Blast from the Past

March 28, 2007

From the week of March 25, 1957

Members of the Leitersburg Fire Department have voted to purchase a former filling station and garage in the community to serve as a fire hall, Rene Galmiche, president of the organization, announced today.

The building is the former gas station and garage of Earl Kline and is located one block from the square in Leitersburg. The facilities used by the company since it was organized are not adequate for its needs, Galmiche pointed out.

The finance committee of the organization is now studying ways and means of raising funds necessary to purchase the new quarters.


It is expected that members will receive valuable assistance in this respect from a ladies auxiliary which will be formed at an organizational meeting this evening.

Construction of a new bridge over historic Antietam Creek began this week. The new bridge will be a prestressed concrete beam structure 244 feet in length. It will have a roadway 30 feet wide.

A "notice to proceed" has been sent by the State Roads Commission to the contractor, E.D. Plummer & Sons, whose low bid was $189,275. Bridge approaches will be constructed under a separate contract.

The new bridge will cross the creek near the Antietam National Battlefield 1.2 miles east of Sharpsburg where one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War was fought.

From the week of March 25, 1982

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - A wind-whipped fire burned in a row of bunkhouses at the former Shenandoah Downs race track here yesterday, causing $50,000 in damages and leaving 20 people homeless.

No one was hurt in the 1:40 p.m. fire, which started in one of the bunkhouse rooms and, driven by cold winds, spread through about 10 of the building's 20 units, fire company and racetrack officials said last night.

The building, part of the Shenandoah Downs complex, was used to house about 20 employees at the nearby Charles Town Turf Club, according to turf club publicity officer, Marty Hurney.

The turf club owns the property, and used the old track buildings and stables.

Hurney said track officials will rebuild the structure and that an assistance fund from the Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association will be used to help fire victims recover their loses.

Hurney said track officials estimate damage to the building at $50,000.

Charles Town firefighters remained at the scene until 3:20 p.m., according to Citizens Fire Co. Chief Kenneth Willingham.

"The wind was a problem," Willingham said. Once the fire spread to the ceiling and the roof of the wooden bunkhouse, the wind fanned the flames and spread fire to the other rooms, he said.

Willingham said the fire's cause is still undetermined.

Compiled by Joshua Hughes

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