Water damage forces military museum in Hagerstown American Legion hall to close

August 18, 2008|By MARLO BARNHART

HAGERSTOWN -- Water seeping in through the walls has prompted officials to close the military museum in the basement of the American Legion Morris Frock Post 42 on Northern Avenue.

"We will be closed until further notice," said Post Adjutant Ruth Ungvarsky.

Many exhibits have been returned to the people who donated them to the museum, she said.

A lot of items have been packed up for safekeeping but some were ruined, according to Ivan Raymond "Pete" Young Jr., curator of the museum.

"We have given some things to the aviation museum," Young said.

Plans are to donate some items -- uniforms, papers, photographs -- to other museums.

Young said the legion is interested in hearing from anyone who has a site that could serve as the military museum headquarters in the meantime.

Legion members voted in August 2005 to sell the building.

"We had a buyer, but it fell through," Ungvarsky said Friday.


In the current real estate climate, she said another offer might not be forthcoming.

The Herald-Mail reported in March 2006 that Frank Getz, post commander at that time, said the post was asking $2.5 million for the building and the land surrounding it.

The former Hagerstown Country Club building has been around since the 1940s. The building covers about 40,000 square feet, according to published reports.

Young said the museum in the basement was open for special occasions and by appointment for more than 10 years.

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