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Photographs of Hagerstown


One serviceman's response

Card from the Mayor of Hagerstown

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Allegany County
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Garrett County
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Washington County
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Civil War in Maryland
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Photographs and Prints

Hagerstown Photographs, World War II

The citizens of Hagerstown, during World War II, produced a fold-out postcard to send to the men and women of Washington County serving in their country's armed forces. The Hagerstown Chamber of Commerce was the sponsor of the project and funding was provided by the Chamber, the Mayor and Council of Hagerstown and some well known citizens and companies like Brandt Cabinet Works, Schindel & Rohrer Co., Inc., Nicodemus National Bank, Second National Bank, Leiter Brothers and the Hagerstown Shoe & Legging. The Committee pledged "to hold the landmarks of Hagerstown exactly as they were when you left — and keep them so until your safe return." Mayor Richard Sweeney enclosed a card, wishing the recipients an early and safe return.

The photographs were of Hagerstown in the early 1940s, the side of Hagerstown young folks would remember – the High School, the Valencia, the corner drug store, a tavern, swimming pool, movie theatre and bowling alley. The bus and train station were pictured, the last place in town some people might have seen. West Washington Street was included and the Public Square, churches, Court House, City Park and the race track.

Each page included a brief caption, noting how much emptier the streets were now the young folks had left for war service. There was a reference to how much better things will be when the boys come home. Mention was made of the restrictions on those who stayed at home – few ice creams at the Valencia and local stocks of wines and spirits are low. “But your favorite brands are still available in our many comfortable, carefully supervised taverns” – presumably the supervision was part of the war effort to save the luxuries for returning service men and women.

The "left-at-homes" also playing their part, not just in the preservation of the traditions of Hagerstown. There is an image of blood donation in St. Paul’s church and a dinner celebrating the $167,015 raised for Washington County's War Fund and Community Chest.

Western Maryland Regional Library is grateful to the Hagerstown - Washington County Chamber of Commerce and the City of Hagerstown for allowing us to add these postcards to our collection.

Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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