The Mt. Wood Cemetery Restoration Project is participating in the Amazing Raise Ohio Valley, a 24-hour online giving challenge sponsored by the Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley. This giving day will take place TODAY, Tuesday, May 5, and we really hope you will participate! The minimum gift is only $10!! The money you donate goes to supporting this important project – like hiring monument companies to reset the large obelisks that have fallen, buying supplies for our monthly volunteer workdays, and going forward, restoring the 10 mausoleums that are found within the cemetery. You can make your donation here: https://www.giveov.org//#npo/wheeling-national-heritage-area
This past year has been a great one for this old cemetery located off National Road and overlooking the city of Wheeling. It is the City’s oldest cemetery and has been a victim to its topography (gravity) and heavily vandalized in years past. We have had a very successful past two years working in the cemetery — resetting 11 large obelisks, leveling and resetting over 100 smaller monuments and gravestones and cleaning hundreds more!
But, we still need your help! There are still hundreds of gravestones that need our attention! This work can only continue through the generosity of donors like you!!!
By Alex, PAWV VISTA
As my one year VISTA term comes to an end this week, this will be my last blog post for PAWV. What a year it has been!
I joined PAWV in April 2014. We were off to a running start with conference planning for our 2014 Conference in Huntington, WV. I helped set up our small, #3 office to a functional work space as I learned the ropes and started traveling to some of PAWV’s sites.
Our AmeriCorps member, Rodney, moved on in August and 2014-2015’s AmeriCorps member, Nicole joined our little team. Nicole’s first term started in September.
After the conference we focused on fundraising and I helped start the “On the Road” photo campaign and implemented the miles fundraiser for the end of the year. I also completed my research on the Historic Preservation Development Grants and wrote a full report on its funding. Hopefully, that will be used for future historic preservation advocacy.
The new year brought more things to do. We started the process of choosing a location for the 2015 awards banquet and my hometown of Grafton, WV won in the the online vote. This year’s awards banquet will be held September 19, 2015 at the historic B & O Train Depot in downtown Grafton. I look forward to attending.
Once we had our small #3 Darden office set up and running, we realized that we needed more space! So in March, we packed up our stuff and moved down the hall into office #4, with more space for our files and second desk for our other staff members.
With the growing need for advocacy and attention on West Virginia’s historic buildings, we started the Buildings At Risk Register (B.A.R.R.). We have already begun listing buildings on it and I’m excited to see it take off. It’s great to see Preservation Alliance of West Virginia growing even in the one year I have been here and I hope to see it continue to thrive as I participate as a member. I will always have a special place in my heart for the Darden House at 421 Davis Avenue.
“We began applying and you know reaching out for the community to get some recommendations to support us,” said Sherri Heavner, Treasurer of the Harrison County Historical Society.
They received the West Virginia Development Grant, through the State Historic Preservation office to start work where it’s most needed, the exterior of the house.
“And they’re going to put in bracers and spacers and they’re gonna gradually over the course of several months come in here and gradually raise up this portion of the building so that it’s level with the bricks,” said Crystal Wimer the Preserve West Virginia AmeriCorps Member for the Harrison County Historical Society
The next step in the renovation process is to get bids for all of the work that needs to be done. The Harrison County historical society hopes that that work will begin sometime this summer.
Appalachian Forest Heritage Area is seeking site sponsors for Hands On Team projects for the 2015-2016 year! The AmeriCorps year runs from September, 2015 to August of 2016, with a crew of up to 4 members. The HOT serves on multiple projects, on a project-to-project basis. AFHA is accepting applications for projects relating to hands-on historic preservation, including projects like repointing, in-place window restoration, plaster or siding repair, and painting. Interior projects are highly sought for the winter months. The team can also help with outdoor conservation, recreation, trails, beautification, and landscaping projects. Projects must comply with the Secretary of Interior standards.
The Hands On Team is not a fully qualified construction crew and each project will need a knowledgeable supervisor or contractor. Sites must have cash match, direct supervision, and provide materials and some tools. If further afield, sites may need to include a travel budget, as most of the AmeriCorps members are in Elkins, and lodging.
Applications are due April 20th, 2015. Please email Alison Thornton at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and a Hands On Team application.
Every hand helps. This Saturday, March 28th, 2015, lend us your hand in preserving our nation’s hallowed ground.Rich Mountain Battlefield Foundation, in coordination with the Civil War Trust, will be leading a community-wide cleanup of the Rich Mountain Battlefield. Tools and water will be provided. Meet on the mountain at 10 am.
We hope to see you there!
For more information on Park Day nationwide: http://www.civilwar.org/aboutus/news/news-releases/2015-news/national-park-day-event-2015.html
The Downtown Beckley Business Association will host a tax credit workshop on March 26, the first in a series of economic development programs designed to help downtown property owners prepare for a possible investment by West Virginia University.
Jennifer Brennan, a tax credit coordinator for the State Historic Preservation Office, will advise property owners in the downtown historic district on how best to manage the pursuit of tax credits, which can offset up to 30 percent of the cost of renovations.
Jim Chambers, a property owner and spokesman for the association, said investors in the downtown are increasingly excited about the availability of funding and support for development.
“Property owners are beginning to have a clear vision of the value of being in a historic district, especially in light of the possible investment from WVU,” Chambers said.
“New staircases, elevators, fire escapes — these are the kinds of construction incentives we’ll need to make the best use of our buildings, and the funding is available, thanks to our location in a national historic district.”
Chambers said that only property owners in national historic districts, or those who own nationally historic properties, are eligible for the credit. Ten percent of the credit is managed through the state government; 20 percent is managed through the federal, he said.
The state also offers grants for the restoration, rehabilitation, and repair of historic properties, he said, and the association will soon also present a program on grants.
According to the National Park Service, the tax credits can be used to help cover the cost of the repair or installation of walls, doors, stairs, floors, windows, ceilings, chimneys, escalators, elevators, partitions, plumbing, fire escapes, electrical wiring, sprinkler systems, heating and central air conditioning systems and other components related to the operation and maintenance of properties.
Chambers said an architect will address the meeting of the association on March 9 to help advise property owners on the adaption of their buildings for activities associated with the university.
In an interview earlier this month with the Charleston Gazette, Rob Alsop, WVU’s vice president for legal, government and entrepreneurial engagement, said that the university expected to complete its purchased of the former Mountain State University campus in downtown Beckley this month.
Chambers said the purchase would make WVU one of the largest landowners in the Beckley Courthouse Square National Historic District.
The tax credit meeting has been scheduled for 5 :15 p.m. at the Tickity Boo Mercantile at 337 Neville Street. The meeting will be free and open to the public. For more information on the meeting or the association, contact Jim Chambers at 304-573-4332 or David Sibray at 304-575-7390.
For more information on tax incentives for historic properties, visit: http://www.nps.gov/tps/tax-incentives.htm
The Kickstarter campaign to raise $25,000 toward the restoration of the Blue Sulphur Spring Pavilion continues to move forward. As of Monday, March 16, 2015, more than 70 individual backers, champions all, have pledged nearly half of the goal. While the fund raising is moving forward, time is getting short since the campaign ends at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 28.
Chair of the Friends of the Blue, Alex McLaughlin said, “We all have this great fascination, desire and belief that the Blue is worth saving, but the stabilization and restoration of the Blue is not automatic. The Blue will not stabilize itself or restore itself. Only we can do that through our donations and efforts to get others to contribute.”
One person who has made a significant effort is Karen Lee McClung. She has stepped up to help the cause by creating a beautiful watercolor rendering of the Blue. A print of her watercolor is available for a pledge at the $75 level and at the $100 level a backer will receive a small pin representation of the Blue and a print and 5 note cards featuring McClung’s work.
McLaughlin said, “Let this be our inspiration to walk the extra mile to turn our fascination, desire and belief that saving the Blue is worthwhile into a reality. We are the Champions of the Blue and we can make this happen.”
Everyone is encouraged to support the Blue by going to
and making a pledge using a credit card.
Kickstarter is a crowdfunding mechanism which uses the reach of the internet to give donors a safe way to back a project. It is an all-or-nothing approach where the project receives no funds if the goal is not met. Donors “pledge” using their credit card and the amount is only deducted if the full amount of the goal is pledged.
Because the Greenbrier Historical Society is a 501 c 3 organization, pledges are deductible from federal taxes in accordance with the law.
Preservation Alliance of West Virginia (PAWV) is seeking an AmeriCorps VISTA to begin in July 2015. The VISTA will assist with research, grants writing, educational activities, and communication. Preservation Alliance of WV is the statewide, grassroots organization for the Mountain State, in addition to being the Preserve WV AmeriCorps program administrator and statewide partner for the National Trust for Historic Preservation. VISTA oversight is provided through the National Coal Heritage Area Authority VISTA program. Applicant should be self-directed and have degree or background in public history, public administration, marketing, or related field. For more information about VISTA http://www.americorps.gov/for_individuals/choose/vista.asp. For information about Preservation Alliance of WV, visit www.pawv.org. VISTA will serve at the Darden House in Elkins, West Virginia. The position is for one year with renewal possibility for one additional term. Responsibilities will include:
To Apply: Application will consist of resume and cover letter expressing why you think you are right for this position. You will also submit an AmeriCorps VISTA application to the National Coal Heritage Area via the My AmeriCorps portal. Visit http://www.nationalservice.gov/programs/americorps/join-americorps and search “West Virginia”. Applications should be submitted for CHHA – Preservation Alliance. Applications will be reviewed as received and will be accepted until position is filled. Resume and cover letter materials can be delivered in any one of these ways:
The Morgantown History Museum has been selected to participate in the Museum Assessment Program (MAP). Through guided self-study and on-site consultation with a museum professional, participation in MAP will empower the Morgantown History Museum to provide better services to the citizens of Morgantown. This will help the museum to meet and exceed the highest professional standards.
The program is funded by the Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and throughout its 30 years has been administered by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM). As part of the IMLS National Leadership program, MAP advances best practices and fosters improvement in museums. MAP is a self-motivated program; application to and participation in MAP is initiated by each local institution, and those accepted invest considerable human and institutional resources into the assessment.
The Morgantown History Museum is excited to grow and expand from within in order to better serve the needs of the community. Coordinator, Pamela Ball expressed her gratitude and comments, “We have progressed quite a bit in the last three years in particular. The change from the tiny operating space upstairs and our current facility has made all the difference!” Our commission, staff, friends of the Morgantown History Museum, and volunteers will work together to strengthen the museum in order to have a brighter and more successful future.
MAP is a confidential process of self-study, peer review and implementation. Museums use the assessment process to strengthen operations, build capacity, and enhance communication throughout the organization and in response to community needs. Participant museums choose one of three categories for its assessment: Collections Stewardship Organizational, Community Engagement. The Morgantown History Museum will take part in the organizational assessment process. Small and mid-sized museums of all types, including art, history, science and technology, children’s, natural history, historic houses, nature centers, botanical gardens, and zoos participate in the program.
“Choosing to be part of the MAP program is indicative of the commitment to civic involvement, public service and overall excellence on the part of the Morgantown History Museum,” said Ford W. Bell, president of AAM. “Studies have shown America’s museums to be among the country’s most trusted and valued institutions. MAP is designed to make them even better.”
Since its creation in 1981, the MAP program has served over 4,300 museums. MAP is supported through a cooperative agreement with IMLS. For more information, including a complete list of museums participating in MAP, please visit www.aam-us.org/map, call 202/289-9118 or e-mail email@example.com.
AAM is the only organization representing the nation’s entire museum community and has been dedicated to promoting excellence within the museum field for over 100 years. For more information about AAM, visit www.aam-us.org. The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. To learn more about the Institute, please visit: http://www.imls.gov.
The Morgantown History Museum is located at 175 Kirk Street in Morgantown, West Virginia. The museum is open Tuesday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The museum features collections that take visitors through the history of Morgantown. The museum also features special temporary exhibits focusing on particular aspects of local history. For any further questions visit our website morgantownhistorymuseum.org or call at (304) 319-1800.
David is a longtime promoter of travel and heritage tourism in West Virginia, he brings a wealth of expertise in marketing and public relations to the table. David is publisher of the online guide West Virginia Explorer, now in its fifteenth year of publication, and is the executive director of Sibray Public Relations. He is a member of the West Virginia Press Association and was formerly a publisher for Thomson Newspaper niche publications mid-Atlantic division, through which he founded The West Virginia Retirement Times.
Sibray was born in Wheeling, raised in Beckley, and spent summers at the Sibray farm near Fairmont, so he says he claims to be both northern and southern. “It certainly benefits my understanding of West Virginia’s wonderfully diverse culture.” He said he hopes to benefit the board as a fundraiser and by emphasizing preservation as a key to solid economic development in West Virginia. “I never tire of talking about the value of our historical resources, and I think many West Virginians are willing to listen.” Before embarking on a career in publishing and public relations, Sibray studied Cultural Resource Management and Appalachian Studies at West Virginia University.
As the statewide historic preservation nonprofit, PAWV administers the Preserve WV AmeriCorps program, the Endangered Properties List, and provides preservation advice to individuals and groups across the state. For more information about PAWV, visit www.pawv.org or call 304-345-6005.
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