History panel to seek input from older African-Americans

April 08, 2002|BY DAN KULIN /Staff Writer

Members of a committee assisting with a report on the history of the African American community in Hagerstown's Jonathan Street neighborhood agreed Saturday to bring the older residents of the neighborhood together to talk about what the area was like generations ago.

The residents will be invited to the Memorial Recreation Center on May 5. Their stories and memories will become part of the City of Hagerstown's African American Heritage Survey.

The survey is being put together Stephen G. Del Sordo, a Cambridge, Md., consultant. Del Sordo is working on an architectural survey of the buildings in the Jonathan Street neighborhood and a historical documentation of the neighborhood.


The information compiled will become part of a report designed to tell the community about the history of the area.

The report, which should be done in June, will show "how people lived, where they worshipped, went to school and worked and how the community grew," Del Sordo said.

The report is being paid for with an $18,000 state grant and $12,000 from the City of Hagerstown, said Kathy Maher, city senior planner.

Maher said similar historic reports have been done on Hagerstown and the Civil War and the city's railroad history.

Hagerstown's African American history "is an under-represented part of Hagerstown's heritage in terms of the general community's knowledge," Maher said.

Committee member Ruth Monroe said the report is important because "It's nice for the younger people to know the history of Jonathan Street. ... that there wasn't always crime on Jonathan Street."

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