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Restoration of former Civil Cricket underway

Middletown Councilman Jeffrey Pennington points to a bloodstain on the first floor of the former Civil Cricket. The bloodstain dates back to the Battle of Cedar Creek 150 years ago. Ryan Cornell

(Buy Daily photos)

By Ryan Cornell

MIDDLETOWN -- A historic building stretching back to the 18th century, and most recently housing the Civil Cricket cafe, is being brought back to life.

Glenn and Crystal Martin, owners of the property at 7868 Main St., have been working on fixing it up and possibly bringing new business to Middletown.

The couple was approved for a special use permit to rent out the property as three apartments and space for a restaurant by Town Council at its meeting on Monday.

The property, which is across Main Street from the Middletown Fire Department, consists of two buildings separated by a landscaped garden. The main building directly facing the street would be used for an apartment and potential restaurant, and the rear building would house two apartments.

According to Frederick County tax records, the Martins purchased the 2,172-square-foot property in June for $128,100. The total value of the property is currently listed at $173,000.

Inside the main building, a bloodstain remains on the floorboards from 150 years ag. It belonged to some unlucky soldier wounded at the Battle of Cedar Creek. The bloodstain fuels haunted tales, but George Sovien said he's yet to see or hear anything ghostly.

Sovien, who is helping the Martins restore the structure, said they're keeping much of the historic charm intact.

"The front's pretty much good to go," he said. "We love the look of the front of the house, so we're not going to change the log. The inside of the Cricket, we're not doing much at all either."

He said work is being done on fixing drainage problems, reglazing windows and replacing tile with laminate flooring.

The former stage of the Civil Cricket will be used as a porch for tenants, and the gravel parking lot will be paved.

Pointing to the garden, Sovien said the owners have been "working their tails off."

"Glenn's done a lot of work out here," he said. "This was a jungle, a real jungle."

Over the past month, that jungle has been cleared away and replaced with newly planted flowers, clear walkways and future fish ponds.

Sovien said work on the main building, which began last month, could be finished in about four weeks. He added that work on the rear building could take another six weeks to complete.

The restoration of the historic building is the latest in a string of positive news for the town. McDonald's is scheduled to break ground soon and the new Timeless Wines shop opened last week.

In other business, Town Council:

  • Approved its new drug testing policy for town employees

  • Approved the site plan from Team 84 Athletes for its baseball park project

  • Approved Megan DiVittorio as a member of the Board of Zoning Appeals

Contact staff writer Ryan Cornell at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rcornell@nvdaily.com

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