Harmon


Known Name(s)

Harmon

Address

226 North Jonathan Street Hagerstown, Maryland

Establishment Type(s)

Apartments, Hotel, Tourist Home

Physical Status

Demolished

Description

The image shown on the interpretive panel shows a 5-bay 3-story red brick building with a mansard roof.  It had a double center entrance and single entrances at the north and south ends of the west fa├žade.  The building extended east along Harmon's Alley.

Detailed History

The Harmon Hotel was an early 20th century hotel in Hagerstown's African American neighborhood on Jonathan Street, north of the Baltimore-National Turnpike. It was owned by Walter Harmon, a wealthy African American businessman. The Polk City Directory for 1922 shows that Jonathan Street was in transition, with several African American businesses such as Miller's Pool Room, Harmon's Bowling Alley, and George Wagner's Clothing Store listed among white businesses. The Depression affected the business community and by the late 1930s, Miller and Wagner's businesses had closed and the buildings were vacant. After Harmon died in 1915, his wife, Florence, managed the hotel, running it first as an apartment building and then in the 1930s as a hotel with her son Frank until she passed away in 1953. A noted guest in 1950 was Willie Mays, who was playing for the Trenton Giants, a New York Giants farm team (before they moved to San Francisco) against the Hagerstown Braves. The Harmon Hotel has been torn down, but its importance to Hagerstown African American citizens is recognized by the plaque located in front of the lot where it once stood.

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