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Train station in Smithsburg to be auctioned

March 01, 2001

Train station in Smithsburg to be auctioned



By ANDREW SCHOTZ

andrews@herald-mail.com

file photo

Smithsburg railroad stationThe Smithsburg railroad station will be sold at a public foreclosure auction Tuesday, March 6.

Klaus Von Mahr, the owner, defaulted on a $112,000 mortgage with Hagerstown Trust Co., according to attorney Roger Schlossberg, a trustee for the property.

J.G. Cochran Auctioneers and Associates Ltd. of Boonsboro will run the auction from 1 to 3 p.m. on the steps of the Washington County Courthouse.

The building was last used as a railroad station in the late 1950s. Since then, the stone building has housed several businesses, including a dry cleaner, a beauty shop and an insurance agency, said Harold Boyer, owner of Boyer's Book Bank & Emporium.

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Farmers & Merchants Bank had a branch in the building, too, Boyer said. A safe is built into one of the walls.

Councilman Mike Rohrer said Von Mahr made some improvements to the building, including adding copper spouts.

Von Mahr could not be reached for comment.

The building was most recently used for a branch of a communications company called Sky Pager. A representative at Sky Pager's headquarters in Connecticut said the Smithsburg office closed at least a year ago.

The chance to own a railroad station has attracted interest in the property, Schlossberg said. "This is not like HO gauge. This is the real thing."

"I expect very spirited bidding," he said.

Last year, Smithsburg Mayor Tommy Bowers suggested that the town buy the station for the police department's use. He said federal grant money was available to help with the purchase.

There was no support for the idea from the Town Council then, and Rohrer said this week that the move remains unlikely.

"The police department's fine where it's at," he said, referring to office space at Town Hall.

Rohrer said the two-person police department isn't big enough to need more space, such as a separate interrogation room.

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