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Martinsburg City Council accepts donation of Wegenast Brewery property

November 20, 2009

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - The Martinsburg City Council on Thursday agreed to accept the donation of property along Tuscarora Creek near the B&O roundhouse and shops that is being eyed for a recreational use.

A real estate transfer agreement for what is known as the Wegenast Brewery property in the 200 block of East Burke Street unanimously was approved by the council, which accepted the donation on behalf of the Martinsburg-Berkeley County Parks & Recreation Board.

Comprised of two parcels about a half-acre in size, the land is being donated by BHB&B LLC. Martinsburg residents Mark and Sue Ann Palmer and their son, Chris Palmer, are the limited liability company's members, according to West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie E. Tennant's office.

Parks & Recreation Board executive director R. Stephen Catlett has described the property as a critical piece of property for developing a recreational trail along the creek behind the historic B&O property between North Queen and East Burke streets.

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In exchange for accepting the property title, the city expects the recreation board to ensure "there are no issues with the local historic review and preservation commission as well as with the State Historic Preservation Office with regards to the city and board's plan for the property."

The recreation board also is expected to bid out and fund the demolition of a blighted building on the property by the end of 2010, if it is not renovated and maintained, according to the agreement.

As part of the agreement, the recreation board also is expected to consult with historian Don C. Wood in regard to his request for an archaeological study and review of any existing tunnel within the property.

Civil War general and future President Rutherford B. Hayes was said to lay ill for several days at the property in July 1864, according to the East Martinsburg Historic District's National Register nomination form.

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