Between Two Berlins

20130825_122415If you’re like me and haven’t been to Berlin, Maryland, in the last two or three years, you will find much new there, along with the old.  But for this post, I will focus on a interesting view located between two areas of Berlin: the mostly white downtown west of Rt. 113, and the Germantown area east of the route.  In truth, there are three Berlins, with the East Berlin section east of the road and near 20130825_122320Germantown.  As you  might guess, East Berlin and Germantown are the historically segregated areas of this little town.  But there is a beautiful landmark visible between downtown and Germantown.

I do not know how long this mural has been decorating the side of the building of Boomers Restaurant on Rt. 113, nor do I know the artist, but it is a marvel to see.  When you visit downtown Berlin, with it’s blossoming array of cafes, restaurants, shops and antique stores, you might keep in mind that Berlin has had a segregated history, like many communities throughout this country.  Today, in both downtown and Germantown, you will find some gems.  Below on the right is part of downtown, which over the years has grown into a wonderful attraction.  On the left is the newly restored Rosenwald School in Germantown.  It was no small feat to restore the Germantown school, for it took a lot of hard work by the community to restore it, for the original building had been altered considerably over the years, after the building had ceased operating as a school.  But back in the 1920s, the black community contributed mightily to the school, as the Rosenwald schools were not free, the community had to contribute.  Germantown and downtown Berlin have saved important historical landmarks.  And like that extraordinary mural, they deserve a visit.

— Linda Duyer

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