The Waldomore is an excellent example of preservation which has become Clarksburg’s landmark example of showcasing the county’s image through architecture and public use. In addition, the Robinson Grand Theater, The Waldo Hotel, The Gore Hotel, Goff Building and the Olymbec/Chase Buildings are outstanding examples of current and future rehabilitation of some of Harrison County’s major inner city buildings. Private homes on “Quality Hill” are excellent examples of that designated historic district.
Shinnston, Salem, West Milford, Lumberport, among other smaller communities, are examples of residents and business owners taking pride in their local heritage. HCHS feels that it takes a community to preserve its history.
The Historical Society will partner with the Preservation Alliance staff to discuss economic incentives, developing community awareness and pride. Collaboration with local government, along with public and private involvement in preservation will be related to heritage tourism.
The Harrison County Historical Society’s historic house museum, the Stealey, Goff Vance House built in 1807, is a prime example of a historic building that can stand out proudly with further development, renewed use and community involvement. Discussion, collaboration and promotion can lead to increased economic value.
Preservation Alliance and the Historical Society will offer examples of preservation efforts, building re-purposing, and heritage tourism outcomes. Local business and property owners are encouraged to bring questions, ideas and thoughts on preservation, economic development and heritage tourism for a discussion to follow the presentation. The Historical Society will continue programs involving both architectural and archival preservation in 2015.
The discussion on community development through preservation and heritage tourism will take place at The Waldomore in Clarksburg, January 27th, 5:30 pm. Coffee and refreshments will be available. For more information or questions contact Carol at firstname.lastname@example.org. For a list of presenters see the web site harrisoncowvhistoricalsociety.org
By Alex, PAWV VISTA
Winter is in full force in West Virginia and that means it’s winter sports time. West Virginia has several ski resorts including Snowshoe, Timberline, Canaan Valley, Oglebay, and Winterplace for downhill and Whitegrass and Elk River for cross-country skiing.
Here’s a look into the history of Canaan Valley and West Virginia skiing: During the winter of 1949-50 skiers from The Ski Club of Washington, D.C. (SCWDC) drove through West Virginia looking for snow and the next year started working on putting in a rope tow in Canaan Valley. This ski area, called Cabin Mountain, Driftland, or Little Tuckerman’s fits into the very early stages of United States skiing history. Two other private ski areas, both called Weiss Knob, were also started in Canaan Valley in the 1950’s. These early areas spawned a total of 13 West Virginia areas: first, Bald Knob Beckley in 1958, then, Oglebay Park in Wheeling and Chestnut Ridge near Morgantown in the 1960’s, next, Canaan Valley Resort in Canaan Valley, Alpine Lake in Terra Alta, Snowshoe near Marlinton in the 70’s, and finally, Silver Creek near Marlinton, Winterplace near Beckley, Timberline Resort in Canaan Valley, and Tory Mountain near Harman in the 80’s. The early Canaan Valley ski areas also stimulated the West Virginia Department of Commerce to commission a feasibility study of skiing in West Virginia in 1965. Checci and Company pinpointed four locations as the best in West Virginia for commercial ski areas. These areas were: Cabin Mountain in Canaan Valley, Job Knob near Harman, Elk Mountain in Randolph County, and Spruce Mountain in Pocahontas County.
Canaan Valley Resorts Ski Area greatly increased its ski able acreage, snow-making and, of course, the number of skiers. Many ski business firsts occurred at Canaan Valley, over the years. In 1972, John a West Virginia native came to Canaan by way of Stowe, Vermont. He, with the help of Ted Fries, also a West Virginia native, started one of the country’s first blind ski programs at Canaan Valley Resort. Hundreds of blind persons have learned to ski with this program, which is still operating at Timberline. He also started an amputee ski program, a deaf ski program and held one of the country’s first 5 Winter Special Olympics in 1979. His ski school was the first in the country to allow instructors on Nordic equipment to teach alpine lessons. The ski patrol was also one of the first to allow patrollers on telemark equipment. Canaan Valley also pioneered ski classes for college credit with four West Virginia colleges offering ski physical-education credit. Several world-class skiers have skied at Canaan, including World Cup downhiller Holly Flanders. Skiers from the area have gone on to become race directors at Aspen Highlands and Copper Mountain, CO, and to hold supervisory positions in many other large ski areas. Canaan Valley has produced excellent powder skiers. In the 1970’s, skiers started climbing the mountains around Canaan and skiing powder through open woods and down right-of-ways, including Bald Knob. The last thirty years have produced an average snowfall of 167 inches at the 3400’ elevation of the north face.
Canaan Valley has had a long and rich ski history and at this time offers the best skiing in the East south of New England. The skiing at Canaan Valley and Timberline Resorts combined with the abundant snowfall and beauty of the area make Canaan Valley an excellent ski vacation experience. This area has also consistently attracted people who love the sport and believe in the quality of the Valley’s skiing.
Skiing has improved the area’s overall prosperity and quality of life. Many people have been able to remain here and find employment that otherwise might have had to move away. The large numbers of skier visits have spawned other businesses and have increased West Virginia’s tourist industry.
Come and visit for yourself. Go ski!
From “Skiing from Top to Bottom: The History of Skiing in Canaan Valley” by John Lutz
For a more complete version of the history, go to:
for more information on skiing in West Virginia.
BAD Buildings Program News
A Brownfields, Abandoned and Dilapidated Property Initiative
The Northern WV Brownfields Assistance Center has announced the availability of the 2015 BAD Buildings Program’s Technical Assistance grant program!
The BAD Buildings Program is a statewide initiative that provides technical assistance and site analysis tools to develop and enhance abandoned/dilapidated buildings programs in West Virginia communities. The program also addresses barriers to identifying, prioritizing, and redeveloping BAD buildings. The BAD Buildings Program is funded through a grant from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation.
The 2015 BAD Buildings Program will provide technical assistance to up to 8 communities from across the state to create or enhance community-driven revitalization and redevelopment of abandoned, dilapidated, or vacant properties.
BAD Buildings – How to Apply
Begin your application process by downloading the Request for Applications and the Program Guide.
Completed applications may be submitted on or before Friday, February 13th, 2015 by U.S. Postal Service, commercial delivery service, or via email to Luke.Elser@mail.wvu.edu.
Who Should Apply
Eligible applicants include the following:
The BAD Buildings Program is designed to offer technical support to communities at varying stages of local redevelopment and with differing levels of local capacity. Communities with an existing abandoned/dilapidated buildings program are encouraged to apply as well as communities who are beginning to address this issue.
By Raven, Preserve WV AmeriCorps serving at Marion County Historical Society
My name is Raven Thomas and I am excited to be starting my second year of service as a Preserve West Virginia AmeriCorps member in my hometown of Fairmont, West Virginia. I am continuing my service at the Marion County Historical Society, Inc and Museum until 2015. I enjoy giving back to my community and preserving the heritage of my family and every other family that has roots in Marion County.
Part of my service to the county is to completely restore and preserve the attached portion of the Marion County Jail for future use. This is an ongoing project and once the jailhouse is finished, it will be open to public tours. The training at Jackson’s Mill provided a nice refresher course on hazardous materials and historic preservation and restoration techniques that are used for structures such as the jailhouse. I used the information that was given during the training to properly test the jail for lead paint and other materials and purchase the appropriate safety gear for myself and the volunteers for this project. I am looking forward to the coming year and the progress of this project.
The Preserve WV AmeriCorps program is made possible with grant funds from Volunteer WV and the Corporation for National and Community Service.
By Alex, PAWV VISTA
Hawks Nest State Park is located on 370 acres in Fayette County near Ansted, West Virginia. Hawks Nest State Park has welcomed visitors since the mid-1930s. The park first opened in 1935 as a roadside park when the state purchased 51 acres. The planning was done by the National Park Service.
The original building, now a gift shop and museum, was built as a CCC (Civilian Conservation Corp) project in which Eleanor Roosevelt was a driving force to build State Parks in WV and other areas. CCC Camp Lee (1935-1942) men built the concession building, public toilet building, and other facilities at Hawks Nest. CCC Camp Beaver (1937-38) men built the picnic shelter and museum building. These structures are unique and a great place to rest and picnic. Hawks Nest Lake was built in 1967.
The hydro-electric project tunnel that passes underneath nearby Gauley Mountain was the scene of the tragic Depression-era Hawks Nest Tunnel Disaster. It was a large-scale incident of occupational silicosis as the result of the construction of the Hawks Nest Tunnel near Gauley Bridge, as part of a hydroelectric project. This project is considered to be one of the worst industrial disasters in American history.
Hawks Nest State Park is nested in whitewater country. The New River was designated an American Heritage River on July 30, 1998. There are currently fourteen American Heritage Rivers in the country. With great views, some good trails, and plenty of wildlife, Hawks Nest is a good destination to visit in West Virginia in all seasons.
National Coal Heritage Area Issues Request for Proposals to support community efforts to preserve, interpret and promote coal heritage resources, the National Coal Heritage Area Authority requests proposals for funding for eligible projects within the National Coal Heritage Area. Funding appropriated for this round of grants is due to expire September 30, 2016 so projects must have matching funds available and be sufficiently advanced so that they can be completed by in a timely manner.
Funding for projects under this request must be matched on a dollar for dollar basis with other funds from non-federal sources or well documented in-kind resources including volunteer labor and services and donated materials and supplies. The National Coal Heritage Area management plan identifies interpretive themes for the area which include: The Business of Coal Mining, Working in Coal, The Company Town, Mining Technology and Crisis and Renewal. Each project must address at least one of the interpretive themes in some manner and could go across several thematic areas. Eligible activities for this round of grant funding include Interpretation and Heritage Programming, Historic Preservation and Resource Stewardship, Archives and Historical Records Collection, and Greenways, Public Parks, and Non-motorized Trails.
Previous projects have included preservation of archival materials, preservation of historic structures, creation of museum exhibits, and creation of brochures and marketing materials. Organizations eligible for grant awards are legally established non-profit organizations and institutions and public and governmental organizations including county and municipal governments, state agencies, economic development authorities, and educational institutions.
All organizations must demonstrate that they possess the administrative and fiscal capacity to manage awarded grant funds and complete the project in compliance with the grant contract. Community organizations without adequate professional staff are encouraged to seek the assistance of other organizations with fiscal systems and staff capability to manage the grant funds, if necessary. Projects must be implemented within the National Coal Heritage Area which includes the counties of Mercer, McDowell, Wyoming, Summers, Raleigh, Fayette, Boone, Mingo, Logan, Wayne, Cabell, Lincoln and the Paint Creek and Cabin Creek watersheds in Kanawha County. Approximately $150,000 has been allocated for this round of grants.
The deadline for receipt of applications in February 13, 2015. Grant instructions can be found here: http://coalheritage.org/DocumentsCenter/Grant%20application%202015.pdf or by calling 304-465-3720 or emailing email@example.com
Historic Gerrardstown is unveiling its new town signs on December 7, 2014 at each entrance to its National Register community placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991. The brief ceremony on Dominion Road and Destiny Lane, will start at 1:00 with a reception and presentation of donor plaques, to follow at the Gerrardstown Presbyterian Church.
The signs honor America’s heritage by placing one of its remaining small towns in the ranks of historic places elsewhere that have learned to boast and announce their worth.
The design, voted on by over 200 residents, is new shiny metallic, not antiquarian, and is in keeping with the town’s historic character. The signs were manufactured by Vital Signs in Charles Town. Funds for the three signs were raised from two weekends in 2012 that celebrated Gerrardstown’s 225th Anniversary, private donors, and the sale of T-Shirts at Tracy’s Corner Grocery.
The signs are sympathetic to the two cast iron State Highway Markers erected during the American Bicentennial in 1976.
The project was supported by the Berkeley County Historical Society; and the Berkeley County Commissioners, who individually voted their support and encouragement. Significant donations came from the National Fruit Company, Jefferson Security Bank, South Berkeley Pharmacy, Berkeley County Historic Landmarks Commission, and the Martinsburg and Berkeley County Visitors Bureau.
David Gerrard laid out the village of Gerrardstown in 1784 although a small community already existed there. It was known as Middletown when it was officially established in 1787. Site of the first Baptist church and cemetery west of the Blue Ridge Mountains, today’s unincorporated village has numerous historic structures of log or stone construction.
Marshy Dell at the eastern entrance to the village is an 18th century two-story log home, one of the largest log homes in the county. The stone Gerrard House built by John Hayes is one of the oldest houses in West Virginia. Ward “Hill” Lamon, Abraham Lincoln’s Law Partner and personal body guard is buried in the Presbyterian Cemetery.
Travelers are able to appreciate the rare setting they are in—a traditional town preserving its past while eyeing the future.
Mark your calendars to attend the unveiling on 12/7/14 at 1:00 on Dominion Road and Destiny Lane with parking and reception at the Gerrardstown Presbyterian Church.
‘Snookie’s efforts haven’t been limited to houses. She also worked tirelessly with (the late) Beverly Fluty and others to have the Wheeling Suspension Bridge restored, and she took part in a long-running newspaper series, ‘Operation Look-Up,” which highlighted the unaltered upper stories of historic facades. In the midst of this work, she found time to serve on numerous historic preservation boards.’ Nutting has been the West Virginia adviser to the National Trust for Historic Preservation for nine years, a member of the West Virginia Archives and History Commission for many years, the first president of Preservation Action from 1994-95 and a founding member of Friends of Wheeling in 1970. She has been a member of the board of directors of the Vandalia Heritage Foundation since 1990.
She has served as president of the Victorian Landmarks Foundation since 1990 and has been the driving force behind its Victorian Show-Off! tours in Wheeling.
Preservation Alliance of West Virginia would like to share about our 2014 Historic Preservation Award winners. Next, we recognize Monica Miller for the Preservation Achievement Award.
Monica is the Manager of Local Capacity Development for the West Virginia Development Office where she provides funding and technical assistance to local organizations and units of government to enhance their capacity to serve their constituents and improve West Virginia communities.
In addition to the Main Street West Virginia Program which she has managed since 1994, she secured funding for and led the creation of the West Virginia ON TRAC Program. She also provides management to the following community development programs: Neighborhood Investment Program, Growing Healthy Communities, Appalachian Regional Commission and Flex E Grant.
She has provided Main Street consulting services to the states of Delaware, Arkansas, Maryland and New Hampshire. Prior to her work in the Development Office she served as the Administrator of Programming Services and Sales for West Virginia State Parks.
Monica has served in many capacities with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, most recently as Chair of the Board of Advisors, member of the Board of Trustees and vice chair of the Community Revitalization Committee. She served as the first Chair of the National Main Street Coordinating programs. She currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Advisory Board of the WV SBDC, is a volunteer with the WV Land Trust, and served multiple terms on the Vestry of St Mark’s Episcopal Church. A graduate of West Virginia University and the Economic Development Institute through the University of Oklahoma, Monica has been certified by the National Development Council as an Economic Development Finance Professional.
Stephen and Kim McBride have given so much of themselves to the Archaeology of West Virginia. The Fort Project has inspired an entire generation – if you ponder this in the context of all the school children they have reached, it is a true statement of fact. While much of their work has been grant-funded, but it does not come close to covering all project costs. They also frequently contribute their services to the cause. This deserves a statewide public recognition. The dynamic duo husband and wife team from West Virginia, have done so much promote archaeology in West Virginia – through both research and public outreach. Entire schools have been exposed to archaeology as a result of their efforts.
From hands-on history at Fort Warwick to student digs at Fort McCoy to publishing “Frontier Forts in West Virginia,” they are active in their field. They have conducted the only long range research project in WV, have published on their results, and have supported PAWV.
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