July 20, 2017, Hagerstown-
I left Philadelphia, yesterday evening, with minimal trouble. It seemed that, at some point, there were more people coming INTO the city, than were leaving. I drove through the northern third of Delaware, bypassing Wilmington, going through bustling Newark- seat of the University of Delaware (both cities are on the itinerary for July, 2018) and across Maryland’s northern tier, through Thurmont (not a sleepy, bucolic town, but a modern, virtual bedroom town of Frederick- itself a bedroom town to Baltimore and Washington) and Frederick, where I stopped just in time for a police car to head to its emergency. I continued a few miles further, and stopped for the night in Hagerstown, intending to spend the morning exploring this city that once signified an enclave of antebellum Southern thinking, just shy of the Mason-Dixon Line.
I heard that there is still a lot of progress to be made here, in race relations. That is pretty much how it is everywhere. Human relations always need work. I am not in favour of demolishing relics that we might find disturbingly reflective of outmoded ways of thinking, but I do believe we must USE such monuments and artifacts to educate people on the excesses of the past, so that we may, as a people, do better towards one another, now and in the future.
Hagerstown does not maintain any sites that pay homage to racist thinking, and in fact promotes visits to sites that commemorate Black History in the city. I have kept a brochure on the subject, for a future visit. Meanwhile, today’s visit focused on the north end of downtown and on City Park, with its duck pond, acres of beautiful woods and its art museum. Jonathan Hager House, with a small historical museum, sits on the north end of the park. It was closed today, though.
Let’s start with a look at the north end of downtown.
The nice ladies in this Welcome Center provided me with a wealth of information about the historic sites in the area- and gave directions to Antietam, which will take up my afternoon and evening.
Street art is not common, at this end of town, but what there is, is upbeat and colourful.
There were two windows, devoted to the dissemination of wisdom, in this building. The saying on the left has pretty much been my credo, for many years now.
The above left could have been said by Honest Abe, Thomas Edison, the Wright Brothers- or Ed Wood.
I proceeded to note some architectural gems. Here’s St. John’s Lutheran Church.
The fire station has endured a great many storms.
Every town, that has an active theater troupe, is blessed. This is the Maryland Theatre’s centenary.
It was time for lunch, so I took my deli stash, and headed for City Park. Nothing beats a picnic table, overlooking the water.
There are water fowl galore here, and the pond is well-stocked with fish.
The forest is healthy, and well-populated, by various animals. I came across a couple of fellow humans, washing their hair at a water pump. Those who do live in the park, pick up after themselves, quite nicely.
The trail to the museum wends past the ducks and their happy home.
The upper picnic area is well-suited for larger groups.
This purposeful being greets the visitor to Washington County Museum of Art, founded, in 1929, by William and Anna Singer. Diana, accompanied by her trusty dog, was fashioned by Anna Hyatt Huntington.
The museum features a full range of artistic media. There are two cases of exquisite blown glass.
I have selected only a couple of scenes, inside the facility, as this is already a long post. One painting, among the many fine pieces, stood out to me: Hugo Bailin’s “Earth Forces”.
One of the loveliest features of this museum is its Saturday Morning gallery, which showcases the work of area children.
Lastly, here is the delightful Atrium.
I am providing links to the places I visit, from here on out and will see if WordPress will allow me to back-edit, and provide links to places I have visited thus far.
Here is: http://wcmfa.org/, which, unfortunately you’ll have to type in yourselves.
I ended this Hagerstown excursion with a look at the closed Jonathan Hager House.
NEXT: Antietam National Battlefield