Volume VII, Number 4
News & Notes
Frontiers to Mountaineers Heritage
Tourism Program off to a great beginning
The PAWV Heritage Tourism demonstration program is off to an aggressive start. The group has finished their first strategic planning process. Scott Gerloff, a consultant with Historic Connections, provided some very useful and enlightening guidance throughout the entire planning process. We began with several site visits throughout the region meeting with key folks in the area and touring many of the historic sites.
A regional steering committee formed consisting of Susie Salisbury with Preservation Alliance of West Virginia, Inc., Andre Nabors from the West Virginia Division of Tourism and the Convention and Visitor's Bureaus directors including: Stacy Brodack, Monongalia County; Marianne Moran, Marion County; Jennifer Bormett, Preston County; Suzie Frederick, Lewis County and Sue Baldini, Harrison County.
A two-day retreat took place in September at Prickett's Fort, whereby the regional steering committee along with representatives of several Main Street programs, WVU Bureau for Business and Economic Research and various historic sites went through developing goals and objectives for implementing a successful heritage tourism program. The strategic plan developed five task forces including organization, research, product development, public relations and marketing.
The next few months will keep the region busy with many exciting projects. The program has been very fortunate to collaborate with many organizations and agencies to leverage funding for a number of projects including:
1. An aggressive marketing plan developed by the steering committee that will allow the region to market itself in a coordinated, unified fashion. The West Virginia Division of Tourism Direct Advertising Grant Program is providing 50% of the total annual budget of $51,250. The remaining match will include contributions from all the convention and visitor bureaus and the PAWV mini-grant fund. The total marketing plan includes a unique blend of billboards, travel and trade shows, print ads, and brochure featuring specific heritage itineraries. Throughout the entire marketing campaign, the group will be branding the name of "Frontiers to Mountaineers".
2. PAWV has contracted with the West Virginia University Bureau for Business and Economic Research to conduct an economic impact survey for the "Frontiers to Mountaineers" region. This project is designed to measure current spending patterns of heritage tourists visiting the region as well as providing some basic demographic information. Five major heritage sites will begin conducting intercept surveys this month. These sites include Arthurdale, downtown Morgantown, Prickett's Fort State Park, Fort New Salem and WVU Jackson's Mill. This survey will provide additional information such as basic demographic profiles as well as what the visitors are spending throughout the region.
3. The National Endowment for the Arts issued a grant to PAWV for the development of a cultural assessment in the "Frontiers to Mountaineers" region.
This cultural assessment Will provide the region a database of traditional artists, musicians, storytellers, writers, crafters, re-enactors, and interpreters. The region's heritage attractions will be able to access this information as they prepare to bring their sites alive. The WV Division of Culture and History's Commission on the Arts is also supporting this project by providing technical assistance.
4. Most recently, the region applied for and received a comprehensive planning grant from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History's State Historic Preservation Office. This is the first time a grant of this nature has been awarded to a regional group. The grant will allow the region to hire a preservation consultant to develop a comprehensive preservation plan that will catalog future heritage product. The plan will identify and prioritize preservation resources that are eligible for listing on the National Register for Historic Places. Main Street Morgantown is serving as the fiscal agent and administrator of the project on behalf of the region. The SHPO is providing $35,000 of the $58,000 total project costs. The match will be contributed through financial and in-kind resources from each county and the PAWV mini-grant fund.
The main goal of the project is to develop recommendations for the creation of a permanent statewide heritage tourism program. We will be studying all of the options over the next six months and will make a recommendation by the end of the calendar year. The program will also feature a conference, which will highlight many of the group's projects. It will be held in January 2002. The Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation and the WV Governor's Contingency Fund have provided overall funding for the project.
For further information on this initiative, please contact Susie Salisbury at (304) 342-6972.
Regional Heritage Themes Developed
The Frontiers to Mountaineers heritage program has developed and is promoting a series of thematic tours. Each of these recommendations will be featured in our regional brochure that is being distributed through trade shows, local and regional visitor centers, hotels, attractions, WV Division of Tourism, and strategically placed advertisements.
Arthurdale: Founded in 1934 by Eleanor Roosevelt, Arthurdale gave destitute coal miners and their families a chance at a new life. Roosevelt visited Arthurdale many times, dining with homesteaders, dancing the Virginia Reel, and speaking at graduations. FDR made his only graduation address as President at Arthurdale. Today, visitors tour the New Deal Homestead museum, a blacksmith's shop, an old-time Esso Station, and the historic Center Hall. Working 1930's homestead with costumed interpreters and friendly farm animals available for tour May through September. Call (304) 864-3959.
Prickett's Fort State Park: This historic fort was originally built in 1774 as a refuge fort on the frontier of Virginia. It was reconstructed in 1976 and today costumed interpreters recreate eighteenth century lifestyles through demonstration of colonial crafts. South of the fort is the 1859 Job Prickett house. The eighteenth century historical reconstruction and original nineteenth century house illustrate the development of an increasingly civilized lifestyle through an 85-year span of time. Call (304) 363-3030.
Fort New Salem: This settlement is a collection of relocated log structures representing an early 19th century West Virginia community. Special events and festivals are offered throughout the year including Harvest Festival, Dulcimer Festival, and spirit of Christmas in the Mountains. Early trade crafts and domestic arts are demonstrated at this living history site. Call 1-800-368-4324.
WVU Jackson's Mill Historic Area: Visitor's to the Jackson's Mill Historic Area will be introduced to early Appalachian frontier life. The centerpiece is the Jackson's Mill, where young Jackson worked as a boy. While the Old Mill is now a museum, there's an operating gristmill in the historic area, along with a blacksmith's shop, a pair of hand-hewn log cabins, and barn. The Historic Area is part of the 523 acre WVU-Jackson's Mill Center for Lifelong Learning. Various historic and educational activities occur during the year, including Civil War reenactments during the annual Stonewall Jackson Jubilee on Labor Day Weekend. Call (304) 269-5100
2000 Most Endangered Sites Announced
Dominick Cerrone, President of PAWV, announced during the annual meeting in Weston in September, the following sites that were selected to the West Virginia Most Endangered Sites List:
Weston State Hospital, Lewis County
Built in 1858 as the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, Weston State Hospital is the only public institutional building built by the Commonwealth of Virginia in present-day WV. Opened in 1864, the building has been abandoned since 1990. A National Historic Landmark, Weston State Hospital is a massive 3-story stone structure that is owned by the state. Despite recent marketing attempts, the building remains vacant.
Whipple Truss Iron Railroad Bridge, Kanawha County
The first railroad bridge in the county still spans the Elk River. It was built in 1883 by the Ohio Central Railroad, which evolved into the Kanawha and Michigan Railroad. The railroad built a new bridge next to the original in 1906, and this Whipple-type bridge was sold to the Kanawha Valley Traction Company for streetcar use. The sidewalk on the bridge was built in 1893 and sold to the city. With the demise of streetcars, the bridge was abandoned.
Cass Historic District, Pocahontas County
Owned by the WV Department of Natural Resources, this district was established in 1900 by the WV Pulp & Paper Company (WESTVACO), the town of Cass is a rare surviving example of an early twe6fieth-century logging industry company town. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. The town of Cass is running out of time. Long, harsh winters and humid summers take a heavy toll on wooden buildings left open to the environment, causing many of the houses, the company hospital, and the huge Cass School to lose more structural integrity every year. Vandalism, looting, and arson have heavily impacted many of the irreplaceable resources.
West Virginia's Log Structures
West Virginia's historic log structures face numerous threats. Neglect and decay threaten many in rural settings. Concern about fire and legal hazard motivates owners to remove them or sell to a burgeoning market for salvaged building materials. Finely preserved structures are purchased, dismantled and transported hundreds of miles to new construction sites. Sadly, these well-meaning efforts result in the loss of historic context. Anecdotal evidence suggests that log structures are rapidly disappearing from the rural landscape, particularly along West Virginia's eastern border.
Wheeling B&O Wall
This massive sandstone was once the proud bearer of commerce and industry to the City and typifies Wheeling's handsome stone and masonry cityscape. The wall flanks the Rails to Trails along the Ohio River in Center Wheeling and has been targeted by the City of Wheeling to be dismantled and removed to provide space for parking. The City's largest parking garage is less than five hundred feet from the proposed demolition and currently provides parking spaces for businesses in the area. The City intended to sell the stone for salvage value. The Wheeling National Heritage Area Corp. and the City of Wheeling are working together to come up with a development plan that would include maintaining the wall. However, if the plan does not work out, demolition could take place and the wall would be gone forever.
Main Street West Virginia - Hometown Program
The Main Street West Virginia Program is proposing an improvement package for the West Virginia Development Office that will provide technical assistance to a maximum of 20 smaller towns. The program is designed to build leadership and improve the economy. This package includes the addition of two community development representatives to coordinate the program and provide small business recruitment and development, establishing a mentoring program, accessing consultants and providing mini grants for implementation of community projects. The total package is $ 1,000,000. For more information, you may contact the Main Street West Virginia office at (304) 558-2001.
WV State Historic Preservation Office Improvement Package
The WV SHPO improvement package for development grants and archaeology has been included in the Governor budget. An additional $100,00 for development grants is included making the total appropriation $300,000. The Grave Creek Archeological Collection has requested $500,000. Please contact your legislators and ask for their support of these budget items
Lewisburg Preservation and Enhancement
In an experiment last year, PAWV s board concluded to act on a recommendation from Lewisburg member, Dan Gooding, to partner with the Lewisburg Preservation and Enhancement Alliance by sharing membership. The idea was simple enough: Authorize an organization with local interests that parallel those of PAWV to include memberships in PAWV in its members' dues. PAWV could gain in strength in membership and dues revenue while the local organization could provide the additional member benefits of statewide involvement and increased effectiveness.
The results have been encouraging. Membership from Lewisburg in PAWV has increased from 18 to 116 and dues from that part of the state are at an all time high. Accordingly, PAWV's board is considering the method and timing of an extension of the concept throughout the state.
Listed below are the heritage sites featured in the Mountaineer History - Industry theme:
West Virginia Museum of American Glass
Seneca Glass Company
Easton Roller Mill
Scott's Run Museum
Mountaineer History - Points of Interest
West Augusta Historical Museum
West Augusta Historical Society Round Barn
Marion County Museum
Watters Smith State Park
Cathedral State Park
Mountaineer Cities featured include:
Join the Preservation Alliance!
The Preservation Alliance of West Virginia is always looking for new members. PAWV is a 501(c)(3) corporation and all contributions are tax deductible. Please contact:
PRESERVATION ALLIANCE OF WEST VIRGINIA
PO BOX 3371
CHARLESTON, WV 25333-3371
New Staff Addition for PAWV
Starting in March, Tiffany Pace will be the new office administrator for PAWV The mailing address remains the same however, the telephone number has changed to (304) 345-6005. A Charleston native, Tiffany is a graduate of WVU and currently a graduate student at Marshall University. She has considerable experience in public relations and non-profit work, PAWV is pleased to welcome Tiffany to our team.
Susie Salisbury of Terrell Ellis and Associates, Inc. will continue her excellent work for the PAWV Heritage Tourism project. Susie may be reached by calling (304) 342-6972.
Board of Directors, PAWV
- Dominick Cerrone, Wheeling - President
- Phyllis Baxter, Elkins - Vice-President
- Michael Gioulis, Sutton - Treasurer
- Terri Cutright, Morgantown - Secretary
Laura Kuhns, Fairmont
Eleanor Ringel, Charleston
Kip Stowell, Harper's Ferry
Joy StaInak, Weston
Dan Gooding, Lewisburg
Renee Maass, Huntington
Bob McCoy, Matewan
Hunter Lesser, Elkins
Susan Pierce, Charleston
Pat Bond, Charleston
Tiffany Pace Administrative Assistant 345-6005
Susie Salisbury Heritage Tourism Coordinator 342-6972