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Son Fulfills Mother’s Dying Wish, Showcasing African-American Artifacts

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by Nikki Burdine, Your4State

What began as one woman’s collection displayed on her dining room table became a museum of sorts in her home, and now her son is hoping to display the treasures in public.

Artifacts like a freedom quilt made in 1848 and a map of what Hagerstown looked like when it was segregated are sitting in a basement.

In the 1970s, Mrs. Doleman began her collection of antiques on the dining room table.

“Basically it started when a student at North Hagerstown asked my mom to do a display for black history week.  The display went over real well and then it started to grow into a week deal,” said Sonny Doleman, her son.  “The next year it grew bigger, finally encompassing the entire dining room and then expanding into the basement where it takes up four rooms in the basement as well as the dining room and living room.”

Sonny hopes to take the treasure out of hiding.  He wants to find a permanent home for the Doleman Museum.

He says, “It’s important for people to know about the history of cultures other than your own.”

Mrs. Doleman collected artifacts from other African-American families in Washington County, and Sonny says they’re part of American history that’s oftentimes left out.

In an effort to raise money for the museum, their first official fundraiser will be on October 19th with jazz artist Marcus Johnson.

Sonny added, “When she was alive she was concerned as to what would happen to the collection when she passed away, and she wanted to make sure the collection stayed in Washington County and that people would have access to the collection.”

The fundraiser will be held on the university campus on West Washington Street.  For more information, click here .


Written by Symphony

September 21, 2008 at 12:08 am

Posted in history

Tagged with ,

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