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New Shepherdstown signs aim to reflect community pride and welcoming spirit

July 28, 2013|By RICHARD F. BELISLE | richardb@herald-mail.com
  • The new Shepherdstown sign was designed by area resident Bob Shelley. Things came together when Shelley saw the old Masonic Odd Fellows Eye logo above the small white library building in the middle of downtown. It became the sign's defining graphic element.
Submitted photo

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. — Four current green highway department signs that stand at the four entrances to Shepherdstown don’t reflect, as one local Rotarian claims, “our sense of pride in community.”

Work on the first of four new signs that will reflect that sense of pride “and the welcoming spirit we wish to convey to visitors,” is expected to begin this week, said Rotarian John Loeffler.

It will cost $24,000 to make and install the 4-foot-by-5-foot sign into a 5-foot-by-10-foot limestone wall frame, said Loeffler, who first came up with the idea in the Shepherdstown Rotary Club in November 2011.

The stones in the frame will match those in the new walls around the recently built underpass that connects the Shepherd University’s East and West campuses.

A seven-member committee of volunteers — Rotarians, local business owners, residents and a representative from Shepherd University — is working on the project. So far the committee raised $18,000 in donations from individuals, the Rotary Club and the Shepherdstown Train Station. Shepherd University alumni classes from 2009-12 have contributed $6,000 toward the cause. Donations for the remaining $6,000 can be emailed to jloeffler@frontiernet.net.

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The first new sign will replace the old green one on W.Va. 480 North (North Duke Street) halfway between the Potomac River Bridge and the entrance to the Bavarian Inn.

The other three old signs include the one on W.Va. 480 South (Kearneysville Pike) at its intersection with Fairmont Avenue; the one on W.Va. 45 coming into town on the right just past the Sheetz and the one on W.Va. 230 (Shepherdstown Pike) just before O’Hurley’s General Store.

Loeffler said the West Virginia Division of Highways will remove the old signs as new replacements are installed when funds become available. The new signs will become town property.

The sign was designed by area resident Bob Shelley.

A recent newcomer to the area, Shelley said he spent time walking around town to get a feel of the surroundings. He said he liked the look of the town and its feeling of being contemporary, old and historic.

“I wanted to open my eyes to try to discover the town’s real identity,” he said.

Things came together when Shelley saw the old Masonic Odd Fellows Eye logo above the small white library building in the middle of downtown. It became the sign’s defining graphic element.

The sign’s background color is Navy blue with gold filagree accents reflective of West Virginia’s official colors.

The word Shepherdstown, written in white Baskerville font, is spread across a deep red field to give the sign strength and clarity, Loeffler said.

The date of Oct. 3, 1734, is the first official record of founder Thomas Shepherd getting his 225-acre land grant. The town was known as Mecklenburg at the time.

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