"Pest House" to Be Reborn as Center of African American History

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Next to the Historical Society of Baltimore County in Cockeysville, stands a boarded-up two-story building once known as the Pest House, from its original use as a hospital for patients with contagious diseases. Driving by, you may simply see another once handsome historic building in an unfortunate state of disrepair, but the Historical Society and historian Louis Diggs see something more. They have chosen the building as the future site of the “Louis S. Diggs Research Center for African American History.”

Diggs is a celebrated local historian who has authored 10 books on the history of African Americans in Baltimore County, a history which, before his meticulous and enlightening studies, was sorely underchronicled.

The restoration project may cost upwards of 500,000 dollars, and Diggs has been employing creative ways to raise money, as well as awareness of the project, including a fundraising nine-day Bahaman cruise in January.

According to an article in the Carroll County Times the center will host genealogical information, grant researching and writing, among other community and research programs centered around Baltimore County’s African American history.



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