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Gone but not Forgotten: Storer College

Elaine Eff- Former Director, Cultural Conservation Program, Maryland Historical Trust

Before The National Park Service made it its headquarters, the assortment of hilltop buildings in Harpers Ferry was the home of an historic Black institution called Storer College. It was established in 18-- by Free Will Baptists from Maine wishing to educate recently freed blacks and did so until Brown v. Board of Ed. rendered it redundant and summarily closed its doors in 1955. A recent oral history project determined to enrich the repurposed campus with the stories of men and women whose full lives as students, athletes, choir members, commuters, townies and romancers and became educators and adults who reaped the rewards of their experience. As chronicler of a dozen graduates or attendee, I will share highlights of their stories with sound and images to illuminate a fascinating little known history of theses well traveled Park Service grounds.

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