Boys honor father with gift to roundhouse drive

June 05, 1998|By LISA GRAYBEAL

In memory of Ken Troxell, a former Western Maryland Railroad worker, his sons Sean and Alec Troxell have donated the 125 shares of CSX stock he left them to help save the historic Hagerstown Roundhouse.

"This represents their dad to them ... They want to keep it alive," said Denise Troxell, mother of Sean, 17, and Alec, 16.

Funkstown native Ken Troxell, who died of cancer in 1990 at the age of 54, spent countless hours on the roundhouse property repairing and inspecting railroad cars as his grandfather had done before him.

It seemed natural to the Troxell brothers, who live in Sharpsburg, to donate the shares of stock to a cause that could help preserve the memory of their father, Denise Troxell said.


The stock, now worth about $5,000, brings to $21,000 the amount of unsolicited donations pledged to a campaign to save the roundhouse, said Bob Tracey, museum president.

Some of the donations have come from out-of-towners whose relatives worked on the railroad in Western Maryland.

Last week, William Wivell, an accountant for Allegheny Power and a candidate for Washington County Commissioner, pledged $1,000 to the campaign and challenged others to follow suit.

But $21,000 is far from the $500,000 the property owners want for the roundhouse and other buildings on the 40-acre property along South Burhans Boulevard.

"We're going to need some corporate donations to make this work," Tracey said.

More money and more time are the two main elements to saving the historical property which once bustled with activity as the hub where train engines were repaired and fabricated.

That activity ended in 1986. For another three years, the roundhouse handled contracts to restore steam locomotives, but since then, the facility has slowly fallen into disrepair.

CSX Real Property has given Hagerstown Roundhouse Museum officials until July 3 to come up with the money to buy the property or the buildings will be demolished.

"They're holding fast to the July 3 deadline," Tracey said.

The property owners also are asking that a government agency assume liability.

The Troxell brothers are hopeful that there are enough people who care about preserving the area's history to donate to the cause.

"We've got to pull together. If everyone pulls together we can do this," said Denise Troxell, who is a Sharpsburg Tow Council member.

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