Monday, June 3, 2013

Day 274 - N. Potomac Street in Hagerstown

(Click any photo to enlarge.)

***Scroll down to see my offer for Red Cross donations.***

A Sampling of Mansions
Why do all armories look like castles?
On one of my first drives through Hagerstown, I clearly remember seeing a row of mansion-like homes lining the right hand side of one of the streets leading downtown.  I have been wanting to return to that street, and today I did.

Hagerstown's North Potomac Street is a one-way street that funnels traffic downtown to The Square.  Deep lots along the right side of the street have huge homes, most of them built 1800's.  I have not been able to find too much information about this street, at least online, so I am going to speculate that they were built by the "railroad barons" who settled in the area when the three big railroads, the C&O, the B&O, and the Western Maryland all converged in Hagerstown.
Someone did spring cleaning.

These mansions, some of which have been converted to businesses or apartments, have clearly undergone many renovations over the years, and some of them are in need of rehabilitation.  A number of them were for sale.  In front of a few of the homes there were Civil War historical markers, explaining who lived in the homes and the roles they played in the war. 

Zion Reformed Church
I walked along Potomac Street until I arrived downtown, turning around at West Franklin Street.  In this part of town, there were row homes, churches, and businesses.  At the Zion Evangelical and Reformed Church, there was a plaque explaining the history of the church and its role in local history.  Jonathan Hager, the founder of Hagerstown, gave land for the church to be built.  It is ironic that as he was assisting with the building of the church, a heavy beam fell on him and killed him.  His ashes are interred in the church yard.  During retreat from Gettysburg in the Civil War, General George Custer used the original bell tower of the church as a lookout post. 
Entering Maryland

Farther down the street, next to the church, there was a huge brick building that took up an entire block.  It had condemnation notices on the front door, dated from 2008.  It looked like it may have been a former school or perhaps a hotel.  I hope someone can tell me what it was.  It's a shame to have such a big, beautiful building sitting empty.

What was this building??
I appreciated having the historical plaques available to read along my walk today.  They made it so much more enjoyable, to realize that I was walking along the same street as so many other known figures from our nation's history.  I hope that one day the homes along North Potomac can all be returned to their former glory and be appreciated by generations to come.

Click on any photo to enlarge it.
Forward me by email any receipt for an online donation made to the Red Cross for disaster relief, and I will send you a 5x7 print of your choice from any of my daily photo walks or from my website.  Offer good until September 2, 2013.

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Cam's rules for the Daily Photo Walk:
  1. walk every day
  2. the walk must be in addition to any other planned activity for the day
  3. post a photo every day
  4. use whatever camera is easy and convenient for walking comfortably; always have a backup camera at the ready in case of mishaps (I use the Nikon Coolpix P7700)
  5. no weather excuses
  6. walk only where it is safe to do so

1 comment:

  1. Hagerstown has the most fascinating variety of houses that can be seen anywhere. And they are in all kinds of shape. You really captured it well... There was once some major big spending in that town!