Herald-Mail Forums

July 24, 2006

Last week's question

A group working on the revival of downtown Hagerstown wants to create a "destination attraction" such as a museum to draw people. What sort of museum would you visit and what would be a reasonable admission fee?

A museum of the western counties. From South Mountain to the end of the Allegheny Mountains.

Not a "traditional" museum, but one idea I think would really work would be to build a new minor league baseball stadium on land that is vacant with a nice view of our downtown skyline, such as the Baltimore Street area. The Suns desperately need a new stadium; whether it is out in the county or in the city matters not.

I would think with all the push for "smart growth" in Maryland recently, a new stadium downtown might be able to get state and county funding easier and would truly be unique.

Perhaps the name "Suns" could be changed to incorporate something with a local tie, like "Railroaders" and a museum of railroading could be housed in the stadium or building next to it. And of course, the stadium can be used for more than just baseball; included could be concerts, plays, festivals, graduations, etc.


The working group is in the right direction and a museum is a start. But the downtown area itself should be the "destination attraction." Let's not be so narrow-minded. I would encourage folks to think out of the box.

Hagerstown could take a cue from the city of St. Louis. St. Louis has a "city museum" that gives visitors a tour of things the city is known for (music, culture, factories, etc) All of the exhibits are built from salvage from the city. View it at

I'm all for it. A museum would be a great idea in the downtown area. With the history of Washington County. And the western counties and South Mountain, in order to attract people here to Washington County.

But we also need other businesses that would attract people to want to come here, to visit or even to live here. We as citizens need to focus on the downtown area. To clean it up and make it more inviting. From South Potomac to North Potomac. And Washington Street and Franklin Street. Start from Public Square corner and work our way out. Let's make Hagerstown a great place to visit and live. The Suns can wait for a stadium. The key here is to bring money to the City of Hagerstown, not spend it away for unnecessary things.

I'm afraid a museum of Washington County history is only going to draw people from ... Washington County. Even though Civil War museums are a dime a dozen now (it seems as if every town has one now), even that would be more of a regional draw, like the Suns are.

How can we get people from Chambersburg, Martinsburg, Winchester, Cumberland, and people passing through on the highways to stop and visit? Whatever the group decides, I hope they really take their time and cross their t's and dot their i's.

Duh! How many other small cities have museums that draw people? Does that tell you anything or are you beyond help?

A wax museum of all the people elected to office in Maryland, to remind us of our past mistakes.

I think we're on the right track with places like Discovery Station. However, let's keep that ship a-rudder before we start thinking about trolley-tours of the city or other "destination attractions." These things don't just spring up and prosper. Without continuing community and corporate support, it's all for naught. I've been here my whole life and I think the ideas are wonderful. Let's just put some foundation beneath them.

This week's question

In Washington County, there are four candidates for state's attorney, five for sheriff and more than a dozen for county commissioner. What's the best way to keep track of so many candidates and how will you decide which ones to vote for? To respond, go to and click on "opinion." Edited responses will appear on our Web site and on this page on Monday, July 31.

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