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Jazz, tours to celebrate legacy of Rev. Daggs

Hammond History Action Team will host a concert and tour titled "A Little Bit of History"´┐Żand all that Jazz!" on Friday to honor the life of Rev. Charles Daggs.

The committee was inspired to hold this event after historians Melanie Ricketts and Antoinette Harrell revealed the story of Daggs, the founder of the St. James AME Church, the oldest African American Church in Hammond.

Daggs was a slave sold to Louisiana with his mother and four siblings. His remains are located in the St. James AME Church cemetery lon Thomas Street, not far from the grave of the Unnamed Slave Boy in the Peter Hammond family cemetery.

His great granddaughters, the Gibson sisters, lived at the intersection of Range Road and Thomas Street, which was part of the Gray's Quarters neighborhood. His grandson Jimmie Noone grew up in Hammond and used his musical talent to master the clarinet and become a renowned jazz musician in the early 1900s through the 1940s.

Morgan Guerin, a young jazz musician who is taking the jazz world by storm, is also a Charles Daggs' descendant, the historians said.

A bus tour will start at Cate Square, a historical site in downtown Hammond, and will include three cemeteries: Peter Hammond gravesite (the Unnamed Slave Boy); the St. James AME Cemetery (Charles Dagg's burial site), and the cemetery on Wilson Street. The tour will highlight other little known points of interest in the city and culminate at the Tangipahoa African American Heritage Museum.

Three tours are planned and will begin at 1 p.m. Each tour is expected to last about 11/2 hours. The cost is $15 for adults and $10 for children. The entrance fee to TAAHM is included.

Also Friday, Morgan Guerin, the young Daggs' descendent, will perform at the Hammond Regional Arts Center at 8 p.m. Tickets are $30 with food and drinks.

An all-day celebration in the 1000 block of East Coleman between Range Road and NA James Drive is planned for Saturday. All are invited to set up a table with food, drinks and a little bit of family history. Hamburgers and hot dogs will be available for purchase.

The History Action Team formed out of a desire to create a more inclusive local history of the city, digging into little known stories of the people of Hammond. It was inspired by the research into the unnamed enslaved man who is buried in the historic Peter Hammond family cemetery. His grave is only labeled "Unnamed Slave Boy."