In the years following the Civil War, Shab Row was the center of family life for Frederick's African American population. It was a close-knit community of tinkers, tailors, blacksmiths, wheelwrights, carpenters and cobblers. By the early 1900's, local industries located in close proximity afforded employment opportunities for residents as well.
The revitalization and adaptive reuse of this blighted residential and industrial area was accomplishment during a period of several years by Bert Anderson, a Frederick downtown developer and businessman. Carefully restored and preserved using salvaged original materials, these structures now house specialty shops, services, and other commercial offerings.