Dolman Black Heritage Musuem Still Searching for Home


HAGERSTOWN, Md. - Since 2008 the Dolman Black Heritage Museum, which holds 4,500 black history artifacts, has been searching for a permanent home.

In six years the organization received close to $500,000 in grants and fundraisers, but officials said it's not enough to move out of the current location.

"Even though we are on an abbreviated schedule, or you can't get in there as often because there is construction happening in the house, it doesn't mean that there isn't expenses that are incurred," said Aleshia Parson-McBean, project director. "Those funds that are raised on annual basis are pretty much 100 percent thrown back into the organization for its operations."

This June they requested from the city a feasibility study of a new possible location along Pennsylvania Avenue.

"The first one we could never come to terms or in agreement with the owner of the building on pricing, so we are still waiting back to here anything from that. But we have also put in a request in 2012 for operational funding that we have still yet to get a response from the city or the county," explained Parson-McBean.

They said to be in a permanent home will require $129,000 annually for three years. Right now that number is only about $30,000 annually.

"We understand that we have to draw on support from this region, not just the African Americans of Hagerstown, but all over because not everyone sees the significance of preserving this history locally, so that is a challenge, and that has been a challenge from day one," said Parson-McBean

Although it's a challenge to be noticed, their popularity has grown among residents, and they said the need for a permanent location is now.

"The hope would be next year, but we are prepared for the long hall," said Reggie Turner, president. "This project is long overdue, and I really don't want to leave the impression upon the community that we want to be passive in waiting."

Currently, the focus is the annual fundraiser with the Robert W. Johnson Community Center. 


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