CHARLES TOWN – Fisherman’s Hall was formally designated as a Jefferson County African-American Historic Landmark in a ceremony held on Saturday.
[cleeng_content id="609966645" description="Read it now!" price="0.49" t="article"]“The men who built this building, most of them were born during slavery,” said Jim Taylor, president of the Jefferson County Black History Preservation Society. “We are trying our best to get this whole area around here designated as a historic district.”
Taylor said the area surrounding Fisherman’s Hall, built in 1885, was the center of African-American social life in the county until the 1950s.
“They had battles of the bands, dance contests, just about anything you can think of entertainment-wise,” Taylor said. “It played an important role in African-American life for the whole county. Everybody would meet here on the weekends.
“You couldn’t park on either side of South West street unless you got your car here at like 4 in the evening,” he laughed. “Until things opened up and you could go other places, this was all we had.”
Fisherman’s Hall is the second building in the county to be designated an African-American Historic landmark. The first was the original Page-Jackson Elementary School building, which currently houses the Board of Education’s offices.
Local resident Paul Rosa donated a photograph of the 1930 meeting of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, which was held at Storer College, and now houses the National Park Service.
Rosa, who was active in the effort to preserve the Murphy Farm near Harpers Ferry, said he was thankful for the help the NAACP had given to that effort.
“The NAACP joined us in our campaign to save the Murphy Farm, and what that did was it enlarged our voice,” Rosa said. “I am very grateful to the NAACP.”
“I hope it will inspire others to donate artifacts here,” he added.
“We’ll be happy to show this to anyone who comes through the door,” said Fonda Barron, a board member with Fisherman’s Hall.