The Coal Heritage Highway Authority and National Coal Heritage Area Authority work to preserve, promote and interpret the rich coal heritage of southern West Virginia. Throughout the region, there are many individuals, communities and organizations that perform that work on their own, or in partnership with the two Coal Heritage Authorities. To honor the work of these people, the Coal Heritage Highway Authority and National Coal Heritage Area have implemented an award program to acknowledge the work that is being done to preserve coal history. Once again the agency will recognize these outstanding achievements and is now accepting nominations for award winners is six different categories. Projects must have taken place within the National Coal Heritage Area which included the counties of Mercer, McDowell, Raleigh, Summers, Wyoming, Fayette, Boone, Logan, Mingo, Wayne, Lincoln, Cabell and the Paint Creek and Cabin Creek watersheds in Kanawha County or provided a benefit to these counties.
The Nick Joe Rahall Award for Outstanding Achievement in Coal Heritage Preservation: Presented to an individual who exemplifies the spirit of hard work of the men and women of past coal communities. This award is given to acknowledge years of service and dedication the individual has made to coal heritage projects that have had significant impact in the National Coal Heritage Area.
The Coal Heritage Award for Excellence in the Arts: Presented to an individual, community or organization who has captured the history of coal in artistic endeavors within the National Coal Heritage Area. This award acknowledges the creative efforts that bring coal history to life through the arts. This includes, but is not limited to, dramatic performances, music composition or recordings or the visual arts.
The Coal Heritage Marketing Award: Presented to an individual, organization or community that has created an outstanding marketing program promoting an attraction, community or event within the National Coal Heritage Area. This included, but is not limited to, brochures, print ads, web site design, television or radio ads or earned media pieces.
The Coal Heritage Interpretation Award: Presented to an individual, organization or community that has achieved excellence in interpreting coal heritage within the National Coal Heritage Area. This includes, but is not limited to, exhibits, walking tours, interpretative brochures, audio guides, travel guides, docent interpretation or guided tours.
The Coal Heritage Preservation Award: Presented to an individual, organization or community for an exceptional project that preserves artifacts or structures relating to coal heritage within the National Coal Heritage Area. This includes, but is not limited to, historic building renovation or restoration, adaptive re-use of historic buildings, designation of historic districts, artifact restoration or display, or oral history collections.
The Coal Heritage Research and Documentation Award: Presented to an individual, organization or community for an outstanding research project that includes areas within the National Coal Heritage Area as part of the focus area. This includes but is not limited to articles, books, oral history projects, websites, or photography collections.
In 2013, the awards will be presented at the 2013 Miner’s Celebration Conference at a special reception to be held on October 3, 2013 at the Tamarack Conference Center. Nominations will be accepted for any worthy individual, organization, group or community. Nominations must be received by August 2, 2013 An entry form to submit a nomination for one of the above categories is available by calling the office of the Coal Heritage Highway Authority at 304-465-3720 or by emailing Linda Hawkins at email@example.com; or can be found here
Nothing demonstrates the Power of Preservation like before and after photos.
What were once most likely considered “eyesores” in the community have been transformed into a flourishing heritage tourism destination.
These photos of Arthurdale are definitely worth a view.
To learn more about Arthurdale, the nation’s first New Deal homestead community, visit
See what’s inside!
The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) proudly announces that the West Virginia Botanic Garden, Inc., is the recipient of an Award of Merit from the AASLH Leadership in History Awards for “No More Wiggle-Tail Water:” Interpreting the History of Morgantown’s Water Supply.” The AASLH Leadership in History Awards, now in its 68th year, is the most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history.
The award recognizes the eight interpretive signs that were erected in the Spring of 2012 and related programming to tell the story of Morgantown’s early water supply, especially focused on the resources at the West Virginia Botanic Garden. The Botanic Garden located at 1061 Tyrone Road in Morgantown includes the now-drained reservoir that supplied water to Morgantown from 1912 to 1969 as well as the land protecting the reservoir basin. The West Virginia Humanities Council funded the design and construction of the signs. The extant features related to the reservoir include the main earthen dam and embankment, spillway, outlet tower, diversion dam and accompanying pipe to the reservoir basin, wooden pilings for the treatment pond, and foundations of the chemical feed house and reservoir manager’s house. Barb Howe, the WVBG board member who directed the project, said, “We designed the signs to help visitors understand how the extant features related to the natural environment as shaped by successive water companies; by ‘benign neglect’ after 1969; and, since 2000, by the West Virginia Botanic Garden, Inc.” The signs were developed by Erin Smaldone, education director at the WVBG with assistance from Dave Smaldone, associate professor of recreation, parks and tourism at WVU using the research compiled by Howe and historian Michael Caplinger. The award nomination also included an article by Howe and Caplinger entitled “’No More Wiggle-Tail Water’” in the Papers and Proceedings of the Monongalia Historical Society (December 2010); an article on the project in History News: The Magazine of the American Association for State and Local History (Autumn 2012); and a forthcoming article on the Botanic Garden in Wonderful West Virginia (August 2013). The West Virginia Botanic Garden also now has an entry in e-WV, the on-line encyclopedia of the West Virginia Humanities Council. The West Virginia Botanic Garden, Inc., is a 501 ( c ) (3) organization that manages the Botanic Garden under a lease from the City of Morgantown, which owns the property, and the Morgantown Utility Board. The Botanic Garden is open daily from dawn to dusk free of charge. More information is available at www.wvbg.org.
This year, AASLH is proud to confer eighty-eight national awards honoring people, projects, exhibits, books, and organizations. The winners represent the best in the field and provide leadership for the future of state and local history. Presentation of the awards will be made at a special banquet during the 2013 AASLH Annual Meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, on Friday, September 20. The banquet is supported by a generous contribution from the History Channel.
The AASLH awards program was initiated in 1945 to establish and encourage standards of excellence in the collection, preservation, and interpretation of state and local history throughout the United States. The AASLH Leadership in History Awards not only honor significant achievement in the field of state and local history, but also brings public recognition of the opportunities for small and large organizations, institutions, and programs to make contributions in this arena. For more information about the Leadership in History Awards, contact AASLH at 615-320-3203, or go to http://www.aaslh.org.
The American Association for State and Local History is a not-for-profit professional organization of individuals and institutions working to preserve and promote history. From its headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee, AASLH provides leadership, service, and support for its members who preserve and interpret state and local history in order to make the past more meaningful in American society. AASLH publishes books, technical publications, a quarterly magazine, and monthly newsletter. The association also sponsors regional and national training workshops and an annual meeting.
By Danielle LaPresta
Everyone in southern West Virginia knows about the 2013 National Boy Scouts Jamboree. Two weeks ago, thousands of scouts (estimates up to 50,000), along with parents, siblings, and scout leaders came to southern West Virginia to complete service projects in the state. Whatever your feelings are toward the Boy Scout organization, you must agree this is a very impressive planning feat.
The Whipple Company Store in Scarbro and McCoy Fort in Williamsburg are two sites on the West Virginia Endangered Properties List that engaged the scouts for service projects. Sites had to complete a vigorous application process to receive this support, but it seems well worth the efforts!
The archaeological work at McCoy Fort progressed greatly with the help of the scouts, Appalachian Forest Heritage Area AmeriCorps members, and other volunteers, including professional archaeologists Dr. Kim and Dr. Stephen McBride and Carolyn Stephens. It must be mentioned that Carolyn has been working tirelessly to pull off this event, and she did so almost single-handedly. She personifies what we mean when we say this is a grassroots project.
A little background on the fort…
The fort and archaeological site had been covered by a sheep barn at least a century ago. This barn protected the fort and site from the elements, but in the last few years, weather ravaged the barn and threatened the fort and site. With the barn collapsing, Carolyn and several other volunteers were faced with the question of how to dismantle the barn safely and not damage the fort in time for the scouts’ scheduled archaeology project.
The fort is located about 15 miles from Route 219, a major artery traveling through rural Greenbrier and Pocahontas Counties. Starting off with two lanes, the road to McCoy Fort quickly narrows to one lane through the lush farmland of Williamsburg. It is a tough road to travel with heavy machinery, which is needed to dismantle the barn and the fort, although I saw plenty of WV Department of Transportation Trucks during my commute on the country road. Many contractors did not want to take on the job because it was small and in a rural location. They did not see it as a cost effective project for either side.
Carolyn had been at a loss for some time over dismantling the fort. She had lots of support from the state, county, and community, as well as the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which provided emergency funding to preserve the site and fort after the 2012 derecho. However, she could not find anyone to dismantle the barn and the fort so that an archaeological excavation could occur.
McCoy Fort tagged and dismantled in preparation for the archaeology, which is needed to complete the National Register Nomination.
About a week before the scouts arrived, Carolyn, her husband, and several volunteers cleaned up the site and barn debris, tagged the fort logs, and dismantled and moved the logs. It was a remarkable feat! And just in time for the scouts to participate in the archaeological dig.
When I stopped by the site last Thursday to see the scouts working, I was truly awe-struck and inspired by what a few people can accomplish in preparation for a larger project. The scouts were thoroughly involved and seemed genuinely excited about their work, even if it was covered somewhat in sheep manure. Dr. Kim McBride was thrilled about the day’s finds, and the foundation of the fort was identified. Although it is not confirmed if the site was definitely a fort, archaeologists are on their way to interpreting it and educating us all about a lesser-known frontier historical site in West Virginia.
The McBrides and Carolyn are already planning a workshop with the community to clean the artifacts, and they are developing plans to engage 5th and 8th grade Greenbrier County students and teachers in the educational process. It is a community effort worth mirroring!
We have canceled the Hazardous Materials & Safety Workshop scheduled to be held at Arthurdale on July 26.
We plan to reschedule sometime this Fall.
Stay tuned for more information!
Below is a copy of the letter PAWV is sending to Senator Manchin. We will tweak it slightly before sending it to Senator Rockefeller, as he is a member of the Senate Finance Committee. Please feel free to send this letter to the Senators and ask them to fight to preserve the Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit during tax reform.
Dear Senator Manchin,
This is Danielle LaPresta, Executive Director of Preservation Alliance of West Virginia (PAWV). On behalf of the Board of Directors and PAWV members, I am writing to ask you to submit the Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit to the Senate Finance Committee during tax reform discussions. Please ask the Committee to renew the Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit because it is an economic engine supporting private investment, and it creates good jobs.
The Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit makes a positive impact. It levels the playing field in terms of the cost to rehabilitate existing buildings versus the cost and incentives for new construction. Preservation projects are known to revitalize neighborhoods, support local economies, and create lasting improvements. Also, we know that in West Virginia, and in 30 other states, the state government increases the effects of the federal investment with State Rehabilitation Tax Credits. Please do not let this valuable tool be eliminated during tax reform.
The Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit is a worthwhile investment for the federal government. It has generated over $66 million dollars of private investment into historic buildings and communities. Revitalization projects such as the adaptive re-use of First Ward School in Elkins, the renovation of the old Wheeling Public Library, the preservation of downtown Lewisburg, and the development of heritage tourism sites in Jefferson County demonstrate how historic preservation works in West Virginia’s communities. As developers have told me on numerous occasions, without the Tax Credit, these revitalization projects would not be possible. Additionally, the Tax Credit has created 2.4 million quality and higher paying jobs in the country to date with an estimated 75% coming from within the project’s region. The Tax Credit has proven its usefulness and necessity, time and time again.
I urge you to submit the Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit to the Senate Finance Committee during tax reform discussions. It represents a greater return than investment for the federal government; generating $25.9 billion while costing $20.5 billion. When a historic building no longer meets the needs for which it was built, the Tax Credit provides additional investment to bring new life to the building and to our communities.
If you have any questions about the content in this letter, please do not hesitate to contact me. We need incentives like the Tax Credit in West Virginia, and I hope you will argue for this Tax Credit during tax reform.
We are pleased to announce that Donovan Rypkema will be a workshop instructor at the 2013 Statewide Historic Preservation Mini-Conference to be held in Morgantown, September 20-21, 2013. Rypkema will bring a fresh voice and extensive experience to how historic preservation can address the many economic development and revitalization challenges West Virginia faces. Government officials, developers, and planners are encouraged to attend, as are historic preservationists, architects, and community citizens.
The workshop will focus on bringing investments to West Virginia and will cover three different but interrelated elements of historic preservation: incentives, adaptive re-use, and rightsizing. Specific attention will be paid to what historic preservation incentives are, how they work, and the public policy justification for providing direct or indirect public resources for private assets. Additionally, Rypkema will explain how historic preservation works for the private sector and ways to re-use historic buildings when they no longer meet the needs for which they were built. The final segment of the workshop will look at the challenges of a declining population and if and how historic preservation is part of the efforts for rightsizing.
Rypkema is an expert in the economics of historic preservation and is the Principal of PlaceEconomics, a real estate and economic investment firm based in Washington D.C. He has given workshops in 48 states, and this September will be his first workshop in West Virginia. This workshop will be held on Saturday, September 21, 2013 from 9 am – 5 pm at the Monongalia Arts Center in Morgantown. AICP certified planners can earn 6.5 Certificate Maintenance credits during the workshop. Register before September 6th, and the cost of the workshop for PAWV members is $25. Nonmembers can attend the workshop for $40. Online registration information is available at http://www.pawv.org.
PAWV will host other activities over the weekend, including a Civil War Walking Tour of downtown Morgantown and the annual Historic Preservation Awards Banquet. The banquet will be held at the historic Hotel Morgan, and Rypkema will join participants for a keynote speech. For more information on activities and registration, visit www.pawv.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 724-322-8959. There are also volunteer opportunities for discounted entry.
Mark your calendars for the Mini-Conference September 20-21 in Morgantown, West Virginia.
We are excited to announce the release of our 2013 Mini-Conference Brochure this week. We have two days of informative workshops and lots of fun activities. We’ll be in downtown Morgantown the entire weekend, and you’ll have the prime opportunity to dine and shop in many locally owned restaurants and stores.
View the full brochure and register online HERE! Early bird registration ends September 6th!
Want to Volunteer?
Volunteer registration opportunities available! Help us with a few tasks during the mini-conference and enjoy an extremely discounted entry fee!
Special Sponsorship Opportunity Available for the Awards Banquet
For the awards banquet, sponsor a table for you and your friends, and you’ll receive 8 prime seats at the banquet and 8 free entries to the Saturday workshop of your choice. Learn how HERE!
Need to Stay Overnight?
Special discounted hotel accommodations available for out-of-town attendees. Book a room at the Hotel Morgan prior to August 15th under the PAWV block to receive a discounted price of $99 + tax/night.
Reservations are available for Friday, September 20, and Saturday, September 21. Enjoy suites with Wi-Fi, king-size beds, spacious bathrooms, and a continental breakfast. Call 304.292.8200 to book your room today!
Read the Preservation Alliance’s July E-newsletter:
News and Notes
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