This 4-minute documentary appeared on the local West Palm Beach ABC affiliate WPBF in August 2009. This video tells the story of the Hopkinson/McGann family's quixotic quest to restore a piece of black history. In 2004, writer Natalie Hopkinson and her mother Serena Hopkinson fell in love with the abandoned 11-room boarding house, and later learned it was built in 1926 by black West Palm Beach's most prominent citizen: James Jerome "Cracker" Johnson (1877-1946) who was a bootlegger, numbers-runner and real estate mogul who loaned the city $50,000 to balance its books during the Depression.
The Hopkinson/McGann family spent most of the decade lovingly restoring the home that is a contributing structure to the National Register of Historic Places. But by 2013, due to the crash of the Florida housing market, the future of the project is unclear.
To learn more about their nonprofit 501c3 and how you can visit the house, see at crackerjohnson.wordpress.com or email NHopkinson AT Hotmail.com . Call 202-903-0336.
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