washington County public schools, Western Maryland Hospital Center and CitiCorp for assisting in making the initial design phase of this $130,000-plus project a total success.

A special MIHI thumbs up goes to Sarah Bonise, the executive director of Bright Horizons Family Solutions who operates the Citicorp Family Center, for hosting the "Dream & Design" sessions. Other volunteers who worked diligently on MIHI's behalf were Deb DeMine, Susan Lesh, Sharon Landis and of course, Pete Callas, for dipping up the best ice cream sundaes in town for all who attended. Thank you all for a truly outstanding effort.

N. Linn Hendershot

Hagerstown




Please write



To the editor:

My name is Monique P. I am a student at Fort Stockton High School in Fort Stockton, Tex. We are working on a project in our reading class.

Our goal is to get a postcard or brochure from all 50 states. I have chosen Maryland. Would your readers please send a picture post card or brochure to Monique P. c/o Mrs. Henry at F.S.H.S., 1200 W. 17th St., Fort Stockton, TX 79735.

Monique P.

Fort Stockton, Tex.

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