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Massey family donates land to county library

February 10, 2005|by WANDA T. WILLIAMS

wandaw@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN - For 41 years, the Washington County Free Library on South Potomac Street has leased its side parking lot from the Massey family at the rate of $1 a year.

On Wednesday, the lease agreement ended.

Alvin, Paul Curtis, Jerry E. and Judy Massey Strock donated the land, used for parking, to the library in memory of their parents, the late Paul Curtis Massey and Margaret Kennedy Massey.

The parking lot, a strip of less than an acre, extends from South Potomac Street to the alleyway that runs behind the library.

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"We owe it to our parents who taught us that education was an important part of our lives," said Paul Curtis Massey III, addressing a group of about 20 people at a special reception held at the library to honor his family.

Judy Massey Strock, of Poolesville, Md., wasn't able to attend the event.

The land gift comes on the heels of the Massey family's recent sale of about 3 acres of land on nearby East Baltimore Street, site of the former Massey Ford dealership, Alvin Massey said.

The Masseys said they'd like the library to stay downtown.

Owning the property will give the library more flexibility as it prepares for future expansion and renovation projects, said Mary Baykan, director of the Washington County Free Library.

"For 41 years you've got a lot of 'bang for your buck,'" Baykan said, applauding the family's support to four generations of residents who have used the side parking lot when visiting the library.

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