It’s hard to miss the War Memorial Building in the heart of downtown Shepherdstown. Throughout the year, the building hosts municipal meetings, cultural gatherings, seasonal holiday celebrations, crafts shows, and the Community Club’s Legendary Book Sale. It’s a building that suits Shepherdstown to a “tee” — in fact it’s host to many “teas”, including the Back Alley Garden Tour & Tea.
Originally built as a church following the Civil War, the building was rededicated as the War Memorial Building after World War II when it was turned over to the Shepherdstown Community Club (known as the Men’s Club at the time) in 1947. It’s a pretty sturdy building (and luckily, unlike the old Market House next door, it hasn’t been hit by any vehicles either). Still, historic is a nice way of saying old, and the building definitely needs some restoration and repair.
Club president Jennifer Wabnitz announced last November that the Club has received a grant for restoration and repairs to maintain the building’s integrity and safety. The grant is contingent on the club raising matching funds of $50,000. “For generations, caring community members have maintained this historic structure. This is the community’s home,” says Wabnitz. “We now have the opportunity to partner with generous funders to do the necessary repairs.” First on the list of priorities is replacing the roof, which appears to be original, dating back to 1868.
“The West Virginia Division of Culture and History which has prompted this matching challenge have shown that they believe in this historic treasure, and they believe in us,” Wabnitz says. “And with good reason. When it comes to pitching in, the Shepherdstown community is the real deal. There is such a sense of civic pride here. It’s just good stewardship. So, here we go! It’s time for all of us to get together and ‘Raise The Roof!”
The club will host a dinner and casino night fundraiser on March 9 to launch the campaign. Details and advance ticket purchase at ShepherdstownCC.org.By Staff Contributor