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Boonsboro Council to give $45,000 for museum

May 12, 2013|By DAVE McMILLION | davem@herald-mail.com

BOONSBORO — Boonsboro Town Council members on Monday night agreed set aside $45,000 over the next three years for further development of a proposed museum to celebrate the history of the National Road that passes through town.

An organization known as the National Road Heritage Foundation hopes to establish the museum in the Warrenfeltz building along Main Street, and the organization has been raising money to renovate the structure.

The organization has already raised some money, which was used to make roof and window improvements on the building next to the Boonsboro Trolley Museum near the entrance to Shafer Memorial Park, said Boonsboro Council member Barbara Wetzel.

Monday night, Dick Keesecker, spokesman for the National Road Foundation, requested $15,000 over the next three years from council members.

Wetzel said the money will be used for interior renovation of the building, which used to be a hardware store.

Wetzel asked other council members and Mayor Charles F. “Skip” Kauffman Jr., if the council could commit more than one year’s worth of funding for the museum.

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Kauffman said he did not think the request was “too far out of line,” and added that the $45,000 would come from the town’s hotel and motel tax revenue.

Wetzel made a motion to give the foundation $15,000 a year over a three-year period as long as the money is available through hotel and motel tax revenue. The council unanimously passed the motion.

The National Road, which is U.S. 40 through downtown Boonsboro, was the first major improved highway in the U.S. to be built by the federal government. The approximately 620-mile road provided a connection between the Potomac and Ohio Rivers, and when it was rebuilt in the 1830s, it was the first road in the U.S. to use new macadam road surfacing.

Keesecker said visitors to the museum will be able to go through “history pods” that tell the story of the National Road and Boonsboro. Keesecker said he thinks the museum will be finished within five years.

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