Painting keeps train depot on track to its destination


THE COMMITTEE working to restore Hampstead Train Station reached a milestone Sunday when volunteers spent the day painting two coats of gray primer on the early 20th-century structure.

The 25-member group has been working for three years to restore the 1913 depot as a town museum and visitors center. The station last served passengers going to Gettysburg, Pa., on Dec. 31, 1941. It then served as a freight station until CSX closed it in 1979.

"A lot of volunteers turned out to get the remaining pieces together for painting," said Wayne Thomas, president of Hampstead Train Station Committee Inc., the nonprofit organization that oversees restoration and the future museum.

Their work depends on donations of time, expertise and materials. The committee has eight "hard-core, every-weekend" volunteers, such as Nora Ward, who primed wood all winter.

"I've been fortunate," Thomas said, referring to coincidences such as Dan Lee, an expert in window construction who turned up at the site as the window frames were being redone. Lee has rebuilt every frame, and found the architecturally correct pulley hardware.

Gene Lance and his son Brent, who operate a painting business in Hampstead, gave up their Sunday to spray gray primer on the exterior. Finished colors will be the original gray and red scheme.

A year of interior work preceded Sunday's task. Thomas showed where water damaged window frames and portions of walls had to be replaced after the slate roof gave out years ago. New rafters, joists and roof are in. New slate is contingent on a $50,000 grant pending with Maryland Historical Trust.

Behind a cabinet, Thomas and friends found original orange shellac on tongue-and-groove wainscoting. They'll duplicate that interior for the museum. Wayne Butcher has been stripping the original window molding. Carroll County Career and Technology students of Charles Audler rebuilt sliding doors for the freight platform.

A chimney awaits the donation of two potbelly stoves. Local historian Joan Prall has been collecting memorabilia. Charles Mann donated a Western Maryland lantern.

The committee hopes thousands of dollars in grants will be approved for materials for the roof overhang and doors, to finish the interior, and to hire a consultant to collect artifacts and display them.

"While we wait for grants, there's plenty left to do," Thomas said.

Information: Hampstead Town Office or the town Web site.

Volleyball and dog biscuits

Stop by the Hampstead police station during Hampstead Day when Shannon Watt will offer homemade dog biscuits to support her Vest-A-K-9 project.

Shannon has raised about $4,000 to provide bulletproof vests to police dogs.

She is registering teams for the second annual volleyball tournament at Four Seasons sports complex June 30. The cost is $30 for six-member adult teams. Leagues are being created for tournament play. A and B leagues are "for people who want to have fun," Shannon said, "and the C league is for law enforcement teams."

Dance performance

Students of Falls Road Dance Studio will perform Friday evening at North Carroll High School.

This is the 14th annual spring dance performance by students of the dance center at Upper Beckleysville and Black Rock roads, Hampstead.

Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and the show begins at 7 p.m.

Tickets are on sale at the studio and at the door. Advance tickets are $5.50 and $3.50 for children age 11 and younger.

Pat Brodowski's North neighborhood column appears each Wednesday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

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