(Above) Vernon Sheetz erected the first martin birdhouse behind his florist shop on West Liberty Street in Charles Town in 1925. The slightly smaller current birdhouse pictured here (one of several now in the yard) was built by William League after a storm knocked down Sheetz’s original 48 room “martin hotel” in 1955.
There has been a lot of talk about infrastructure over the past several months and the recent news from Washington DC suggests that there will be a lot of federal money spent on projects over the next several years. Our regional planning organization has a long list of potential transit improvements affecting Jefferson County that could be considered for funding. Before anything gets built there will be a lot more discussion and public comment, so stay tuned.
The streets of Charles Town are already buzzing, even before the annual car show comes back this September. The City and its non-profit partner, Charles Town Now, have been working for over a decade with the Main Street America organization, which accepted the city into its program in late 2018. Recent recognition of the pandemic curbside dining program highlights the payoff from this planning and hard work.
In Shepherdstown, the Contemporary American Theater Festival decided to play outside this summer. It’s a bit of necessity, but as they say, that leads to invention, which is part of CATF’s DNA. There is something special about gathering in these downtown spaces. The faces and shops may change over time, but like the martins (above) who have been returning to the same spot for almost a century, there is a welcoming continuity and connection to be found here.By Steve Pearson