Mullens, Wyoming County
2017: The Rural Appalachian Improvement League, Inc. continues to maintain the building. They are planning an exterior paint project before the end of 2017. Other projects that are necessary to complete the building’s rehabilitation will require professional help. As with many of the other Endangered Properties, finding funding sources has been a challenge.
2009: Coal Baron Major W. T. Tams built the Wyco Coal Camp “C” in 1917, soon after establishing his coal camp at nearby Tams in Raleigh County. In Wyco both of the churches built for the white and African-American families remain, along with the Superintendents house and other dwellings. In the 1990’s the Wyco Church was abandoned. Since that time the roof has become compromised and water intrusion has led to ongoing deterioration of the structure. In 2003 ownership of the church was transferred to the Rural Appalachian Improvement League (RAIL). Currently, RAIL is seeking assistance in it efforts to stabilize and eventually restore the historic church
2013 Update: First Ward School has been transformed into sixteen affordable apartment for seniors 55 and older. Designed in the Georgian Revival Style, the school was built in 1907 and served as First Ward Grade School until 1976, when it was converted into a warehouse for the Randolph County Board of Education. In 2009, Citizens for Historical Opportunity, Preservation, and Education (C-HOPE) purchased the building from the Randolph County Board of Education for $1. It nominated the old school to Preservation Alliance’s 2009 West Virginia Endangered Properties List, conducted a feasibility analysis, successfully nominated it to the National Register of Historic Places, and received a grant to fix the roof. C-HOPE worked with the Randolph County Housing Authority and AU Associates to repurpose the building into the apartments.
2009: First Ward was designed in the Georgian Revival style and constructed in 1909 of locally available building materials, These included hand-cut sandstone, brick, and native hardwoods, used in the structural members, flooring, and decorative trim. The building was closed as a school in the 1970s and used as a storage facility for a number of years thereafter. It is essentially abandoned now, and has developed an increasingly serious roof leak. Structurally, the building was relatively stable until the recent roof leaks began. Over the last year or two, it has deteriorated significantly.
2017 Update: No updates have been made available to PAWV in the past six months.
As of the last update to PAWV in January 2017, no physical progress has been made towards rehabilitating this historic property since its 2009 listing on PAWV’s Endangered Properties list. Tyler County Home, also known as the “Poor Farm,” is currently owned by the Tyler County Commissioners, and the property is leased to the Fair Association. In early 2016, ten concerned community members who are passionate about preserving this piece of Tyler County history formed the Tyler County Restoration Committee; they elected Peggy George as its president. Within nine months, the group successfully fundraised $10,000 for the building’s rehabilitation. The building remains vacant and continues to deteriorate due to frequent vandalism and severe water damage (from a leaking roof and from box gutters and downspouts that are in desperate need of stabilization and replacement). The Restoration Committee plans to continue its fundraising efforts in 2017, as well as to conduct a survey to assess the community’s interest in preserving and repurposing the County Home. The members will present their fundraising and survey efforts to the County Commissioners in early 2017. The hope is that they will be able to work together with the County Commissioners to obtain additional funding (such as historic preservation grants) and to get started on the long process of rehabilitating this property.
2009: Also known as the “Poor Farm” or the “Poor House,” the County Home was built early in 1915. The home and associated pauper’s cemetery are a testament to the forgotten disadvantaged and poor who struggled to help build this county and state. The building itself is now idle and serves primarily as storage for old surplus equipment of the County and County Fair Board, and Emergency Management. Water intrusion continues to further damage the building interior and exterior. The County has had insufficient funds to maintain the building and it has slowly deteriorated. Fortunately, lack of funds has also prevented the County from demolishing the building.
2009: McCreery Hotel Construction on the five story “McCreery Hotel” commenced in 1907. When completed in 1908 it was regarded as the premier hotel on the railroad main line extending from Washington DC to Chicago, Illinois. Nominated to the National Register in 1984, it was a resting spot for many of America’s favorite celebrities and politicians. Currently operated by Human Resources Development and Employment, Inc., of Morgantown, the historic Hinton hotel faces considerable restoration challenges. Deteriorating roof and windows have allowed water intrusion to take a toll on the upper floors of the building.
Morgantown, Monongalia County
Fort Hill is a 5-acre prehistoric archeological site located off State Route 705 near the Evansdale campus of WVU. The site includes what appears to be a Village. It is in a good state of preservation and one human burial, animal bones, bone beads, a marginella shell bead, shell tempered pottery and triangular arrow points have been recovered to date. Fort Hill is included in a parcel of land that was donated to West Virginia University several years ago by the late Sylvia Straight. Wal-Mart originally considered developing the site, and planned on donating three acres, including the village, to the Archeological Conservancy. After Wal-Mart decided not to build there, the WVU Foundation sold the highly desirable parcel without restrictions to the CMC Company at a cost of $1,550,000. The company has promised to avoid the village site, while the rest of the 45-acre property would be mixed-use with retail and commercial space, such as a strip mall, a hotel, a nursing home and fast food restaurants, with limited housing. Critics claim the property owners have not kept their promise to protect the village site against future development.
Elkins, Randolph County
2008 Update: Mill (shown after 2006 work) is in the process of being fully restored.
2003: The 1902 Elkins Mill was a major industry in the early years of Elkins. An original electric grain mill, it produced flour, cereals and animal feeds. Other than the depot, the Elkins Mill building is the only remaining original building on the Elkins rail yard. An architectural gem in the rough, the original post and beam structure is still intact and strong, with vast open spaces, hardwood floors, and large wooden beams. Slated for demolition in 2002, a local group obtained a year’s delay to prove the feasibility of rehabilitation. In Fall 2003, C-HOPE was allowed to purchase the building. Proposals call for a Forest Heritage Center to interpret the region’s forestry, forest ecology and logging history, an artisan’s workshop, gift shop and retail space. Fund-raising and rehabilitation work has begun on the building. Although the wrecking ball has been averted, much work remains before the future of the Elkins Mill building is assured.
Endangered Properties List
If you are interested in assisting with any of these preservation projects, contact the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia at email@example.com.