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City Park has museum, lake

September 14, 2007

The home of Hagerstown's founding father and the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts are just a few of the features that dot the landscape of City Park.

The fish, ducks and geese that make the park's lake their home are a favorite with youngsters and tend to be the subject of photographers and other artists who visit the picturesque park.

Some park locales also have historic significance to the city and beyond.

At the side of City Park is Jonathan Hager's first home in Western Maryland.

The Jonathan Hager House preserves the history not only of Hager and his family, but also the 18th-century German culture he brought to the area.

City officials purchased 50 acres of the land formerly known as Heyser's Woods in 1915. The "Heyser Walk" trail winds around the lake and runs near the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts. The paved pathways go past picnic tables and benches amid tall weeping willows.

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The Hager House is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m. Admission for adults is $3; seniors, $2; ages 6 to 12, $1; those younger than 6, free.

Behind the Hager House is a one-room museum that holds artifacts found during the renovation of the Hager House in 1962.

A band shell is another feature of the park. Four pavilions can be rented for family picnics and other functions.

For years, from June through August, the band shell has hosted gospel concerts on Wednesday nights and Hagerstown Municipal Band performances on Sunday nights.

The Hagerstown Railroad Museum also is at City Park. A rare steam engine and cabooses are open for tours.

The cost to reserve the band shell at Hagerstown City Park is $10 for nonprofit organizations, $50 for all others for a two-hour period. The park has four pavilions, which can be reserved for $50 for city residents and $70 for noncity residents. A softball field costs an extra $15 for four hours.

The park is open from sunrise to sundown.

For information call 301-739-8577, ext. 169.

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