One of the Town’s First
Built in 1868, as the Methodist Episcopal Church, the Men’s Club purchased the building in 1947 and dedicated it as the War Memorial Building to the memory of those who lost their lives in WWII.
Originally known as “The Men’s Club of Shepherdstown,” the club was formed as an outgrowth and successor to the former Lions Club, which was in operation from 1943 – 1944. In 1945, a constitution was drawn up which dissolved the Lions Club and established the Men’s Club, a local service organization. Those were times when service groups flourished in support of the war effort and civic spirit was a most honored endeavor.
A core group of community leaders met on February 1st, 1945, with resolutions that still stand as the core for the Shepherdstown Community Club in current by-laws and the mission statement. The resolutions included representing the civic interests of Shepherdstown and community, to develop the whole life of the community, to gather into a congenial social fellowship, to cooperate with all organizations engaged in the promotion of the public welfare, and to foster among the citizens adherence to the highest ideals of business and professional relationships.
With that in mind, one of their first orders of business determined in the following year, was to accept an offer to buy, from the Methodist Church, the building at 102 East German Street, which was included in minutes from October, 1946. Also included was “A statement of Democratic Principles” that spoke to the times where “from the fire of two world wars a world community was emerging” and also spoke to the “proper exercise of individual responsibility at the polls” that “demands honesty and integrity.” Those words were reflected by the board that approved the purchase and the name for the building as “The War Memorial Building” as a memorial to the men who gave their lives in World War II and as an expression of gratitude to the men and women who gave their services! And which stands today as a cornerstone for the Shepherdstown Community Club mission which is “to enrich the quality of individual, family, and community life” by:
Providing a community center and a park where all ages can gather
Promoting civic interests through various events and activities
The Beeline March
Near the plaque in the park commemorating the Beeline March, Capt. Hugh Stephenson answered a call, in 1775, to come to the aid of the Revolutionary soldiers in Boston. It is here that he gathered 100 men and departed on a 600-mile march in mid July. This march took 24 days. Those brave men helped defeat the Redcoats and turn the tide of the war.
Today, the area surrounding the starting point is listed in the National Registry of Historic Places with an even richer history unfolding as the significance of the march is appreciated in a larger context.
That appreciation reached a new plateau when, in 1988, the Secretary of the Army designated Morgan’s Grove for its role in the Beeline March and as the birthplace of the United States Army!
The Community Club of Shepherdstown, who purchased Morgan’s Grove Park in 1961, has carried the mantle for preserving its heritage as part of their community trust, community spirit, and with a sense of national pride since that year.