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Last county trolley station to become museum

April 27, 2004|by SCOTT BUTKI

scottb@herald-mail.com

BOONSBORO - The Town of Boonsboro, working with the Boonsboro Historical Society, plans to turn the last existing Blue Ridge Trolley station in Washington County into a museum, Town Manager John Kendall said Monday.

Kendall and members of the Boonsboro Historical Society would like anyone with stories, photographs or other information about the Boonsboro trolley station to contact them.

Those with memorabilia or stories may call Wanda Heuer, president of the Boonsboro Historical Society, at 301-432-7030, or Kendall at 301-432-5141, Kendall said.

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The trolley ran to Boonsboro from 1902 to 1938, Kendall said.

In its heyday, the trolley ran from Frederick to Middletown, Myersville, Hagerstown, Thurmont, Williamsport and Boonsboro in Maryland, and to Shady Grove, Pa.

When the town in March bought property that was the site of the former Warrenfeltz True Value and Rental Center at 214 N. Main St., officials thought another building on the property was an old shed, Kendall said. It turned out to be the last existing station of the trolley line in Washington County, he said.

"We were ready to tear this thing down," Kendall said.

John Frye, historian at the Western Maryland Room at Washington County Free Library, passed word to the town that it was the county's last remaining Blue Ridge Trolley station.

"It is part of our heritage and I guess it should be saved," Frye said last Thursday.

After having others examine the property, Kendall and the Boonsboro Historical Society decided to turn the building into a museum showcasing early transportation in Boonsboro, Kendall said. The museum would include photographs and artifacts relating to the station and the trolley, he said.

Doug Bast, a member of the Historical Society's board of directors, said he has a 4-foot section of the rail in his museum, Bast's Boonesborough Museum of History, which he would donate.

One of the top items needed at this point is a photograph of the interior of the station when it was in use so the building can be renovated to look like it did back then, Kendall said.

Those involved are hoping to get state and federal funds to pay for the museum, he said.

The town plans to use the purchased property to provide access to Shafer Park, Kendall said.

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