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History on display at fall festival

November 30, 1999|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

What: Antietam Ironworks is available for parties and events

Where: 3768 Harpers Ferry Road, Sharpsburg

Contact: For details, call 301-432-2250

SHARPSBURG

When Mary Fleckenstein visits her sister in Sharpsburg, the pair enjoys visiting area historical sites.

A fall festival at Antietam Ironworks Sunday offered the sisters a rare chance to go inside the former iron business that was built in the 1700s, said Betsy Norton, of Sharpsburg. The building also was used as a general store.

"Living around here, you can't help but get into the history of the area," she said. "The buildings are rare, and all of them are unique and endangered species. If people don't put the time into them, they disappear."

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Natoma Reed-Vargason said Sunday's festival at Antietam Ironworks was the first of what will hopefully be an annual event. By early afternoon, about 100 people had been there for the buffet, historical literature and live music.

Bob Sykes and Scott Silbert, both of Sharpsburg, played jazz music in a dining area while several people enjoyed the buffet.

Reed-Vargason said donations were being collected for the Sharpsburg Historical Society. She said organizers hope to raise at least $300.

The festival also was an opportunity to let the community know that Antietam Ironworks is available for parties, receptions and other events.

"It's an opportunity for friends and family to come together," she said of the event.

Suzy Yates of Shepherdstown, W.Va., said she often walks near Antietam Ironworks, and decided to stop by Sunday for lunch. She had pork, a baked potato, spiced cider and carrot cake.

"Our dog snuck a little bit of the pork," Yates said. "She's loving it."

Antietam Ironworks was established in 1763, but the building on Harpers Ferry Road was built earlier, Reed-Vargason said.

"It's such a beautiful space," she said.

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