In 2015, the Washington County Historical Society embarked on a film preservation project to restore and transfer film strips to digital copies. The Historical Society’s collection is comprised of a large number of films donated by the surrounding community. With assistance from skilled preservationists, the first film to emerge from the ongoing project was Hagerstown 1941. In it local citizens can be seen strolling the downtown streets, coming out of church services, schools, and factories. The Hagerstown Junior Chamber of Commerce hired the professional film-making company to give the residents of Washington County a chance to “See Yourself and Your Town in the Movies.” In October 2016, in conjunction with the celebration of Family History Month, the film was shown to over 200 people in a local downtown venue. After such a successful showing, the film was screened at The Maryland Theatre to a larger audience. To see what life was like in 1941, a copy of the DVD can be purchased in the Museum’s Gift Shop. Currently, other film transfers are being processed and will soon become part of the growing project.
Oral History Project
One way the Washington County Historical Society is saving and sharing the history of the region is through oral history. A dedicated team of researchers have amassed over twenty recorded interviews with local residents. Stories ranging from riding the rails during the Great Depression to owning the local ice cream shop fill hours of digital recording. Visitors are welcome to listen to the recordings in the kinship Family Heritage Research Center. Other interested interviewers and interviewees are welcome to contact WCHS to participate in the project.
Make a fully tax-deductible contribution to Washington County Historical Society and help us bring the past to life. Our mission to connect people to the those who have gone before us has never been more relevant—donate today and extend the experience for all. WCHS is a 501(c)3 not for profit institution. All gifts are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.