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MINUTES
WEST VIRGINIA
ARCHIVES AND HISTORY COMMISSION MEETING
FRIDAY, 22 FEBRUARY 2008
THE CULTURAL CENTER
CHARLESTON, WEST VIRGINIA


Chairman Bob Conte called the meeting to order at 9:40 a.m. In addition to Dr. Conte, voting members present were Harold Forbes, Becky Frye (by telephone), Victor Greco, Dr. Charles Ledbetter, Bill Richardson, Amy Haden Sorrells, and Dr. Joan Walker (by telephone). Voting members absent were Dr. Charles Hulse, Dr. Helene Jacobs, and Noel Tenney. Ex officio voting member present was Dr. Bill Arnett, president, West Virginia Historical Association. Ex officio voting member absent was Michael Shock, president, West Virginia Historical Society. Ex officio non-voting members present were Joe Geiger, secretary to the commission and acting director of Archives and History; Susan Pierce, director of Historic Preservation; Randall Reid-Smith, commissioner, West Virginia Division of Culture and History; and Adam Hodges, director of Museums. Ex officio non-voting member absent was Dr. Michael Hohn, director, WV Geological and Economic Survey. Also present were Jacqueline Proctor, deputy commissioner; Pam Brooks and Erin Riebe, Historic Preservation staff; and Nancy Waggoner and Mary Johnson, Archives and History staff.

Chairman Conte proposed two changes to the Agenda: a resolution thanking Fred Armstrong for his work, inserted as the last item under New Business after the Blair Mountain battle site discussion, and five highway historic marker applications, also under New Business. Dr. Charles Ledbetter moved that the two be added to the Agenda. Victor Greco provided the required second. (The commission failed to vote at this time, which later in the meeting was brought to the chairman’s attention and rectified. Motion approved.)

Chairman Conte asked for a motion to approve the 26 October 2007 meeting minutes. Dr. Bill Arnett so moved, followed by a second from Dr. Charles Ledbetter. Susan Pierce requested a correction to the minutes to clarify that a quote on page 6 (“that concluded the site had little integrity”) from a National Register coordinator in New York was referring to a site in New York, not the Baker’s Fort nomination. Chairman Conte restated the motion with Ms. Pierce’s comments and, there being no further questions or comments, called for a vote. Motion carried.

The first of several times during the meeting, Chairman Conte explained that members of the public in attendance who wished to comment on any of the National Register nominations to be presented at the meeting would need to fill out the form provided and turn it in to Erin Riebe. He added that the public would each be given five minutes to speak. Prior to calling for the various reports, Chairman Conte informed members that Margaret Brennan resigned from the commission in November 2007.

Chairman Conte called upon Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith for his Division of Culture and History report. The commissioner reported on progress on the State Museum, now under construction, with a hoped for final completion date of early Spring 2009. Options are being looked at for a museum gift shop and café. No definite decision has been reached, but upon initial consideration, the concept of a solarium addition to the Cultural Center is thought to best meet the division’s needs. The historic marker program process will continue as is, with applicants applying through the Division of Culture and History, which will seek the advice of the Archives and History Commission before giving final agency approval.

Updates were provided on numerous projects: construction on the annex at Grave Creek, the flag project at West Virginia Independence Hall, review of HVAC specs for WVIH, the Cultural Center fire suppressing system, work on the Veterans Memorial, the Sewah Studios contract for highway markers, and textile preservation for the conservation of the artifacts for the new museum.

Speaking to the division’s budget improvements for fiscal year 2009, Commissioner Reid-Smith informed members the division had received a letter stating that, with tightening revenues, the division would not get any improvements; however, a $370,000 per year increase was given for the cost of utilities. The governor has requested over $100,000 more for Historic Preservation grants; however, this year only about twenty-five per cent of the grants can be awarded because of the increase in costs and the decrease in funding. There are two supplemental improvements for fiscal year 2008: the mapping system for Historic Preservation and a large improvement package for WVIH for replacement of the roof and windows and painting of the walls.

Due to the absence of Chad Proudfoot, vice chair of the Capitol Building Commission, Commissioner Reid-Smith presented that report, reviewing actions approved in January. In response to a question about the solarium, the commissioner explained it would be an addition to the building onto the north side with an entrance into the building. The structure would be glass for the café. The gift shop would stay in the building. There will also be some restrooms and storage space added in that area. Amy Haden Sorrells asked about the location of the solarium and about access from the gift shop to the cafeteria (café). The commissioner replied that, in the rough planning, the entrance will be on one side of the building and the exit on the other side; that upon exiting, people will be able to enter the gift shop (where the art gallery is now); and that a hallway will lead out to the building where you would access it at that point. In response to a question from Chairman Conte regarding commission appointments -- current vacancies, as well as Margaret Brennan’s resignation and the issue of Chuck Hulse who has not been reappointed -- Commissioner Reid-Smith said he knew nothing about appointments but would be happy to pass the question on to the Governor’s Office.

Chairman Conte called upon Adam Hodges for his Museums report. Mr. Hodges had distributed copies of his report to members at the beginning of the meeting (copy attached to official minutes). He spoke about some of the exhibits, restoration of the governors portraits, and State Museum education activities. Summer plans include work with the Center for Professional Development and a partnership with the Governor’s Academy of Teaching Excellence.

Reporting on the division’s historic sites, Mr. Hodges noted a few new employees, and he spoke about ongoing restoration of the house at Jenkins Plantation, maintenance efforts at Camp Washington-Carver, the annex at Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex, and the flag project and HVAC renovations at WVIH. The Museums Section has now taken over the archaeological collection at Grave Creek, and the two archaeologists there are now under the Museums Section. Chairman Conte asked where the two were before and Mr. Hodges responded that they had been under Historic Preservation, which will still maintain jurisdiction over those artifacts, but now will be involved with programming within the Museums Section. Chairman Conte confirmed with Adam Hodges that the division is in the construction phase of the museum and that there would be another phase after this one. Charles Ledbetter thanked Adam Hodges for assuring him that the African-American community in West Virginia is being included in the museum. Mr. Hodges offered to provide other interested members with a copy of a short report he had produced that gives a summary of where African-Americans are represented in the museum. Chairman Conte said he would like to have one and Mr. Hodges said he would make copies and distribute it to all the members today (copy attached to official minutes).

Chairman Conte called upon Susan Pierce for the Historic Preservation report. Ms. Pierce distributed copies of her report (copy attached to official minutes) to members, along with a copy of Historic Preservation’s Statewide Comprehensive Five-Year Plan (copy attached to official minutes). She noted that Historic Preservation has an annual grant application with the National Park Service, and the Final Report was submitted to the NPS at the end of December. The annual application for Fiscal Year 2008 has also been drafted, and unofficial notification has been received that the grant for FY ‘08 will be approximately $607,000. Ms. Pierce reported on the hiring of one new staff person in the Review and Compliance Program and the hope of hiring a Survey Historian, the transfer of administration of the curation facility to the Museums Section, the existence of new Historic Landmark Commissions in Buckhannon and Hampshire and Ritchie counties, two Community Preservation and Certified Local Government workshops in Elkins and Wheeling, and the Historic Preservation calendar. With regard to the development grants, one of them, the City of Bluefield’s The Peoples’ Bank, had to be cancelled because the building was demolished. As a result, the additional funding was provided to the two grants next on the list (the Governor Stevenson House in Parkersburg and the Pennsboro B & O Railroad Depot in Ritchie County), as per a passed motion by commission members at the Spring meeting. There is a supplemental request in for GIS and other web activities. Staff is awaiting a notice from the Division of Highways to proceed with the Transportation Enhancement Grant.

Ms. Pierce informed members that, with regard to the Baker’s Fort NR nomination, although at the last meeting Erin Riebe had stated she would send the nomination information on to the Keeper, Dr. Barbara Rasmussen later requested the information back. Ms. Riebe clarified that she did not know if Dr. Rasmussen was going to forward it on to the Keeper or not. Historic Preservation has worked with the Attorney General’s Office on Blari Mountain property owner verification, with Preservation Alliance of West Virginia on a grant through the “Preserve America” grant program, and with DOH on the Route 35 project. Ms. Pierce noted a DRAFT Statewide Comprehensive plan, Section 106 projects, and a tax credit project at the Greenbrier. Chairman Conte asked if the $607,000 mentioned in the beginning of Ms. Pierce’s report is an increase, to which she replied it is a slight increase. Chairman Conte explained voting on the development grants to new members of the commission, noting there is always a clause that if anything happens, such as the Bluefield case, the grant money goes for something else down the list.

Chairman Conte called upon Joe Geiger, Acting Director of Archives and History, for his report. Mr. Geiger began by stating that Archives monthly reports for October 2007 through January 2008, as well as the Archives Annual Report for 2006-2007, were mailed to members two weeks in advance of the meeting (copies attached to official minutes). He touched upon a few things that occurred since that mailing: removal from the Veterans Memorial of names for Vietnam and Korea; current number of names identified to be added, corrected, or removed from the memorial; Records Management and Preservation Board grant awards for the 2008-2009 Fiscal Year ($317,858 to thirty counties); highway historic marker activity and the awarding of a sole source contract to Sewah Studios of Marietta, Ohio, for the refurbishment and replacement program; and the new Voyager cataloging system.

He discussed several recently processed collections, completion of work on the Golden Horseshoe examination, continual Archives support for the museum renovation project and other state agencies, the December library workshop, and the upcoming annual Hoot Owl overnight research event on April 4-5, 2008. Chairman Conte asked that the minutes reflect that he would like to thank Mr. Geiger for stepping up in the period of transition that has occurred since the last commission meeting, adding that it has gone beyond his expectations. He asked for the spelling of “Sewah” and clarified that this is a business in Marietta, Ohio, that Archives and History has dealt with for quite some time with regard to manufacturing of the highway historic markers since the early 1960s.

Chairman Conte moved to Old Business. Since the commissioner already had answered a question regarding the governor’s appointments, Chairman Conte spoke to the previous day’s History Day 2008 event. Joe Geiger informed members that fifty-one organizations had display tables and the turnout was good. Thirty-five History Heroes were recognized. Mr. Geiger distributed a copy of the History Day program (copy attached to official minutes). He added that there was also good media coverage for the event.

Under New Business, Chairman Conte called for the presentation of the three National Register nominations. Before the first presentation, Susan Pierce asked if she could provide some information with regard to the NR in general. Erin Riebe distributed to members copies of information sheets (copies attached to official minutes).

Ms. Jean Boger, of the firm Michael Gioulis Historic Preservation Consultant, presented Elk City Historic District, Charleston, Kanawha County, nominated under Criterion A for commerce and community planning and development with the period of significance being 1893-1958. This was a project sponsored by a Culture and History grant through the Charleston Historic Landmarks Commission. There are forty-four contributing buildings and twenty-three non-contributing buildings in the district, which continues to be a very viable neighborhood and commercial section with many businesses that have been there for thirty and forty years. The property owners are very supportive of the nomination. Chairman Conte asked if districts can be modified, to which she responded that they can be and a district can even be redone at a later time to include adjacent neighborhoods. She further stated that nominations can be amended. Chairman Conte asked if there were any other questions to be asked. There were none and Dr. Charles Ledbetter moved for approval of the nomination, with Dr. Bill Arnett seconding it. Motion carried.

Chairman Conte moved on to the Laurel Hill Battlefield Historic District, Belington, Barbour County, nomination and advised those present that, following the presentation, any comments would be heard, followed by a discussion. Erin Riebe informed members that in the red folders that she had distributed (copy attached to official minutes) she placed on top any comments that she had received regarding the nomination. She also had a stack of form objection letters with her that she did not copy to distribute.

Mr. Gioulis presented Laurel Hill, nominated under Criterion A for military history, particularly for its association with the Civil War history of the United States, and more particularly for its association with that battle and early skirmishes in the early campaign in 1861. The period of significance is 1861, with significant dates of July 7-11, 1861, associated with the first campaign in western Virginia. He provided some historical background and a description of the area. There are four contributing sites, sixty-six non-contributing sites, and two non-contributing structures. The non-contributing resources are structures, houses and barns not associated with the battles of Laurel Hill or Rich Mountain. There are interpretive signs in the area. Mr. Gioulis pointed out an interpretive walking trail is being developed on the sight that the Battlefield Foundation controls, which is about seventy-four acres of the overall total. He added that there is a cemetery which includes the graves of eleven Confederate soldiers from this battle, but the markers are more current.

Chairman Conte called upon Tim Ferguson, the first of the three signed up to speak, reminding him the time limit is five minutes. Mr. Ferguson spoke on behalf of the affected property owners, business owners and organizations within the boundaries of the nomination, all of whom object. He pointed out that sixty percent of the property owners inside the designated area submitted notarized letters objecting to the nomination. He cited several problems with the nomination and general concerns about the process.

Lynne Snyder, representing Laurel Hill Battlefield Foundation as vice president and charter member, spoke in favor of the nomination, as did Phyllis Baxter, representing Rich Mountain Battlefield Foundation, who urged members to determine the eligibility of the nomination, regardless of property owner issues, which will be dealt with at the federal level.

Chairman Conte asked for questions or comments. Susan Pierce commented on the background of the development of the nomination, the effort to identify the appropriate boundary for the battlefield, and staff attendance at many city council meetings. Bill Arnett verified with Ms. Pierce that property owners are not necessarily prevented from making improvements on their own property or using their property as they see fit. Victor Greco commented on the sanctity and importance of the place, noting he is in favor of nominating the area, but he also expressed concern about whether some of the issues challenged have been met and the process has been properly followed. Erin Riebe discussed how Historic Preservation had adhered to NPS/36CFR60 requirements. Susan Pierce referred to the misinformation about “certified” versus “notarized,” stating that the information Historic Preservation gave out was correct, but it was translated incorrectly at the local level.

Amy Sorrells asked about the role of the Archives and History Commission in considering those property owner objections, and Erin Riebe stated the commission’s role is only to vote on the criteria of the NR and whether or not the nomination meets that criteria. She added that all of the objections and letters will be forwarded on to the Keeper, who will have the final determination. If they determine that more than fifty per cent of the property owners object, they can provide an official determination of eligibility which carries the same weight and honor as a NR listing. Ms. Sorrells asked whether defective notification would affect the commission’s review of the application. Ms. Riebe responded in the negative and stated that if it were later determined defective, Historic Preservation would come back to the commission and do it correctly. Bill Richardson asked if the concern here was the industrial park. Ms. Riebe stated numerous letters of objection were received, and Ms. Pierce commented that there are residences in the area as well and those property owners objected additionally.

Amy Sorrells asked Mike Gioulis about the number of non-contributing sites and how those sites affect integrity. He discussed NR criteria regarding boundary determination, noting that boundaries were determined by contour lines in geographic areas to define the space where the skirmishes occurred. He stated that the number of non-contributing resources appears high because it is individual buildings as opposed to long expanses of skirmish lines, battlefields, open fields, and such that are contributing sites. Ms. Sorrells asked if the residential properties affect the integrity of the site, to which Mr. Gioulis replied that, in his professional opinion, he does not think they do.

There being no further questions or comments, Chairman Conte called for a motion on the Laurel Hill Battlefield Historic District nomination. Joan Walker made a motion for approval and Becky Frye provided the second. Motion carried.

At 11:30 a.m., Chairman Conte stated the meeting would adjourn for lunch and would reconvene at 12:30 p.m. Discussion ensued regarding the time provided to those interested in the Blair Mountain nomination and members decided to move on to the Survey and Planning grants.

Susan Pierce explained the process involved with the Survey and Planning grants, which come out of the federal apportionment of the HPF annual appropriation. She advised members that Historic Preservation will be receiving about $607,000, with the ten percent set aside for certified local government sub-grants being $60,721.10. If the money is not used by the CLGs, it can not be used for anything else and goes back to the NPS.

Pam Brooks distributed to members a corrected page (copy attached to official minutes) showing a change that involved an application that was attached to another one, not scored, and not put on the initial sheets. Susan Pierce stated that Joan Walker and Becky Frye should have received the page electronically. Dr. Walker said she did not receive it; however, Ms. Frye stated she did receive it. Ms. Pierce explained the difference between it and what was mailed out, which concerned the survey of 7th Ward, Monongalia County, Morgantown HLC. Ms. Pierce asked if there were any questions about the recommendations for Survey and Planning grants. Harold Forbes asked her to describe the factors that are taken into account when scoring, which she did. Amy Sorrells asked if the scoring is a merit-based type, to which Ms. Pierce replied in the affirmative. Ms. Sorrells asked about the lack of funding for some projects, such as Star City, even though they have a higher score than projects for which funding is recommended. Ms. Pierce explained the effort to balance activities and provide a certain amount of funding for survey and a certain amount for NR and heritage education. Discussion about the situation in Harpers Ferry followed. Chairman Conte asked if there were any further comments or questions. There being none, Susan Pierce asked members that, if they approved the Survey and Planning grants, they allow staff to redistribute the funds should one project cancel. Chairman Conte called for a motion to approve the Survey and Planning grants. Amy Sorrels so moved and Victor Greco seconded. Motion carried.

Chairman Conte advised members that they needed to select a date for History Day 2009. Joe Geiger stated that the earliest date available is Thursday, March 5, 2009. Chairman Conte asked for a motion to approve this date. Bill Arnett made the motion and Harold Forbes seconded. Motion passed.

Chairman Conte asked for two volunteers to serve on the Nominating Committee to fill the two offices of chairman and vice chairman. There being none, he appointed Harold Forbes and Bill Arnett to serve on the committee and to report back to the commission at the Spring meeting on Friday, 16 May, in Shepherdstown. Erin Riebe requested that the commission consider two location dates for the next couple of meetings so she can advise consultants who will be bidding on projects. Members agreed to a suggestion that the Fall meeting be held Friday, 3 October, in Huntington. Regarding the Winter 2009 meeting, members discussed various locations, with a tentative date of sometime in late January or early February; however, no specific date was decided upon at this time. Susan Pierce asked if they could at least decide the location would be in the Northern Panhandle, the exact location and date to be determined later.

Chairman Conte called upon Charles Ledbetter, who distributed to members a copy of the resolution (copy attached to official minutes) he prepared in appreciation of Fredrick Armstrong. He stated he felt there was a need for the Archives and History Commission to express its “Thanks” to Mr. Armstrong for his service to the commission. After reading the resolution, he moved that it be accepted and a copy be forwarded to Mr. Armstrong, along with a letter from the chair of the commission expressing gratitude to the employee’s service to the commission. Bill Arnett provided the second and stated that the resolution should be amended to read “Mr” Armstrong instead of “Dr.” Armstrong. Harold Forbes made another suggestion, stating the full name is “Fredrick.” Amy Sorrells also suggested that the commission make the resolution a part of the official minutes of this meeting and that it be attached as an addendum to it. Chairman Conte stated, “It so shall happen.” Chairman Conte stated that it has been moved and seconded that the resolution be presented to Fredrick Armstrong and called for a vote, which was unanimous.

Before adjourning for lunch at 12:00, Chairman Conte informed members that he had asked Joe Geiger to distribute the list of proposed highway historic marker nominations (copy attached to official minutes) and they could look them over and discuss them after the Blair Mountain NR presentation. He advised members they would reassemble at 1:00 p.m.

When the meeting reconvened at 1:05 p.m., Chairman Conte stated that members had earlier moved and seconded that they change the Agenda by adding two items, the highway historic markers and the resolution; however, they failed to vote on that motion at the time. A vote was then taken and the motion passed unanimously.

Chairman Conte called upon Dr. Barbara Rasmussen and Dr. Harvard Ayers, preparers, to speak on behalf of the Blair Mountain Battlefield nomination, to be followed by a representative of Jackson Kelly, both to have thirty minutes to speak. Dr. Rasmussen stated she was there as a public service in her capacity as director of the Graduate Public History Program at West Virginia University, has not been retained by the Sierra Club, and has not been compensated. Blair Mountain Battlefield is being nominated under Criterion A for its historic association and Criterion D for its significant archaeology. She commented on its historical significance and spoke to the rugged terrain as important to the integrity of the site because it dictated the course of the battle and noted that only a 1,600 acre tract of land along the ridge of the mountain where the actual contact occurred is being nominated.

Dr. Ayers addressed the commission as the first professional archaeologist to do any appreciable work at the site. He and others spent four weeks in the field in 2006 and about twice that much time in the lab. Their report was submitted to SHPO in December 2006. He concluded that fourteen of the fifteen archaeological sites documented are eligible for the NR and made three points: (1.) Of the 1,114 artifacts found, only about two were not necessarily related to the battle; (2.) Evidence found indicates that after eighty-seven years, many of the sites are undisturbed. Although some of them have been damaged, they still have enough sections to prove there is some intact context, and every one of them has integrity; and (3.) Evidence shows the intenseness of the hostilities at the two major “hot spots,” Blair Crests and Crooked Creek Gap. More new archaeological breakthroughs can occur, assuming this battlefield is protected.

Attorney Blair Gardner, the next speaker, informed those present that his employer, Jackson Kelly, represents the opposition of the owners of the coal and other natural resources that are in the 1,600 acres proposed for the nomination. The opposition is not suggesting the historic significance of the Battle of Blair Mountain is not worthy of commemoration but, rather, that it does not meet the required criteria. He introduced Ms. Marie Morton of Pacculli, Simmons and Associates, Ltd., Fairfax, Virginia, who, as requested by her clients, has reviewed the nomination and has commented, in particular, on its archaeological aspects. Mr. Gardner stated that the companies that own the property clearly oppose it, as do numerous service owners, and informed commission members that, should they approve the nomination, that will become an issue for the Keeper. He also informed members that at least one surface mining permit has been granted on an area within the nominated site.

Ms. Morton spoke to the nomination as presented, the boundaries that it describes, and specifically to Criterion D. She stated that Criterion D requires that the archaeology exhibit the potential to yield predated history, and the argument has to be convincing enough that anyone reading it can understand the integrity of the sites and the potential that they have to yield data important to the study of Blair Mountain. She noted that, as written, the nomination presents very little data to illustrate the sites, what their qualities and characteristics are, and how they could contribute that data. A lot of the information presented is based on the recovery of various kinds of cartridge casings, but very few of them seem to be tightly dated, and she questioned whether or not they are sure these are related to the battle and the skirmishes that have been described, citing the 45s, which are popular and widely used, even today. She also questioned whether the sample was large enough to give an accurate idea of what happened and whether the archaeology is sufficiently intact. She pointed to the disturbance from roads, gas wells, and things of that nature, as well as the action of erosion washing dirt and other things downhill. Ms. Morton advised members that if the integrity of the fourteen sites is questioned, they also have to question the entire boundary and the nominated area because those sites are what supports the boundary.

Members of the public speaking in support of the nomination were Kenneth King, Bill Price, Phyllis Baxter, and Wes Harris. Karen Carper, the final speaker, introduced herself as executive director of PAWV, the statewide partner with the National Trust for Historic Preservation. She read a letter from Ms. Ziehl, program officer of the National Trust, which expressed the National Trust’s endorsement and strong support for NR listing of Blair Mountain and addressed issues of integrity and archaeology.

Erin Riebe informed members that a copy of Ms. Ziehl’s letter, along with some additional letters and e-mails regarding this latest version of the nomination, was in the red folder distributed earlier. She noted that the NPS will consider comments and objections to the 2005 nomination as well. As this concluded the speakers’ remarks, Chairman Conte asked if anyone on the commission had any questions or comments.

Charles Ledbetter asked if the commission could have the two archaeologists give their views of each other’s comments. Joan Walker asked if she could comment as well. Chairman Conte explained that they would hear from Ms. Morton and Dr. Ayers and then Dr. Walker could have her turn.

Dr. Ayers disagreed with Ms. Morton’s conclusions. He discussed the issue of artifact dates, stating that only a few rifle casings and shotguns postdated the battle, and he also disputed her comment about the artifacts being “too small a sample.” He noted that they had queried the Keeper about whether they should include Criterion D, and she said, “Yes, this would be something that I would recommend that you use.” He then addressed the “erosion” issue.

Ms. Morton responded that this particular nomination needs to be a “stand alone” document and provide the type of data that would answer questions that might come up in a historian’s, archaeologist’s or layperson’s mind. She questioned whether it presents the data adequately and in such a way that Criterion D is supported.

Chairman Conte recognized Dr. Walker, who noted that she had questioned the nomination in 2005 and discussed the issue of integrity. Bill Richardson asked about the percentage of disturbed acreage, which Dr. Ayers estimated as 5 to 10 percent. Mr. Richardson asked several questions about the site’s potential for yielding information important to history, which potential Ms. Morton did not feel was adequately demonstrated. Lora Lamarre, senior archaeologist with Historic Preservation, noted that the type of information Ms. Morton expected is not needed for presentation of a nomination (which is a summary of the documentation). Ms. Morton replied to questions from Dr. Ayers, Ms. Pierce and Mr. Richardson regarding her experience with NR site nominations, specifically battlefield sites. Mr. Richardson asked Dr. Ayers about time spent at the site, time to uncover what remains, and the potential of archaeology to add to the history.

Ms. Sorrells spoke to how this nomination is both responsive to concerns raised with the prior one for Blair Mountain and has remaining issues that need to be addressed as far as boundary line selection and site integrity. Dr. Rasmussen replied, noting the effort to follow the ridge of the mountain, where the action was and where there is the most integrity.

Chairman Conte asked if there was a motion. Bill Richardson moved to approve the nomination; Bill Arnett provided the second. Motion carried.

Chairman Conte turned to the five highway historic markers before the commission and asked for a motion to accept them. Dr. Walker raised concerns about the Capt. Ralph Stewart marker, as the commission previously had looked at Revolutionary War soldier markers. After Chairman Conte suggested voting on that marker separately, Charles Ledbetter moved to approve the first four (Carnegie Hall, Elk River Coal & Lumber Co. No. 10, C&O No. 2755, and Bangor Cemetery). Dr. Walker provided the second; motion carried.

Chairman Conte asked for a motion on the fifth marker, but none was made. The marker failed for lack of a motion.

There being no further business to conduct, Chairman Conte declared the meeting adjourned at 2:40 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Joseph N. Geiger, Jr.
Acting Director
Archives and History

ARCHIVES AND HISTORY COMMISSION
RESOLUTION

Whereas the Archives and History Commission serves as a voluntary citizen advisory board to the Division of Culture and History; and

Whereas the job of the Archives and History Commission includes providing guidance, advice, and consent to issues related to:

  • keeping and caring for the official archives of the State of West Virginia;
  • collecting material bearing on the history of West Virginia from the earliest times;
  • encouraging historical work and research; and

    Whereas for approximately 25 years, Fredrick H. Armstrong, as Commission Secretary, has been the one stable individual in a Commission of constantly changing volunteers; and

    Whereas the Archives and History Commission has greatly benefitted from Mr. Armstrong’s work and dedication in organizing and coordinating the meetings of the Commission; and

    Whereas on numerous occasions during Commission meetings, Mr. Armstrong was an invaluable resource to the Commission as it worked through a series of technical issues; and

    Whereas members of the Archives and History Commission were positively affected by Mr. Armstrong’s infectious attitude toward:

  • seeking out the historical collection of West Virginia;
  • maintaining West Virginia’s rare and unique historical collections;
  • helping thousands of West Virginians dig for their family roots whether in person, by phone, mail, or email;
  • placing, reviewing, and replacing highway historic markers; and
  • maintaining the Veterans Memorial.

    Therefore, Be It Resolved that this Commission expresses its enormous gratitude to Mr. Fredrick H. Armstrong for going that extra mile for this Commission and the citizens of West Virginia.


    Archives and History Commission

    West Virginia Archives and History