I’m a student of science and technology, but I also love history. History helps us travel into the past and see how things all started when we weren’t there.
Since I made College Park my hometown, I’ve had many opportunities meeting with many of my neighbors, who set their foot in our beloved town many years ago, some even years before I was born. During our many conversations over the years with these neighbors, they told me many stories about how our two neighborhoods, Hollywood and Daniels Park used to look like. They told me how they raised their families, and how much our neighborhoods have changed since they bought their first homes in early 1950’s. These are the neighbors who built our communities. We definitely owe them a debt of gratitude for all they have done for us.
Over the years, I saw many of these longtime neighbors leaving our town. Sadly, some moved to senior housing, some to assisted living outside of College Park and some even died. What I found scary is that when they left, they also took a treasure of history and stories with them. Though a good amount of work has been done to preserve the history of other parts of the city, very little to none has been done to collect the histories of our neighborhoods in north College Park.
Two years ago, I asked my colleagues on the City Council to set aside a small fund so that Council members can use that fund to do small projects related to the neighborhoods they serve. Using this fund, we’re were lucky to recruit a University of Maryland Anthropology student, Moriah James as a Council intern to collect the history of our two neighborhoods – Hollywood and Daniels Park. Over her summer break, Moriah spent many hours in interviewing many of our long term residents and doing research to collect histories of these neighborhoods. I’m extremely grateful to many neighbors for giving their time, some even giving precious artifacts, such as old photos and maps.
Tomorrow, Moriah will be presenting her work at the regular Council meeting.
Please read here her report here. The History and Heritage of Daniels Park and Hollywood on the Hill
I’m sure many of you will enjoy the stories in Moriah’s report and find them fascinating. Some parts of history in the report go back a long before we had trolley train going along Rhode Island Avenue, when Edgewood Rd was a dirt road, and children used to play on what we now call I-495 beltway.
I know the report may not be complete. But let’s take this just a start. We plan to build a wiki website where we can add more content and make the history of neighborhoods more complete.