Door To Door: Old Town Laurel, Md, & Gum Springs, Va (Transcript) | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

Transcripts

Door to Door: Old Town Laurel, Md, & Gum Springs, Va.

MS. REBECCA SHEIR

13:37:44
And now, our weekly trip around the region. On today's "Door to Door," we visit the old town neighborhood of Laurel, Md., then we head to Gum Springs, VA.

MR. RICK WILSON

13:37:56
My name is Rick Wilson. I'm 53 years old and I live at the Old Town, Laurel neighborhood here in Laurel, Md. I have lived here for 31 years. The latest census shows that we're a city of about 25,000 people. It started out as a mill town in the 1800s. Old Town Laurel is comprised of the main street area, which is the oldest part of town, out to the little Patuxent River. It really was the reason Laurel exists because of the original factories here in Laurel that made cotton material.

MR. RICK WILSON

13:38:23
And then to the south, we consider 198 as the southern end, route 1 to the east and route 95 to the west. Laurel's always been a (word?) community. There's been times in my working life when I've had to be in D.C. or be in Baltimore and one of the best things in the world is to walk from my home, grab a cup of coffee, walk over to the MARC station, get on the Camden line, 22 minutes later I'm sitting at Union Station in downtown D.C. and then I hop on the Metro. What a nice way to get to work.

MR. RICK WILSON

13:38:51
I love living in Old Town because I can walk to the store. I can walk to the dry cleaner. I can walk to church. My children walk to school. Everybody that's on the city council, they're very approachable. You can walk up to their porch and say hey, let's talk about this issue in government, and you can get them to respond to it. These are your neighbors and it makes this community a great place to live.

MR. RONALD L. CHASE

13:39:12
My name is Ronald L. Chase. I am 60 years old and I grew up in the Gum Springs, Fairfax County, Va. Gum Springs is about two miles south of Alexandria and two miles north of Mount Vernon. It borders our Richmond Highway, Little Hunting Creek and Holland Road. It is the oldest African-American community in this area and it's one of the oldest in the nation. During 1833, a black man bought it by the name of West Ford. And he is said to be the son of George Washington by a slave. Now, the community started to grow from there.

MR. RONALD L. CHASE

13:39:50
People like Samuel K. Taylor, who was a runaway slave, purchased property and then resold it at cost. And then, you had the school system, Quakers coming into the area, purchasing land and then reselling it at cost to blacks so to help build the community as well. Bethlehem Baptist Church was started in 1863 and was started by a Samuel K. Taylor, a runaway slave. Bethlehem was the first church and school.

MR. RONALD L. CHASE

13:40:16
The NAACP held some of its earlier meetings there. And so this was the titan in the community. When you look back on the many African-American communities that existed throughout American history, most of them were destroyed. And so here you have Gum Springs continuing and that, in and of itself, warrants something for us to be proud of. It truly is a national treasure.

SHEIR

13:40:45
We heard from Ronald Chase in Gum Springs and Rick Wilson in Laurel's Old Town neighborhood. If you'd like us to feature your community on "Door to Door," send us an email at metro@wamu.org or visit us on Facebook, that's facebook.com/metroconnection.org. Time for another break, but when we get back, giving life to numbers. Are any of the numbers especially difficult to work with?

MR. BARRY GORDIMER

13:41:12
I think we're going to have a problem child with two.

SHEIR

13:41:15
What's up with two?

GORDIMER

13:41:16
Two-faced, sorry.

SHEIR

13:41:18
We visit a film set where all the actors count, in more ways than one. That and more in a minute, on "Metro Connection," here on WAMU 88.5.
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