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Jamison opens its doors

Business celebrates its 100th anniversary

Business celebrates its 100th anniversary

March 05, 2006|By DANIEL J. SERNOVITZ

HAGERSTOWN

For 35 years, Harry D. "Don" Clever worked as a welder at the Jamison Door Co.

He was never much for talking shop after work, said his wife, Mary Clever of Hagerstown. Lacking the details, she said, she began to form a mental image of what her husband's work space must have looked like.

"I didn't really have any idea of what he did. He never talked much about his work and what he did," Mary Clever said. "I thought he just worked in a small room."

Harry Clever died in 1996, taking his secrets with him. Mary Clever discovered the picture she had in her head not-so-closely resembled reality as she toured the Hagerstown plant Saturday during an open house.

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"I think it's something different," she said, commenting on the larger-than-perceived welding area and the overall size of the building. "I think it's fantastic. I can't imagine all this done in one building."

Mary Clever was one of several hundred people who attended the open house at Jamison in celebration of the plant's 100th anniversary, which was Feb. 28. An estimated 470 people attended Saturday's event, Jamison Chairman John T. Williams said.

During a speech, Williams singled out several key groups that he said share in the company's success, including the widows of former Jamison employees, its current workers and those who have retired from the company.

"One of the many things that makes the company so great, I believe, is the stability and continuity," Williams said. "We're all doing something greater than ourselves, and we all ought to take great pride in that going forward."

Andy Lee, who started working at Jamison in 1998, said that was one of the things that first struck him when he came to the company from Maryland Fleet Maintenance in Frederick, Md. He recognized both the age of the building and the age of Jamison's workers, and considered himself young on both accounts.

A Clear Spring High School graduate, Lee switched two years ago from the final assembly line at Jamison to customer service. While he might have been a veteran at some companies with more frequent turnover, he said he still feels like a rookie.

"I'm 27, but I still feel like I'm the young guy," he said. "It's an honor, 100 years, just think of it ... to know that you're part of that."

George Hamilton, after 44 years at Jamison, is no rookie. He started working at Jamison after graduating from Boonsboro High School, and walked into the plant's doors absent of the knowledge of what went into making doors.

"In all honesty, I thought a door was something you put on the front of your house," he said. "This was (going to be) a steppingstone to find out what it is I wanted to do with my life."

Hamilton, who is a marketing manager at Jamison, said it did not take very long for him to realize working at the company is what he wanted to do with his life. With Jamison turning 100, he is proud to know he is a part of that long and continuing heritage.

"I'm encouraged that this company's going to be around a long time," he said. "We've got some very, very dedicated individuals."

During the ceremony, representatives for U.S. Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, D-Md., U.S. Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett, R-Md., and Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich presented certificates honoring Jamison's anniversary. State Sen. Donald Munson, R-Washington, and Hagerstown Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II also presented certificates.

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