Martin Delany Historical Marker
Martin Delany was born in Charles Town, West Virginia and went on to become one of the most influential African Americans of the 19th century. Delany was an abolitionist, author, editor, physician, and the highest-ranking African American officer in the Civil War. Martin Delany was also instrumental in supporting Frederick Douglass and shaping the famous leader's thoughts about the extent to which African Americans could support nonviolence without accommodating the violent regime of chattel slavery. Delany is thought to be the first black nationalist in America.
Old Opera House Theatre
In 1910, Annie G. Packette raised $50,000 and employed Washington, D.C. architects A.B. Mullett & Co. to construct the New Opera House. Designed in a classical revival style, this theatre included a proscenium stage complete with fly-space for hanging scenery, an orchestra pit, a curved balcony, and seating for 500 people. The theatre remained open through two wars, the Great Depression, and the advent of radio. However, in 1948 its stage went dark. In 1973, the building was donated to a local theatre group, and the renamed Old Opera House opened to the public in 1976. The season now offers six main stage productions, a summer children’s program, art shows, and classes in dance and acting.
First Black School in Charles Town/Achilles Dixon Home
Established in 1865 by the Freedmens' Bureau, the first African American school in Charles Town was located in the Achilles Dixon home. The school located in the Dixon home was named the Liberty Street School, and employed a local Storer College graduate to teach the students. In 1867, Jefferson county began it's own system of black education, and by 1874 constructed a brick school house on Harewood Road, now Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. The students were promptly moved from the Achilles Dixon home to the newly constructed Page-Jackson High School.