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Davis Tourist Home - Cab Calloway

Davis Tourist Home - Cab Calloway Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information


Even some of America's most famous entertainers of the era, because they were African-Americans, were barred from staying in the city's mainstream hotels. As such, such notable musicians as Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Cab Calloway, and others often stayed at the Davis Tourist Home while on tour. These stays were often a week at a time when their bands came into town to play the Cadillac Lounge, Crystal Park, and other venues.

The Davis Tourist Home was located at 329 Frederick Street. The 14-room house contained a kitchen and dining room on the first floor, and was operated by John (1898-1959) and Towanda Davis (1902-2001), and then by Mrs. Davis upon John's passing. The Davis Tourist Home also had a contract with the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad to provide overnight housing for the black railroad porters and dining-car employees who had to layover while working the Capitol Limited from Chicago to Washington. Each employee brought an official written authorization from the B&O to the Davises which allowed their stay at the Home.


From: Cumberland Daily News, September 26, 1935

Text: Janet Powell (grand-daughter of Towanda Davis)

Note: An ad in the Cumberland Evening Times of January 5, 1940 notes that Duke Ellington would be appearing at the Strand Theater. He would be doing four afternoon and evening shows at 2:19, 4:24, 7:01, and 9:13. There would also be a movie included with the last show.


Collection Location:
Allegany County, Maryland

African Americans, History; Allegany County (Md.), History.

Allegany County (Md.), 1890-2008

Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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