Saturday, July 23, 2011

Woodsboro Historical Society seeks to turn old train station into museum


A train station off of Creagerstown Road in Woodsboro, (MD) which has not functioned in nearly 50 years, may soon be converted into a museum for the Woodsboro Historical Society.

Jay Wolfe, president of the society, said members of the organization have been renovating the 128-year-old building since they purchased it from the Maryland Transit Authority in 1997.

After a fundraising effort, during which the group hopes to raise between $15,000 and $20,000, Wolfe said the building will be populated with town artifacts, photographs and land records.

"It will principally serve as the historical society's museum," Wolfe said. He hopes the fundraising campaign, which has so far included sending mailers to residents of the 21798 ZIP code, will be the final push that will see the building through to completion. That's why it carries the slogan "Driving The Last Spike."

"We're trying to impress upon people that we're close [to making this a reality]," he said. "It has been a long time coming."

Renovations will include the installation of heating and air

From the The Frederick News-Post

The Woodsboro Historical Society is seeking the public's help in completing its restoration of the town's historic train station.
The society is in the midst of a fundraising campaign, titled "Driving the Last Spike," and members hope to raise between $15,000 and $20,000, President Jay Wolfe said. He said the campaign will continue until the money is raised.

The society purchased the station -- built in 1883 and closed in 1963 -- from the Maryland Transit Authority in 1997, and the restoration has been ongoing since 1999.

The project is in its final stages, Wolfe said, with the installation of a heating and air conditioning system and custom-milled lumber in the interior left to be done. The station will be opened to the public as a museum containing items from Woodsboro's history, as well as used for the historical society's meetings and other public events.

Wolfe said every effort is being made to restore the station to its original look, as well to the standards of the Maryland Historical Trust, which holds a lien on the property.

"We're trying to get it as close as possible, within reason," he said.

The station was used for both passengers and freight until 1948, when passenger service was halted.

During the early part of the 20th century, the Woodsboro area was home to a thriving goldfish industry, and fish from area ponds were loaded up at the station for distribution all over the country, Wolfe said.

There are three levels of sponsorship for both business and individual donors, and sponsors will be recognized on a plaque that will be erected at the completed station.

Wolfe said the fundraising efforts received a major boost when Woodsboro Historical Society Vice President J. Robbins offered to match all individual contributions.

"We thought that was extraordinarily generous," Wolfe said. "That's a tremendous plus for us, of course."

Wolfe said only a few donations have come in so far, but that the society plans on getting the word out through mailers to be sent out to everyone in the zip code this week or next.

"It's started off rather slowly so far, but we're just rolling the thing out right now," Wolfe said.

Contributions can be sent to the Woodsboro Historical Society at P.O. Box 42, Woodsboro, MD 21798. Those interested in contributing can also call 301-845-6607.

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