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First ever Duffields Day set for Sunday

By Staff | Jun 17, 2011

The restoration and preservation of the historic Duffields Station, shown here, is the focus of Duffields Station Inc. The local nonprofit will host the first Duffields Day on Sunday to raise awareness of the station and the area’s history. (Submitted photo by Curt Mason)

DUFFIELDS – A local nonprofit organization has been working to preserve and restore a piece of local, and national, history since 2003, although the building’s significance is likely little-known outside of Jefferson County.

Duffields Station Inc. will host the first ever Duffields Day on Sunday to raise awareness of the historical Duffields train station and to let the public know that the group is working to safeguard the local landmark, according to Duffields Station Inc. President Jack Snyder.

“Our purpose is to save and restore the old historic train station at Duffields, and that’s kind of the centerpiece of this event,” Snyder said. “Duffields Station itself … is the oldest surviving purpose-built combined freight and passenger railroad station in the United States.”

The train station, built in 1839 and part of the National Register of Historic Places, is not only an important part of American transportation history, but of Civil War history as well. Confederate Col. John S. Mosby led an attack on the station on June 29, 1864, during which his troops captured large amounts of supplies and took more than 60 federal troops prisoner.

The event will offer walking tours of the “unincorporated hamlet” of Duffields as well as performances by local living historian Rick Garland and information on Duffields Station Inc.’s efforts to raise $5,200 for a restoration plan it hopes to use to protect the station, Snyder said.

Another goal for Duffields Day is to raise awareness of the area’s rich history, he added.

“That’s one of the main reasons we’re having this event, to acquaint people with the history and explain it to them,” Snyder said. “We feel that it’s a worthy effort to preserve this building, and what we intend to do is to make it into a small museum, a local museum.”

Duffields Day will be held, rain or shine, from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday in Duffields. The historic train station is located at 47 Melvin Road, Duffields.

For additional information, or to make a donation to help pay for the restoration plan, write to Duffields Station Inc., P.O. Box 1806, Shepherdstown.