282 years after the trees which make up its walls were axed in the western wilderness of a place then called Mary Land, Preservation Maryland, our partners, and the Washington County community gathered at 417 N. Jonathan Street to celebrate the completion of our Historic Property Redevelopment project in Hagerstown.

On September 14th, 2021 – the exact date of our 90th anniversary – we cut the ribbon in front of the humble yet deeply storied cabin. Saving this significant piece of underrepresented history and investing in the Jonathan Street community for the benefit of current and future residents is what our Historic Property Redevelopment Program is all about, and we are proud to share the results of the project with you here.

417 N. Jonathan Street is 21st century historic preservation at its very best

If you have been following this project over the last year, you already know much about the unique history of 417 and the Jonathan Street community. Those aforementioned trees became logs (felled in the winter of 1739, a full 37 years before America declared its independence) and those logs became 417 N. Jonathan Street.

Through the birth and expansion of a nation, a people’s fight for freedom and the end of slavery, two World Wars, trailblazing movements for equal rights, and the rapid growth of the region surrounding it, the cabin sat quietly, serving as a home to families and individuals with their own unique lives and stories to tell, likely including the town’s namesake, Jonathan Hager.

The rehabilitated home will remain a home – owner-occupied affordable housing – in turn helping to build equity and pride in the long-disinvested community. Nothing is being frozen in time or captured in amber; this building will remain a living, breathing home with a purpose and hopefully stand for another 282 years – well into the 24th century.

As we wrap up this project, we owe many partners and supporters our gratitude for their support along the way:

  • Mr. Richard Davis, who owned the home from 1946 to 2020
  • Governor Larry Hogan
  • US Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen
  • Former Maryland State Senator Andrew Serafini
  • Our generous donors The Rural Maryland Council, the 1772 Foundation, the Middendorf Foundation, The Delaplaine Foundation, Norman S. Starkey Charitable Trust, and numerous individual donors across the state and nation
  • Our project team Ziger|Snead; Worcester Eisenbrandt; Simpson Gumpertz & Heger
  • Reggie Turner and Tereance Moore of the Western Maryland Community Development Corporation
  • Habitat for Humanity of Washington County
  • Our local elected officials, including the mayor and council of the city of Hagerstown
  • The Jonathan Street community
  • The Board of Directors of Preservation Maryland
  • Preservation Maryland staff

If you’d like to read more about this project and our ribbon cutting ceremony, check out the recent media coverage from The Baltimore Sun, The Herald-Mail, and WDVM, or some of our past 417 blogs Rehab Reflections, Forgotten Hagerstown History, and Archaeology at Jonathan Street.

Continue to follow along here and subscribe to our newsletter for updates on other Historic Property Redevelopment Program projects across the state, including the climate resiliency project Burtis House in Annapolis.

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