Fifteen homes in North Wheeling will be open for tours on Sunday afternoon, October 15, from 1 to 5 pm. A pre-tour Patron Party will be held the evening before. These events are part of a fund-raising effort to help save two antebellum homes on North Main Street.
Houses on tour are in the 600 to 900 blocks of Main Street, along with one house on Market Street. Histories of the homes and their early residents will be shared. The Oglebay Park trolley will provide transportation the day of the tour from the surface lot on the west side of the 10th Street garage to the middle section of the tour – 727 Main Street. The pre-tour Patron Party will be held from 6:00 to 9:00 the evening before the tour at the Robert W. Hazlett/Friends of Wheeling House, 921 Main Street. All revenue from both events will go directly toward saving the two buildings.
The two buildings in need of repair, along with the adjacent row house at 720 Main Street, have long and interesting histories. They were built around 1850 and were owned in their early years by the Hughes family. Brothers Thomas Hughes (a tailor) and Alfred Hughes (a physician) signed the Ordinance of Secession at the beginning of the Civil War, urging Virginia to leave the Union, and were labeled “traitors.” Later, Alfred refused to sign an oath of allegiance to the Union and was imprisoned for a time in Camp Chase, Columbus. Their sister, Eliza Clark Hughes, was a homeopathic physician like her brother and is believed to have been the first female doctor in Wheeling. She supported the South but eventually signed the oath of allegiance. Their brother John served for 17 years as a member of City Council, until his death from typhoid in 1870. His widow, nee Eliza Sterritt McLane, remained living in 724 Main after his death.
Charles H. Berry married Lida Hughes, the daughter of John and Eliza S. Hughes. The newlyweds moved into 724 Main with Lida’s widowed mother after their 1884 marriage and lived there until 1919, when they moved to the Woodsdale neighborhood of Wheeling. Berry was the son and namesake of Charles H. Berry Supply Company, a business that manufactured rope and twine for the riverboat industry and dealt in “pitch, rosin, oakum and leather belting, firebrick, fishing tackle, etc.” Berry Supply still exists and is thought to be Wheeling’s oldest surviving business.
Reduced price tour tickets can be purchased in advance from Wheeling Heritage (3rdfloor of the Wheeling Artisan Center, Monday through Friday), Eckhart House (810 Main – Saturdays from 10 to 5), or the UPS Store on Washington Avenue (regular business hours). Full price tickets can be purchased the day of the event at the Friends of Wheeling House (921 Main Street), the Irwin-Mathison House (727 Main Street), or the Edward Kramer House (624 Main Street).
Partners in the effort to save these remarkable buildings are the City of Wheeling, Wheeling Heritage, Victorian Old Town Association, Wheeling Young Preservationists, and Friends of Wheeling.
Tour houses are the Robert W. Hazlett/Friends of Wheeling House (921 Main), John K. List House (821 Main), Robert Gibson House (817 Main), Seybold Apartments (814 Main), George W. Eckhart House (810 Main), Reiss-Beltz House (805 Market), Scroggins House (737 Market), George Boyd House (741 Main), Joseph Hedges House (734 Main), Irwin-Mathison House (727 Main), Alfred Marks House (725 Main), William Goering House (701 Main), Phillips-Moser House (655 Main), Arthur M. Phillips House (653 Main), and Edward Kramer House (624 Main). More details on the houses are below
921 Main Street, Robert W. Hazlett House
This high-style, Second Empire home was built in 1887 by retired Wheeling physician Robert W. Hazlett. Designed by architect Edgar W. Wells, the three-story home displays fine workmanship in both the interior and exterior. Queen Anne details are found in the interior woodwork, featuring bands of suns and sunflowers. Lincrusta wainscoting lines the walls of the hall and stairway. Exterior features of note are the foundation walls of sandstone, molded brick walls, incised sandstone door and window lintels, elaborate cornice decoration, projecting bay supported by egg-and-dart brick corbelling, and mansard roof. The exterior front doors have been recently renovated. The building is presently used as headquarters for Friends of Wheeling and rental units.
821 Main Street, John K. List House
The John K. List house was built by prosperous banker Henry K. List for his son around 1893. It is primarily of the Queen Anne style, with steep roof, rounded front, entrance portico, terra cotta trim, pediment above the rounded front with a Palladian window and gable dormer with pediment. The well-traveled John List was a banker, like his father. After numerous subsequent owners and years of standing empty, the house is once again a family home.
817 Main Street, Robert Gibson House
This two-story Greek Revival house was probably built in the late 1850s by Irish immigrant Robert Gibson, a ‘tobacconist.’ Directory listings were found for Robert Gibson, as far back as 1864, living at 271 Main at that time (before North Wheeling street numbers were changed). By the time of the 1870 census, his household included his wife Amanda, sons Robert (age 15, railroad clerk) and Robert (age 12, in school), daughter Virginia (age 4), and one domestic servant.
810 Main, George W. Eckhart House
Built in 1892 by wealthy banker George W. Eckhart Jr., the Eckhart House was considered by the Wheeling Daily Intelligencer of October 29, 1892 to be one of the residential building achievements of the year. With most of its original architectural features well preserved, it is truly deserving of the title of Victorian Wheeling’s ‘Crown Jewel.’ The three-story, red brick townhouse is a fine example of a Queen Anne building, the dominant style of domestic building in the late-nineteenth century. It has a Romanesque, arched brick porch that was an early twentieth century addition to the original design. The facade features a distinctive oriel window with a painted, pressed metal pendant at the bottom. The elaborate interior detailing includes numerous decorative mantles with glazed tile surrounds and hearths, ornamental fretwork and spindlework, and lincrusta wainscoting.
814 Main Street, Seybold Apartments
Steamboat engineer John J. Seybold was the original owner of this three-story apartment building. The first city directory showing residents in it is dated 1911-1912. At that time, the first-floor apartment was occupied by Elizabeth Seybold, widow of John’s brother and fellow steamboat engineer, Peter Seybold, with other tenants on the second and third floors. As the only white façade in North Wheeling, the building stands out from its hue as well as for its classical design. Built in the classical revival style, the large Corinthian pilasters with ornate capitals support a massive cornice with egg and dart trim. A brick parapet sits atop a projecting cornice.
805 Market Street, Reiss-Beltz House
German immigrant and carpenter Mathew Reiss built this house around 1874 when the adjacent 8th Street was named Adams Street. It is probable that the building was the location of a professional office or small business, with living quarters above. The building design is vernacular with a mix of architectural trim details. The second owner was August Beltz, who worked as a blacksmith and wagon maker. His business letterhead stated that he was a “manufacturer of Carriages, Buggies, Spring Wagons, Etc., Repairing Neatly and Promptly Done.” Joseph F. Reass, son of the original owner (despite the difference in the spelling of the name), and his son, Joseph H. Reass were subsequent owners. The property stayed in the Reass family until 1993.
737 Market Street, Frank Scroggins House
Frank Scroggins, owner of White Swan Laundry, purchased this property in 1904 and probably built the house shortly after that. The American Legion Home Corporation bought the property from Scroggins in 1937, and the building was used to house American Legion Post # 1 until around 1948-49. It next housed the Community Foundation for the Blind from 1949 until 1997. During that period, it was the site of classes in such skills as caning and rug weaving for visually impaired people, along with a gift shop of the finished wares. It later was used as a bed-and-breakfast and is now once again a single-family home.
741 Main Street, George E. Boyd House
This Italianate style house was built in the 1860s. Several wonderful features include a stained glass window from Sacred Heart Church, the kitchen/great room with tin ceiling and old brick fireplace, and spectacular views of the Ohio River. George E. Boyd, Sr., a lawyer and Circuit Court judge, was married to Annie Caldwell, daughter of neighbor Alfred Caldwell. Their son, George E. Boyd, Jr., was also a lawyer and served as a U.S. Commissioner. The third -generation Boyd, Beulah Boyd, was a long-time history teacher at Wheeling High School.
734 Main Street, Joseph Hedges House
This half of a twin townhouse was built circa 1894 for Joseph Hedges. It stands on the former site of the Fourth Presbyterian Church. Spectacular stained-glass windows highlight the lower level. Other architectural features include sandstone arches, corbeled brick, and classic triangular pediments over extended oriel windows. Metal finials and a parapet are highlights of the roofline. Hedges was a traveling clothing salesman who worked for 38 years for M. Gutman & Company.
727 Main Street, Samuel Irwin, George Mathison House, 1850s
Deed records refer to this property as “homestead of Samuel Irwin,” and census records indicate that Irwin and his family lived in Wheeling from at least 1850. The first City Directory that was found with this actual street address was in 1865. The simple, little-decorated façade was typical of the pre-Victorian taste. Irwin was a Sheriff of Ohio County, and his son William H. Irwin, the next owner of the property, was a Deputy Sheriff. Subsequent owner, Scottish immigrant George Mathison, was a prominent businessman and insurance agent. His son, John J. Mathison, served as Wheeling’s mayor from 1938 to 1943.
725 Main Street, Alfred Marks House
The National Register Nomination for the district states, “circa 1850s – Alfred Marks, a river boat engineer, was probably the first resident of this house.” He was fixing some machinery on the steamer Ben Hur when he dropped dead of a stroke at age 55. Later, the house was owned by Seaton Alexander who, with his partner George S. Mathison, operated the largest retail shoe store in Wheeling. The house is a vernacular brick two-story structure with stone lintels and sill, and a metal cornice, with modillions, that extends across 727 Main Street.
701 Main Street, William Goering House
The builder of this fine house was W.G.E Goering who, like many mid-to-late 19th century arrivals to Wheeling, was born in Germany. He was a bookkeeper and treasurer of Central Glass Company in Wheeling, beginning in 1871. He tragically died after being struck by a train. The house is the only true Second Empire structure, and one of the few freestanding homes, in the North Wheeling Historic District comprised mainly of Italianate row houses. Inside, much of the historic fabric remains. An open staircase leads to the second and third floors, and lincrusta accents the wall of the main floor stair. Virtually every room includes a tiled fireplace with a carved wood mantel. Oak floors are found throughout the house, and door trim and crown molding have been left intact. Heavy panel doors on the first floor have their original faux finishes of burled wood grain. The small front court is enclosed within one of the few remaining iron fences in North Wheeling.
655 Main Street, Phillips-Moser House
This Federal-style house was probably built in 1843 by the Arthur Phillips family. The façade is quite old, with corbeled brick cornice, segmented arch dormers, and simple stone lintels and sills. The interior of the home still has much of its original woodwork. Patriarch of the family, Arthur M. Phillips, was a major manufacturer of steamboat boilers. His large family resided in several homes in North Wheeling, while their business operations took place behind the homes, along the river. Phillips’ granddaughter, Nell, married pharmacist Albert Moser, and they made their home here.
653 Main Street, Arthur M. Phillips House
The carved lintel above a second-floor window dates this house to 1831, making it one of the oldest houses in Wheeling. Or, at least the façade is that old. The house suffered a disastrous fire in 1996 and stood as a burned-out shell for nearly eight years before being returned to life as a single-family home. The original owner, Arthur M. Phillips, was a pioneer builder of steam engines for Wheeling’s thriving riverboat industry. He lost his position as Inspector of Boilers and Hulls after he was considered a traitor for signing the Ordinance of Secession, urging Virginia to secede from the Union at the beginning of the Civil War.
624 Main Street, Edward Kramer House
The first resident of this house was probably Edward Kramer in 1901. The two-and-one-half story, two bay, four-square residence has a brick façade, a slate roof, and a stucco-covered foundation. The first story has a modified Palladian window with a rounded arch transept.
Edward Kramer was a cigar-maker and the nephew of Theodore Roller, the bugler for Carlin’s Battery, the Union artillery unit that was formed in Wheeling during the Civil War. During at least part of his career Kramer worked for well-known cigar manufacturer Augustus Pollack.
This is not a drill! Last week the Republican Congressional leadership and the Administration released the Tax Reform Framework, which did NOT include the federal historic rehabilitation tax credit.
The tax reform outline does, however, explicitly preserve business credits in two areas where leaders believe tax incentives have proven effective: research and development (R&D) and low-income housing. This suggests there is an opportunity for action.
It’s remarkable how the historic tax credit has positively impacted community economies across West Virginia. Between 2002 and 2016 the historic rehabilitation tax credit has leveraged nearly $175 million in development, created over 3,500 jobs and brought in over $35 million in local, state and federal taxes.
While the tax framework envisions repeal of all other business credits, including the historic rehabilitation tax credit, the outline gives discretion to the tax writing committees to decide to retain additional business credits to the extent budget limitations allow.
Support for the federal historic rehabilitation tax credit is already gaining momentum in the House thanks to Rep. David McKinley (R - WV, 1). Rep. McKinley is circulating a Dear Colleague letter encouraging other Representatives to support the preservation of the federal historic rehabilitation tax credit. Now is the time to thank Rep. McKinley and ask Representatives Mooney and Jenkins to sign on with their West Virginia Colleague. Learn how below...
THE TIME TO ACT IS NOW!
The House Ways & Means Committee plans to produce a tax reform bill by the end of October and in the next three weeks it is imperative that you make your VOICE heard NOW!
ACTION STEPS: CALL, WRITE, REPEAT
Write an Email: The easiest way is to write your Congressman and Senator by sending them a message through their websites. You can use this form letter and cut and paste it into the message system on your Congressman's website (you may have to enter your zip code to authenticate that you are a constituent.) You can find each Representative and Senator's website and other contact information at the link below (for Representative McKinley - tell him thank you for his leadership in preserving the federal historic tax credit).
In your message, tell them the historic tax credit is important to your community and our state. If you have witnessed a preservation project in your community, tell them about it. The National Trust for Historic Preservation has good studies and statistics you can look at as well, but an example you know about is most powerful. Acknowledge that the need for tax reform is clear, but it must not come at the expense of this important economic redevelopment incentive, that more than pays for itself, and has a proven track record of creating jobs, revitalizing neighborhoods and saving historic buildings.
To see your Representative and Senator's contact information click here.
Call: Use your voice! Pick up the phone and call your congressman’s office and tell them why you support the historic tax credit. Tell them to remember you and your communities when they consider any tax reform. As a constituent your voice is important to your representative!
Repeat: Have you emailed and called? Do it again. If you haven’t heard back from your congressman’s office within a few days, call and email again.
Encourage your colleagues and fellow community members to do the same; write, call, repeat. The more voices we have telling congress just how impactful the historic tax credit is the better chance we have of getting included in tax reform.
Please share your efforts with us and know that we are truly thankful for your efforts on behalf of the historic tax credit. If you have any questions or concerns please contact our office.
Preservation Alliance of West Virginia
The Preservation Alliance of West Virginia honored historic preservation award recipients on Saturday, September 30th, during its 9th annual awards banquet. The event was held at the Municipal Auditorium in Charleston and featured keynote speaker, Patrick Seymour, of the Theatre Historical Society of America. Delegate Larry Rowe was the Master of Ceremonies, and Mr. Brooks McCabe was a special guest speaker discussing the importance of advocating for the state and federal historic tax credits. It was a wonderful evening enjoyed by all.
For those unable to attend, we have put together a series of videos recognizing each of the award recipients. Scroll down to view the videos.
Thank you to the award recipients for their tireless efforts in preserving our Mountain State's heritage! Keep up the great work!
Mt. Wood Cemetery - 2017 Stewardship Award
Staats Building - 2017 Preservation Persistence Award
Friends of Old Stone Cemetery - 2017 Preservation Persistence Award
Create Buckhannon - 2017 Community Preservation Award Recipient
Rick Steelhammer - 2017 West Virginia Media Award
John Henry Historical Park - 2017 Heritage Tourism Award
The Woda Group - 2017 Best Use of Historic Tax Credits Award
Crawford Holdings, Inc. - 2017 Downtown Preservation Award
Paul Marshall - 2017 Rodney Collins Preservation Achievement Award
Dr. Ronald Ripley - 2017 Dr. Emory Kemp Lifetime Achievement Award
Urge your Congressional delegation to contact members of the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees with the message that repealing the historic tax credit is bad policy. The need for tax reform is clear, but it must not come at the expense of a program that more than pays for itself and has a proven track record of creating jobs, saving historic buildings, and revitalizing neighborhoods.
Now is the time to speak up for the historic tax credit. Join us in letting Washington know that historic preservation advocates need their voices heard. Our history is too important.
The mission of the West Virginia Association of Museums is to serve, educate, advocate for, and enhance communications within the museum community. By listening to its members, serving their interests, and keeping members abreast of current national standards and activities, WVAM works to benefit institutions, professionals, volunteers, and others interested in the museums of the Mountain State.
The theme of our 2018 conference is “Building A Museum Community: A Capital Idea!” We continue to hear from our members that we need to strengthen and grow the relationships between our state’s museums, cultural heritage and art organizations, and the people that are associated with them. From state agencies to consultants, conservators to artists, professionals to students, and volunteers to donors - if we work together, network, and share information, just think of how much we can accomplish!
We are now accepting proposals for papers, presentations, workshops, exhibits, and poster sessions addressing our theme, “Building A Museum Community – A Capital Idea!”. As always, we are also accepting sessions which focus on collections care and management, interpretation, non-profit management, grant writing, exhibit design, fundraising, and emergency preparedness - as well as proposals which address materials conservation, history, and preservation-related issues. We especially encourage hands-on sessions that will teach our members new skills. Don’t worry if your idea does not fit into one of the categories above (there is only so much room in this paragraph!) Just reach out to us if you have any questions or ideas about a topic. You can email the conference committee at firstname.lastname@example.org or talk to Bekah Karelis at 304-830-3485.
The deadline for submission of proposals is October 15, 2017.
In early 2016, the Abandoned Property Coalition, a network of community leaders, and local, regional, and national organizations developing community-based solutions to vacant, abandoned, and dilapidated properties across West Virginia, held a strategy session to determine what the Coalition should focus its energy on over the course of the next year. Four people, including representatives from the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia, signed on to research the possibility of pushing forward policy around increasing the rate of West Virginia’s historic rehabilitation tax credit from 10% to 25%.
One major issue the group quickly came to realize was that although West Virginia has 92 commercial and mixed-use historic districts ripe for revitalization –developers choose to invest in neighboring states instead of our downtowns due to West Virginia’s uncompetitive 10% historic rehabilitation tax credit. Neighboring states, including Pennsylvania, Ohio and Virginia, all have 25% historic rehabilitation tax credits.
By Joe Obidzinski, Preserve WV AmeriCorps member, and Kelli Shapiro, PhD, Program Associate
If you are looking for some fun and exciting things to do this summer, check out the West Virginia Historic Theatre Trail! Summer is a great time to enjoy a nostalgic movie-going experience at one of the state’s drive-in theatres – such as our Trail members, the Warner’s Drive-In in Franklin and the Sunset Drive-In in Shinnston. Many of our member sites, like the Ritz Theatre in Hinton, are showing some of the season’s most popular films. The Capitol Theatre in Wheeling, which has primarily been a performance-oriented venue in recent years, is even featuring a weekly, summer film series that offers affordable entertainment for audiences of all ages. With 29 member sites across the Mountain State, there are a plethora of opportunities to enjoy.
A number of our Trail members across the state offer great children’s/youth theatre and performing arts programs over the summer, a wonderful way to get young people interested in theatre and the arts. Perhaps you are looking for some live music performances, or even a play or musical. The West Virginia Historic Theatre Trail features many fantastic venues for these types of entertainment as well! There are even summer concert and performance series occurring at Trail sites, including Carnegie Hall in Lewisburg and the Randolph County Community Arts Center in Elkins.
‘Matewan’ Director John Sayles to Attend Launch of Blair Centennial Project
The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) announced today that the West Virginia Mine Wars Museum is the recipient of a $30,000 challenge grant for their long-term project to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Blair Mountain in 2021.
Though still four years in the future, planning for the Blair Centennial Project has already begun. A celebration of the 30th anniversary of the release of John Sayles’s acclaimed film about the West Virginia Mine Wars, Matewan, will take place this October. Sayles and his producer partner, Maggie Renzi, will both attend screenings of the film in Charleston. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Centennial project. The museum will be releasing more details about the screenings in coming weeks.
The five-day Battle of Blair Mountain unfolded on the border of Boone and Logan counties and pitted unionist coal miners against local law enforcement and citizen militias. The Blair Centennial Project will consist of five days of fun, interpretive activities spread out across the coalfield counties where the conflict took place. The NEH grant makes it possible for the Museum to hire a director to coordinate the activities. The grant is also intended to increase the museum’s fundraising capacity, while creating connections among humanities organizations across southern West Virginia.
In Governor Justice’s FY 2018 Recommended Budget, all Division of Culture & History funding that comes from the state Lottery Education Fund (fund 3534 in the budget) was to be defunded. However, during the spring special legislative session, the West Virginia Legislature negotiated to pass the FY 2018 budget and continue funding programs made possible through the state Lottery Education Fund. Unfortunately, several historic preservation programs were funded at lower levels than in FY 2017, but there is good news for Fairs and Festivals, which received an increase in funding. Here are how things panned out (this is not a comprehensive list of line items):
Thank your legislators for supporting these important programs! Encourage increased funding levels by inviting them to events or to visit projects that benefit from these grant funds. Now is the time to ask them to consider increasing these funds in FY 2019.
By Anna, Lynn Stasick, Statewide Field Services Representative
Note: Much of the information contained in this document was provided by and courtesy of Dr. Michael F. Potter, Extension Entomologist at the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture. PAWV thanks him greatly for his time and effort.
In the past fifteen to twenty years, hoteliers have experienced a growing problem with bedbug infestations in even some of the finest hotels nationwide. In response, new technology and methods to employ them have been developed to combat the problem. First, bedbug sniffing dogs are sent in to identify what rooms are infested. Once the location of the infested rooms is established, dry heat units are brought in to heat the room to a fairly high temperature, and then maintaining that temperature for up to an hour, thus exterminating the insects.
News and Notes
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