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Woodsboro historical group restores town’s train station

WOODSBORO — The Woodsboro Historical Society is seeking the public’s help in completing its restoration of the Frederick County town’s historic train station.

The society is in the midst of a fundraising campaign, titled “Driving the Last Spike,” and members hope to raise between $15,000 and $20,000, President Jay Wolfe said. He said the campaign will continue until the money is raised.

The society purchased the station — built in 1883 and closed in 1963 — from the Maryland Transit Administration in 1997, and the restoration has been ongoing since 1999.

The project is in its final stages, Wolfe said, with the installation of a heating and air conditioning system and custom-milled lumber in the interior left to be done. The station will be opened to the public as a museum containing items from Woodsboro’s history, as well as used for the historical society’s meetings and other public events.

Wolfe said every effort is being made to restore the station to its original look, as well to the standards of the Maryland Historical Trust, which holds a lien on the property.

“We’re trying to get it as close as possible, within reason,” he said.

The station was used for both passengers and freight until 1948, when passenger service was halted.

During the early part of the 20th century, the Woodsboro area was home to a thriving goldfish industry, and fish from area ponds were loaded up at the station for distribution all over the country, Wolfe said.

There are three levels of sponsorship for both business and individual donors, and sponsors will be recognized on a plaque that will be erected at the completed station.

Wolfe said the fundraising efforts received a major boost when Woodsboro Historical Society Vice President J. Robbins offered to match all individual contributions.

“We thought that was extraordinarily generous,” Wolfe said. “That’s a tremendous plus for us, of course.”

Wolfe said only a few donations have come in so far, but that the society plans on getting the word out through mailers to be sent out to everyone in the zip code this week or next.

“It’s started off rather slowly so far, but we’re just rolling the thing out right now,” Wolfe said.

Contributions can be sent to the Woodsboro Historical Society at P.O. Box 42, Woodsboro, MD 21798.