Theater club

Alsatia Club sells historic club building in downtown Hagerstown

The Alsatia Club sold the downtown Hagerstown building that it has lived in for almost 98 years.

Club president Jimmy Black said the new owners allow the club to continue using the space until renovations begin. Members will use the proceeds to rent or purchase a smaller space.

The club is well known for its Mummers Parade, which typically takes place on the last Saturday evening in October in Hagerstown, and hosts a Thunder in the Square vehicle show on the last Friday of September in downtown Hagerstown.

Melissa Noel said that she and her husband, Brian, purchased and plan to restore the building located at 137-139-141 W. Washington St.

“This property is beautiful,” she said.

Not including the basement, it’s four stories with a “sort of split” on the second floor, she said. The building has a hand-carved staircase and a railing.

Noel said the couple do not yet have a specific plan for the property, but they certainly plan to restore it to its “original beauty.” The building was constructed in 1900 and added periodically, it is now 8,822 square feet. It originally housed doctors’ offices, she said.

The fireplace in the Alsatia Club parlor in Hagerstown in May 2008.

Noel said they decided to invest in the property because downtown Hagerstown has “a lot of potential.”

They see it every day with The Yarn Shop and The Ice Cream Shop businesses they own downtown, Melissa Noel said. So now they’re buying a property in downtown Hagerstown.

The couple also own Noel’s Fire Protection northwest of Williamsport.

The Alsatia Club building located at 141 W. Washington St. in Hagerstown.

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And the Club d’Alsace?

Black said club officials decided to sell the building because of the cost of maintaining it and because the club didn’t need such a large building.

The club’s membership is typically around 97 members who are on average 65 or older, Black said.

The COVID-19 pandemic “killed us, not being able to have fundraising,” Black said. The club were dipping into their savings to pay their monthly bills, he said.

The club will continue to host the parade, Thunder in the Square and other events, as well as award three scholarships each year to graduates of Washington County public schools, he said.

Noel Realty Holdings Inc. purchased the property on Nov. 2 for $ 484,000, according to online records from the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation.

Black said club officials are looking for a smaller space to rent or buy.

Melissa Noel said she doesn’t know when the remodeling will begin, but replacing the roof is one of the top priorities.

The Alsatia Club building located at 141 W. Washington St. in Hagerstown.

History of construction

The Alsatia Club purchased the building on March 31, 1924, for $ 30,600, according to a copy of the deed online with Maryland State Archives.

The club began in 1911, meeting in a room on the second floor of the DC Aughinbaugh Pharmacy, on the north side of the first block of West Washington Street, according to the club website. Needing more space, they moved in December 1915 to the second floor of the Colonial Theater on South Potomac Street.

The club used the West Washington Street building for meetings, dinners and fundraisers, Black said.

A benefit craft exhibition will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the club on December 4.

In September 2004, Greystone Productions shot inside and outside the Alsatia Club and nearby Miller House, home of the Washington County Historical Society, for scenes from “Secret Civil War Missions”. The History Channel project documented four lesser-known incidents of the war, according to Herald-Mail records.

Traditionally, the club determines the annual queen of the Alsatia Mummers parade at the club prior to the parade. All the princesses from that year’s show are presented with a box containing a necklace. One of those boxes has a note designating this young queen, so there is no voting or favoritism in choosing a queen, Black said.

The club canceled the parade this fall for the second year in a row due to the pandemic.

Black said members would start planning for next year’s parade earlier than usual in hopes of having one that is “bigger and better.”