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Building was one of Greencastle's oldest

January 27, 2006|by JENNIFER FITCH

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - A fire Thursday morning that destroyed a three-story building in Greencastle left several onlookers questioning if it was possibly the oldest building in town.

A book written by a local historian indicates the building was constructed in 1871, surely making it one of the town's older buildings, but not the first built.

The book, "Conococheague: A History of the Greencastle-Antrim Community 1736 to 1971," details the history of 5 S. Washington St. from its early days when it was known as "Town Hall."

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The late William P. Conrad wrote that local investors opened the building with offices and store rooms on the first floor. The third floor was used by the Knights of Pythias lodge.

"The second floor contained an auditorium which provided the town with its first public assembly room or theater facility," Conrad wrote. "Town Hall's auditorium became the center for community entertainment and cultural activities."

According to Conrad, this included variety shows, performances by visiting repertory companies, musicals, dances, early movies and lectures for about 50 years.

"School commencement exercises and high school alumni banquets were held here and early Old Home Week activities utilized the facilities of this auditorium," wrote Conrad, a former Greencastle councilman and town burgess.

Old Home Week is a triennial event celebrating Greencastle's past and future.

The building was sold in 1913 and converted into the configuration used until the fire. The building had businesses on the first floor and apartments upstairs.

Antrim House Family Restaurant across the street was built in the late 1850s.

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