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Hagerstown Model Railroad Museum receives money from trust

January 04, 2002

Hagerstown Model Railroad Museum receives money from trust



By JULIE E. GREENE
julieg@herald-mail.com


SHARPSBURG - The Hagerstown Model Railroad Museum Inc. recently was awarded a $50,000 matching grant from the Maryland Historical Trust to help renovate the former Antietam railroad station into exhibit space, officials said.

"We're very, very excited and happy about that," said Denise Troxell, fund-raising chairwoman for the nonprofit group.

The group has at least half of the $50,000 required to match the grant, Treasurer Frank Schaller said.

Schaller is optimistic the group can come up with the remaining funds needed.

The group is again applying for funds from the Washington County Gaming Commission and for hotel tax revenue. Donations also are being accepted. Donors can contact Schaller at 301-824-2239.

The grant and its matching funds almost cover the $110,000 to $125,000 estimated cost of renovating the former Antietam station west of Sharpsburg.

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Museum officials hope to open the building to the public for good by Thanksgiving, Schaller said. People might get a sneak peek during Sharpsburg Heritage Festival weekend, Sept. 14-15.

The station will house model railroad exhibits and the group's railroad memorabilia collection, Schaller said.

The group's application for Maryland Historical Trust funds was originally turned down when the trust announced grant awards last summer.

When the trust had money left over after some other projects were delayed, the trustees chose to award $50,000 to the railroad museum, said Claudette Sherman, the trust's capital grant administrator in Crownsville, Md.

As a matching grant, the museum will receive as much of the funding as it can match, Sherman said.

If the museum is unable to match the grant within six months of signing the grant agreement - expected this month - the trustees will review whether to award the entire grant without the match, Sherman said.

Because the museum is a nonprofit group, the trustees could award the entire grant without a whole match, she said.

The trust awards grants to rehabilitate eligible historic properties for the public's benefit, Sherman said.

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