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Jackson House hotel | Black history mural

Located at 1006 N. 6th street, the Jackson House Hotel will be receiving a mural as part of the HBG Mural Fest. The artwork pictured above is a concept created by muralist, Cesar Viveros. Locally, Viveros is best known as the artist-in-residence who helped design and lead the creation of the Mulberry Street Bridge murals.

This rooming house was owned and operated for many decades by German I. Jackson, a self-made man from Winchester, VA. He and his wife, Betty, lived there and offered 5 or 6 rooms for rent.

African-American guests stayed because they were denied access to such city hotels as the Penn Harris and the Harrisburger.

Rooms were furnished with furniture Mr. Jackson bought from the Penn Harris, whose manager offered it to him when the Penn Harris refurbished its rooms. 

Interior décor (much of it since stolen) included elaborate woodwork, gaslight fixtures, and glass pocket doors inlaid with red glass. 

Many famous African Americans visited the hotel, and will be celebrated in the mural.  

  • Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong: were among the celebrities who stayed at the Jackson House while performing in Harrisburg.
  • Cab Calloway:  Famous American Jazz singer. 
  • Pearl Mae Bailey: Famous actress and singer.

Famous African Americans from Harrisburg will also be depicted, including the previous owner of the building, German Jackson.

  • Harriet McClintock Marshall, died at house still standing at 6th & Boas. She was the wife of a runaway slave, and was a conductor of the Underground Railroad in Harrisburg. She was a member of the Wesley Union AME Zion church, and she may have hidden fugitive slaves and provided them with food, clothing and shelter. 
  • Ephraim Slaughter, a famous civil war vet lived nearby on Capitol Street.
  • The base of the mural will have information about the figures pictured. 

 

A special thank you to Calobe Jackson from HHA and writer, Diane McCormick, who helped to gather historical information for the project.