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Town buys library lease

By Staff | Aug 21, 2009

At Town Hall on Aug. 14, Shepherdstown Mayor Jim Auxer hands a $5,000 check to Shepherdstown Woman’s Club First Vice President Martha Wilcox, standing next to Freda Trail. In the back is Elinor Jones. The town bought back the club’s extended lease of the Public Library’s second floor.

The Corporation of Shepherdstown has purchased for $5,000 the 999-year lease that entitled the Shepherdstown Woman’s Club to full use and occupancy of the second floor of the Shepherdstown Public Library.

The Library is housed in the Old Market House and Town Hall building, which sits in the middle of South King Street at its intersection with German Street. The Woman’s Club has not met in or used the top floor for may years; the area houses the Library’s Children’s Department.

But on Friday, Aug. 14, the club officially sold its lease back to the town (which owns the building) during a formal deed signing at the current Town Hall, 104 N. King St., by Woman’s Club First Vice President Martha L. Wilcox. Also in attendance were club members Freda Trail and Elinor Jones.

The Woman’s Club’s lease affiliation with the library dates to July 1962, when the Independent Order of Odd Fellows transfered the remainder of its 999-year lease – granted by the Town Council in 1845 – to the Woman’s Club.

In 1962, I.O.O.F. Lodge No. 26 of Hedgesville, became the successor by consolidation to Caledonia Lodge No. 4, of Shepherdstown.

Shepherdstown Mayor Jim Auxer presented the Woman’s Club a check for $5,000. Attorney D. Frank Hill III prepared the legal documentation that will b recorded in the Jefferson County Courthouse.

The library announced earlier this year plans to expand into a new building that would be built on the site of the former town dump near Elmwood Cemetery. The library is closed this week, and staff could not be reached for comment on this story.