I believe that Taneytown got a real life lesson on equal opportunity, even if the community has lost its chance to preserve and learn about the city's history.
Single-handedly, one person has been able to close the Taneytown History Museum.
With the political season upon us, it is good to remember how one person's actions can affect so many. Sadly, in this instance, I do not believe the museum's closing will benefit anyone.
Taneytown is trying to pull itself up from years of disarray. The street project, though necessary, was very costly to the commercial members of the community. Now the city has lost another vital asset, its archive of history. The museum gave members of the community a location to share their memories, artifacts and memorabilia with their neighbors. It restored in people the memories of younger and sometimes happier days. But this has all been taken away because using the rear entrance, which is handicap accessible, was demeaning in one person's opinion.
Now let's try to find the brighter side of this action. Is it that another storefront on Main Street will be closed to the public, or that people can keep their memorabilia on a shelf in the closet, or that Taneytown has lost an opportunity to show its history and pride? There is no bright side. Everyone has lost.
Taneytown has learned the same lesson that Gettysburg, Westminster and other small towns have learned. Yes, I believe that everyone should have access to a public building, but is going to the rear entrance demeaning? Taneytown has old buildings. Considerations for handicapped people were not a concern when these buildings were erected. Many don't lend themselves to being handicap accessible through the front door. Small organizations financed by donations do not have the resources to alter old buildings.
Taneytown is growing and also trying to preserve its small town appeal. The street project has greatly improved the city's appearance. It is a shame to not utilize one of the city's older landmarks because the front door is not handicap accessible.
I sadly say goodbye to the Taneytown History Museum. So many people enjoyed the museum and worked very hard to display interesting and educational items. I also say beware, because the same crusader could be scanning travel brochures and event calendars targeting your small business or community museum next.