Skip
Navigation
West Virginia Archives and History

Archives and History Newsroom

Welcome
to the
Archives and History
Newsroom


    Nancy Kirby
Archives and History Director
Joe Geiger with Nancy Kirby
Archives Receives Book Donation
On March 28, 2014, during the Hoot Owl Night at the Archives, Nancy Kirby presented West Virginia Archives and History Director Joe Geiger with a copy of the book Kirby-Snyder Legacy written by she and Robert Kirby.
   


Hoot Owl
Hoot Owl
Fifteenth Annual Hoot Owl Night at the Archives
The West Virginia Archives and History Library held its 15th annual Hoot Owl in the library on March 28-29, 2014. From 6:00 p.m. on Friday, March 28, through 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 29, 36 people researched the night away in the library. Hoot Owl is co-sponsored by the Mining Your History Foundation and Archives and History as a fundraiser for the Archives library.
Hoot Owl

Hoot Owl


Bill Sheridan
Archives and History staff member Randy Marcum with Bill Sheridan
Archives Receives Putnam County Donation
On February 27, 2014, Bill Sheridan presented the West Virginia State Archives with materials on the Putnam County site that became Eleanor. The donation includes a 1920 map of Putnam-on-Kanawha, a photograph of the area before the establishment of Eleanor, and several deeds.


Eighteenth Annual History Day on February 13, 2014
In spite of severe weather conditions that dumped more than a foot of snow on parts of the state, and between 6 and 12 inches of snow in the Kanawha Valley, the eighteenth annual History Day was held on February 13. At the capitol, 39 historical, genealogical, preservation, and museum organizations had displays. Counties from as far away as Ohio, Marshall, Preston, Ritchie, and Randolph were represented. Approximately one-third of the 38 History Heroes were present to accept their awards during a ceremony held at the Culture Center. Afterwards, they went to the House of Delegates, where they were recognized during the legislative session.

Pictures of History Day 2014

History Day


Michael and Ray Uhl
Michael and Ray Uhl with Joe Geiger
Michael and Ray Uhl Receive Ancestor's Civil War Medal
On November 13, 2013, Michael and Ray Uhl were presented with the Civil War medal of Jefferson Uhl by Archives and History Director Joe Geiger. Jefferson Uhl was awarded the medal by the State of West Virginia for services in the Civil War. He was in Company E of the 11th West Virginia Infantry.


Mining Your History Holds Annual Meeting in Archives and History Library
Mining Your History Foundation held its annual meeting in the Archives and History Library on November 2, 2013. The speaker for the program portion of the meeting was Larry Rowe, who talked about the Ruffner family and the Kanawha salt industry. Following the program, the group held a business meeting.

Photos of Mining Your History's Annual Meeting

Larry Rowe


Kathy Stuck

Kathy Stuck

Kathy Stuck Responds to Call for Old Telephone Directories
Kathy Stuck of Charleston responded to our request in the September issue of Archives and History News for donation of old telephone directories with some real doozies. Stuck brought in three issues of the Official Directory of the Central District Printing and Telegraph Co. of Pittsburgh, which included subscribers in certain counties in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, for July 1896, May 1897 and May 1899. West Virginia counties with subscribers in the listings are: Barbour, Brooke, Doddridge, Hancock, Harrison, Marion, Marshall, Monongalia, Ohio, Pleasants, Preston, Ritchie, Taylor, Tucker, Tyler, Wetzel, Wirt and Wood. Directions for using the telephone and placing calls were included, as well as the admonition to use numbers and not names when placing calls. “Specimens of the Different Kinds of Instruments” were illustrated inside the front cover of each directory, including a wooden phone booth. Subscribers with long distance lines were printed in bold type. We appreciate Stuck’s donation and hope that others will follow her example.
directory
directory


Archives and History Staff Member Attends Hatfield and McCoy Festival
On June 8, 2013, Randy Marcum, historian at Archives and History, attended the Hatfield and McCoy Festival in Mingo County, West Virginia, with a display at the Matewan Depot Museum of items from West Virginia State Archives collections relating to the Hatfield- McCoy Feud and the Matewan Massacre.

Various photographs of the Hatfield family, including the two best-known family portraits of Anderson “Devil Anse” and Levicy Hatfield and their children, were displayed. Copies of legal documents related to the Hatfield family and the feud, including land deeds and a map relating to the disputed “Cline Lands” on Grapevine Creek; Johnson “Johnse” and Nancy (McCoy) Hatfield’s divorce order; and chancery records relating to the Hatfield and Vance families that described land and business dealings, were also presented. Marcum prepared genealogies of the Hatfield family from various sources in the West Virginia Archives and History Library, along with a time line and map of the Matewan area for visitors to the display.

. . .

The Matewan Depot was open from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 8, 2013, and was the finish line for the Hatfield and McCoy Marathon that drew over 900 runners. During the course of the day Marcum spoke to more than 275 people.

Read complete story

Hatfield McCoy Festival display

Hatfield McCoy Festival display


Bryan War
Bryan War

Bryan Ward opening card

Bryan Ward Leaves Archives and History
Bryan Ward was treated to a pizza lunch, card, and gift on July 25, 2013, his next-to-last day at work. Ward, assistant director of West Virginia Archives and History since 2008, and his wife decided to move out of state to pursue other opportunities. He had come to the Division of Culture and History in 2006 to take a job as education and planning coordinator with the State Historic Preservation Office. At Archives and History, Ward increased the section's involvement with education, oversaw preparations for History Bowl, worked on the Highway Historic Marker program, and helped with programming for the evening lectures. He will be missed.
Staff lunch

Staff enjoying the pizza lunch


Archives and History Participates in Sesquicentennial
The Archives and History Library hosted several events during West Virginia's June 2013 sesquicentennial celebration. Staff selected materials from the Archives and History collections and developed an exhibit that was on display in the library from late May to late June. Divided into 50-year segments, the exhibit covered the state's history from the pre-statehood days through to current events.

During the sesquicentennial week, four dozen rising eighth graders from around the state visited the library as part of the Department of Education's West Virginia Ambassadors Camp for Social Studies and the Arts. Counties had been invited to send two students to the week-long camp, and some of the students who participated were Golden Horseshoe winners or had been part of History Bowl. Assistant Director Bryan Ward provided instructional opportunities for the students, who also had the opportunity to speak to former first lady Gayle Manchin, an educator and current member of the State Board of Education, on June 20.

Also on June 20, Archives and History Director Joe Geiger gave a presentation on statehood in the library. Aaron Sheehan-Dean, professor of history at West Virginia University, spoke on “When Western Virginians Remained Loyal: West Virginia Statehood and the Union” on June 21.

Photos of Sesquicentennial Activities in the Library

Sesquicentennial banner


Hoot Owl Night
Hoot Owl Night in the Archives Library
14th Annual Hoot Owl Night a Success
The West Virginia Archives and History Library held its 14th annual Hoot Owl in the library on April 5-6, 2013. About forty people attended the all-night event, which ran from 6:00 p.m. on Friday, April 5, through 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 6. Hoot Owl is co-sponsored by the Mining Your History Foundation and Archives and History as a fundraiser for the Archives library.

Photos of Hoot Owl 2013


Archives and History Participates in Library Day
Archives and History had a table at the capitol for Library Day at the West Virginia Legislature on March 7, 2013.
Library Day
Susan Scouras at Library Day


History Day
History Heroes being recognized in the House of Delegates
17th Annual History Day Held February 21, 2013
The 17th annual West Virginia History Day at the Legislature, held on February 21, 2013, brought almost 70 historical, genealogical, museum, patriotic, preservation and similar groups from around the state to Charleston to set up displays in the upper rotunda at the capitol. In addition, 48 individuals nominated by historical groups were honored as History Heroes in a ceremony at the Culture Center and recognized by the House of Delegates. Biographical sketches of this year's group of History Heroes can be read on our Web site.

West Virginia History Day at the Legislature was begun by the West Virginia Archives and History Commission in 1997 and is officially designated by the commission as a special day to recognize the state’s rich and varied history. The first History Day was held on March 5, 1997, with groups from around the state providing history displays in the capitol. This annual event is now in its seventeenth year.

Pictures of History Day 2013


Archives and History Library Displays 150 Years of Inaugural Material
On January 2013, in preparation for the inauguration of Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, an exhibit was set up in the Archives and History Library on inaugurations of West Virginia's governors in the last 150 years. The exhibit was opened to attendees at an inaugural event on January 13 and remained in place through the first of February. Images are now available online.
Inaugural Display
Inaugural Display


George Buckalew
George Buckalew with his great-great-grandfather's medal

Geiger, Buckalew, and Lowry

Archives and History Director Joe Geiger, George Buckalew, and Terry Lowry
Civil War Medal Presented to George Buckalew
On December 20, 2012, George C. Buckalew received the medal that his great-great-grandfather, John William Buckalew, was awarded by the State of West Virginia for services in the Civil War. John William Buckalew was in Company G of the 6th West Virginia Cavalry. Earlier, he was in Company L of the 5th West Virginia Cavalry, which was consolidated into the 6th West Virginia Cavalry. He enlisted on April 4, 1864, and a few months later became a prisoner of war after being captured at New Creek, West Virginia, on November 28, 1864. Eventually, on March 25, 1865, he was exchanged and released. He was honorably discharged from service on May 22, 1866.


Archives and History's Greg Carroll Retires
October 31, 2012, was Greg Carroll's last day at West Virginia Archives and History. Carroll, a historian who has worked at the Archives for 23 years, retired at the end of the day. He handled Civil War, Native American, and African American research inquiries and also oversaw the West Virginia Union Civil War Medal program. Greg doesn't plan to disappear entirely, since he will continue to give presentations occasionally at our evening lecture programs. We wish him well.
Greg Carroll
Greg Carroll sitting in his
partially empty office on his last day


Hoot Owl Night
Archives and Family History Month proclamation
October is Archives and Family History Month in West Virginia
On September 26, 2012, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin of West Virginia issued a proclamation declaring October 2012 as Archives and Family History Month in West Virginia. A celebration of Archives Week began more than two decades ago in New York and gradually spread to other states before achieving national recognition in the past decade and becoming a month-long celebration. The Society of American Archivists and the Council of State Archives have declared October as American Archives Month. In 2003, a presidential decree declared October as Family History Month.

Archives and History Director Joe Geiger reading the governor's proclamation:     (dialup)     (broadband)


USS West Virginia photo

USS WV Association members
Veterans from the USS West Virginia Visit Archives
On September 28, 2012, members of the USS West Virginia Association, holding its 3-day reunion in Charleston, visited the Culture Center. In the Archives and History Library, they viewed numerous photographs and other materials on the battleship, which staff had on display for the occasion. Archives and History staff were honored to have the opportunity to welcome the former sailors of the USS West Virginia to the library during what may be the association's last reunion.
USS WV Association members

USS WV Association members


Archives and History exhibit case
Archives and History Library exhibit on the Hatfield-McCoy Feud

Archives and History exhibit case

Archives and History Library Features Exhibit on the Hatfield-McCoy Feud
West Virginia Archives and History has a new exhibit in its library that focuses on the Hatfield-McCoy Feud. Two display cases contain materials on the famous feud from the Archives and History collections that range from juvenile fiction to scholarly history and were published between 1889 and 1912. Also included in the display cases are a few photographs.


Third West Virginia History Bowl Held at Culture Center
On April 24, 2012, sixteen 8th-grade teams vied to become champions of the third West Virginia History Bowl, held by the Division of Culture and History at the Culture Center. After a series of double elimination rounds, the Suncrest Middle School team of Matteo Peries, Sadaf Sarwari, Roark Sizemore, and Tee Tanner took the championship in a victory over Horace Mann Middle School's team of Mary-Keeton Lane, Zane Lewis, Isaac Liu, and Harriett Rowe. Shady Spring Middle School Team 1 finished in third, and Cameron High School Team 1 placed fourth.

Other teams that participated in the state tournament were Cameron High School Team 2, Chapmanville Middle School, Edison Middle School, Fairview Middle School, Frankfort Middle School, Jackson Middle School, Moorefield Middle School, Nuttall Middle School, Shady Spring Middle School Team 2, Sissonville Middle School, Summersville Middle School, and Williamson Middle School.

Moderating the rounds during the day were Raamie Barker, senior advisor to Governor Earl Ray Tomblin; Bethany Cline, executive assistant to the commissioner, West Virginia Division of Culture and History; Joe Geiger, director, West Virginia Archives and History; Kay Goodwin, cabinet secretary, West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts; Caryn Gresham, deputy commissioner, West Virginia Division of Culture and History; Dr. Mark Manchin, executive director, West Virginia School Building Authority; Martha McKee, chief of staff, Education and the Arts; Randall Reid-Smith, commissioner, West Virginia Division of Culture and History; Larry Swann, government relations, West Virginia Sesquicentennial Commission; The Honorable Natalie Tennant, Secretary of State; Joanne Jaeger Tomblin, West Virginia first lady; Beth Vorhees, director of news and public affairs programming, West Virginia Public Broadcasting; and Bryan Ward, assistant director, West Virginia Archives and History. The Honorable Michael Ferro, West Virginia House of Delegates, served as judge for several matches. Other judge, scorekeeper, and support positions were filled by Division of Culture and History staff.

Bryan Ward oversaw History Bowl preparations for the division. Archives and History staff provided the questions, the majority of which were developed from questions in the Archives and History online Quick Quizzes.

The sixteen teams that competed in the state tournament were the winning and runner-up teams from regional competitions that were held around the state in the Department of Education's eight RESAs in February and March. More than ninety teams participated in the regional tournaments.

Photos of State Tournament 2012

West Virginia History Day
Suncrest Middle School
State Champions


Hoot Owl Night
Hoot Owl Night in the Archives Library
13th Annual Hoot Owl Night a Success
The West Virginia Archives and History Library held its 13th annual Hoot Owl in the library on March 30-31, 2012. About thirty-five people attended the all-night event, which ran from 6:00 p.m. on Friday, March 30, through 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 31. Hoot Owl is co-sponsored by the Mining Your History Foundation and Archives and History as a fundraiser for the Archives library.

Photos of Hoot Owl 2012


16th Annual History Day Draws Crowd to the Culture Center and Capitol
The 16th annual West Virginia History Day at the Legislature, held on February 23, 2012, was a success. Almost 70 historical, genealogical, museum, patriotic, preservation and similar groups from around the state had displays in the upper rotunda at the capitol. In addition, 34 individuals nominated by historical groups were honored as History Heroes in a ceremony at the Culture Center. Biographical sketches of History Heroes and photographs from the ceremony can be viewed on our Web site.

West Virginia History Day at the Legislature was begun by the West Virginia Archives and History Commission in 1997 and is officially designated by the commission as a special day to recognize the state’s rich and varied history. The first History Day was held on March 5, 1997, with groups from around the state providing history displays in the capitol. This annual event is now in its sixteenth year.

Pictures of History Day 2012

West Virginia History Day
West Virginia History Day
February 23, 2012


Hoot Owl Night
Hoot Owl Night in the Archives Library
12th Annual Hoot Owl Night a Success
The West Virginia Archives and History Library held its 12th annual Hoot Owl in the library on April 1-2, 2011. About forty-five people attended the all-night event, which ran from 6:00 p.m. on Friday, April 1, through 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 2. Once again people from as far away as Michigan and Florida came to Charleston for the event. In addition to having the entire night to research in the library, attendees were able to tour the processing and closed stacks areas with Archives and History Director Joe Geiger. Although no food is allowed in the library, plenty of refreshments were available in the Archives Conference Room, where attendees could take a break from research. Hoot Owl is co-sponsored by the Mining Your History Foundation and Archives and History as a fundraiser for the Archives library.

Photos of Hoot Owl 2011


Division Holds Retirement Farewell for Nancy Waggoner
On March 28, 2011, the Division of Culture and History held a retirement luncheon for longtime Archives and History employee Nancy Waggoner, who retires on March 31. With the help of her husband J. D. and division staff, the lunch was a complete surprise to the guest of honor. In addition to lunch, Nancy received several presents that will be of use for her retirement activities. Nancy has worked for Archives and History since 1986. She and J. D., who is retiring at the end of the month as director of the West Virginia Library Commission, have immediate travel plans. We wish them well.

Pictures of Nancy Waggoner's Retirement Lunch

Nancy Waggoner with cake
Nancy Waggoner showing
retirement cake

Nancy and J. D.
Nancy and J. D. Waggoner


Gayle Manchin
Gayle Manchin looking at items from
the First Lady Gayle Manchin Collection
Former First Lady's Collection Comes to the West Virginia State Archives
On March 21, 2011, Gayle C. Manchin, West Virginia's former first lady, visited the Archives and History Library to announce donation of materials from her six years as first lady to the State Archives and to the State Museum. The collection in the Archives (Ar1995) consists of 24 boxes of correspondence, scheduling files, Christmas cards, and other materials, and 1 box of photographs. Included in the photographs are several CDs and a DVD holding more than 12,000 images. A finding aid for Ar1995 is available on the Archives and History Web site.


15th Annual History Day Draws Crowd to the Culture Center and Capitol
The 15th annual West Virginia History Day at the Legislature, held on February 24, 2011, was a success. Almost 70 historical, genealogical, museum, patriotic, preservation and similar groups from around the state had displays in the upper rotunda at the capitol, including nearly one dozen groups that were first-time participants. In addition, 44 individuals nominated by historical groups were honored as History Heroes in a ceremony at the Culture Center. Biographical sketches of History Heroes and photographs from the ceremony can be viewed on our Web site.

West Virginia History Day at the Legislature was begun by the West Virginia Archives and History Commission in 1997 and is officially designated by the commission as a special day to recognize the state’s rich and varied history. The first History Day was held on March 5, 1997, with groups from around the state providing history displays in the capitol. This annual event is now in its fifteenth year.

Pictures of History Day 2011

West Virginia History Day
West Virginia History Day
February 24, 2011


Library exhibit
Civil War exhibit in display case

Library exhibit
Second display case

"A Valley Torn Apart" Exhibit on Display in Archives and History Library
Archives and History has a new exhibit on display in the Archives and History Library. Titled "A Valley Torn Apart," the exhibit contains items from the collections of the state archives concerning the 8th West Virginia Infantry (later the 7th West Virginia Cavalry)--Union--and the Kanawha Riflemen--Confederate. These two organizations were the premier groups in the Kanawha Valley at the start of the Civil War. This exhibit is part of a multi-year commemoration of the sesquicentennial of the Civil War and West Virginia statehood.


2000th New Visitor Registers in Archives and History Library Since the Beginning of 2010
On January 4, 2011, Charles H. Carder of Amma became the 2000th new visitor to register in the West Virginia Archives and History Library since the first of January 2010. Archives and History Director Joe Geiger presented Mr. Carder with a complimentary copy of Marking Our Past: West Virginia's Historical Highway Markers.

Revised library services and fee guidelines that became effective in January 2010 require patrons of the Archives and History Library not only to sign the guest register each day they visit the library but also to complete a registration form on their first visit. With registration, visitors acknowledge that they have been made aware of the library rules and what they are and are not permitted to bring into the library, and they agree to abide by these rules. The rules and researcher guidelines are available on the Archives and History Web site at http://wvculture.org/history/rules/libraryrules.html. The Archives and History Library Services and Fee Guidelines is available at http://www.wvculture.org/history/rules/rulesmain.html.

2000th library registrant
Charles H. Carder with Archives and History Director Joe Geiger, who is holding Mr. Carder's library registration form


Employee of the Year Award
Employee of the Year Award for
Elaine Gates

Elaine Gates
Elaine Gates at the 2009 Showcase

Elaine Gates Named Archives and History Employee of the Year for 2010
On September 30, 2010, Elaine Gates was named Archives and History Employee of the Year. Elaine will be familiar to Archives and History patrons. For years, she volunteered at the library and worked part-time before becoming a full-time employee in 2001. In addition to regular library shifts, Elaine works the Hoot Owl all-nighter at the library every year and currently leads the Tuesday morning Genealogy Club meetings. Elaine Gates was unable to attend the ceremony.

Also during the employee recognition ceremony for the Division of Culture and History, Debra Basham was awarded a plaque for twenty-five years of service, and Joe Geiger was named director of the year for the division.


Nancy Wilson Hill and Mark Edwin Bowers Give Copy of New Book to Archives and History
In September 2010, Nancy Wilson Hill and Mark Edwin Bowers gave a copy of their book, The Alt and Kimble Families, to the Archives Library.
Hill Bowers gift
Nancy Hill and Mark Bowers


Joe Geiger and Sonja Embry
Joe Geiger and Hampshire County Circuit Clerk Sonja Embry

Rose Helmick and Gregg Ely

Hardy County Coordinator Rose Helmick and County Clerk Gregg Ely
Archives and History Director Presents Awards for County Records Grants to Hampshire and Hardy Counties
On July 27, 2010, Archives and History Director Joe Geiger presented officials from Hampshire and Hardy counties with their Records Management and Preservation Board grant awards for fiscal 2010-2011. Hampshire County was awarded $10,832 in grant funds to provide for the purchase of manually operated moveable track shelving for the preservation of and access to the circuit clerk’s case files. Hardy County was awarded a $17,216 grant to provide for the purchase of roller shelving for the county clerk’s trust deed, will, appraisement and fiduciary books. Officials from neither county were able to attend the awards ceremony held in the governor's reception room on May 26.

The fiscal 2010-2011 grant projects began July 1. The RMPB's criteria for this round of grants were: conduct a total records inventory and condition assessment, and develop a master records management plan for county records; remove non-records and accumulations of records having reached or exceeded required retention periods; and provide proper and improved storage of and access to permanent records or records with required retention periods in excess of 25 years. The latter included physical storage to provide proper shelving and/or archival records boxes (10"x12"x15"), and security/preservation microfilm, with a digital imaging combination for enhanced access. A copy of the microfilm will be stored at the State Archives. In this round of grants the RMPB also considered grant applications for computers to be used by the public to access county government records.

For more information on the Records Management and Preservation Board annual grant program, contact Joe Geiger by e-mail or by phone at (304) 558-0230.


Ceremony Honors Sons of Declaration of Independence Signer
Jaime Simmons of the Archives and History Library attended the July 24, 2010, grave marking for Daniel Hart who, along with his brother Edward Hart, was honored by members of the Sons of the American Revolution in a ceremony at Beverly Cemetery during Beverly Heritage Days. The Hart brothers were sons of Declaration of Independence signer John Hart, ancestor of Steve Hart, a member of the Daniel Boone Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution.

The Daniel Boone Chapter has been holding its meetings at the Archives Library. Archives and History invites other organizations to meet at the library as well. For more information on holding meetings in the Archives and History Library, contact Robert Taylor, library manager, by e-mail or by phone at (304) 558-0230.

Hart ceremony
Laying a wreath at the graves of Daniel and Edward Hart

Hart ceremony
Gun salute
Hart ceremony
Members of the SAR at the gravesite


Archives and History exhibit case
Archives and History Library exhibit on Robert C. Byrd

Archives and History exhibit case

Archives and History Pays Tribute to Robert C. Byrd in Exhibit
West Virginia Archives and History has created a new exhibit in its library that commemorates the life of the late Senator Robert C. Byrd, the longest serving member of the United States Congress in that institution's history who died on June 28, 2010, at the age of 92. Two display cases feature materials from the Archives and History collections, including letters, photographs, and print matter. In addition, audiovisual footage of Senator Byrd is available for viewing on a television screen in the library. Additional photographs that are on temporary display in the capitol rotunda will be hung in the Archives and History photo gallery off the Great Hall once they have been returned.


Jack and Kay Dickinson Give Copy of New Book to Archives and History
On June 18, 2010, Jack L. and Kay Stamper Dickinson presented Archives and History Director Joe Geiger with a copy of their latest book, Wheels Aflame, Whistle Wide Open: Train Wrecks of the N&W Railroad (1892-1959) for the Archives Library.
Dickinson gift
Jack L. Dickinson, Joe Geiger, and Kay Stamper Dickinson


1000th Registrant in Library
Dr. Joyce Connolly with Archives and History Director Joe Geiger, Assistant Director Bryan Ward, and Library Manager Robert Taylor
1000th New Visitor Registers in Archives and History Library Since the Beginning of 2010
On June 10, 2010, Dr. Joyce Connolly of Hurricane became the 1000th new visitor to register in the West Virginia Archives and History Library since the first of the year. Archives and History Director Joe Geiger presented Dr. Connolly with a complimentary copy of Marking Our Past: West Virginia's Historical Highway Markers in recognition of her role in the record-making event.

In January, revised library services and fee guidelines became effective, which require patrons of the Archives and History Library not only to sign the guest register each day they visit the library but also to complete a registration form on their first visit. With registration, visitors acknowledge that they have been made aware of the library rules and what they are and are not permitted to bring into the library, and they agree to abide by these rules. The Rules and Researcher Guidelines is available on the Archives and History Web site at http://wvculture.org/history/rules/libraryrules.html. The Archives and History Library Services and Fee Guidelines is available at http://www.wvculture.org/history/rules/rulesmain.html.


Archives and History's Bobby Taylor Receives 2010 Vandalia Award
Bobby Taylor, library manager for the West Virginia Archives and History Library and a well known fiddler, received the 2010 Vandalia Award, West Virginia’s highest folklife honor, on May 28, during the Vandalia Gathering at the Capitol Complex. The award was given to Taylor during a 7 p.m. ceremony and concert in the Norman L. Fagan West Virginia State Theater in the Culture Center, State Capitol Complex, Charleston. Taylor and his band Kanawha Tradition also performed during the concert.

Taylor is one of the longest serving members of the staff, having worked for Archives and History for more than 30 years.

Bobby Taylor
Bobby Taylor, 2010 Vandalia Award winner


History Bowl 2010
Shady Spring Middle School,
West Virginia History Bowl 2010 champions
First West Virginia History Bowl Held at Culture Center
On April 27, 2010, eighteen 8th-grade teams vied to become champions of the first-ever West Virginia History Bowl, held by the Division of Culture and History at the Culture Center. After a series of single elimination rounds, the Shady Spring Middle School team of David Meadows, David Oye, Katlin Price, and Joshua Rudy took the championship in a victory over Moorefield Middle School's team of Heather Baldwin, Jared Beard, Carlos Dolby, and Daryll High. St. Francis Central Catholic School finished in third, and Wayne Middle School's Red Team placed fourth.

Other teams that participated in the event were Chapmanville Middle School, Charleston Catholic High School, Duval Middle School, Enslow Middle School, Fayetteville Middle School, Jackson Middle School, Lyceum Preparatory Academy, Frankfort and Keyser Middle Schools combined team, Notre Dame High School, Nuttall Middle School, Pleasants County Middle School, Poca Middle School, Romney Middle School, and a second team from Wayne Middle School.

Moderating the rounds during the day were Raamie Barker, administrative assistant to the West Virginia senate president; Anne Barth, state director, Office of Sen. Robert C. Bryd; Bethany Cline, executive assistant to the commissioner, West Virginia Division of Culture and History; Kelly Goes, cabinet secretary, West Virginia Department of Commerce; The Honorable Joseph R. Goodwin, U.S. District Court Judge, Southern District of West Virginia; Kay Goodwin, cabinet secretary, West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts; Martha McKee, chief of staff, Education and the Arts; Dr. Brian Noland, chancellor, West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission; Dr. Steven Paine, West Virginia superintendent of schools; The Honorable Linda Sumner, West Virginia House of Delegates District 27; J. D. Waggoner, secretary, West Virginia Library Commission; Bryan Ward, assistant director, West Virginia Archives and History; and The Honorable Harry Keith White, House of Delegates District 21.

Bryan Ward oversaw History Bowl preparations for the division. Archives and History staff assisted as judges and also provided the questions, the majority of which were developed from questions in the Archives and History online Quick Quizzes.

Photos of History Bowl 2010


Claimant Receives Civil War Medal
On April 15, 2010, Archives and History Director Joe Geiger presented Russell Bennett with the West Virginia Union Civil War medal awarded to Sherwood Adkins, who served with Company K, 7th Regiment, West Virginia Cavalry.
Bennett and Geiger
Russell Bennett receiving Civil
War medal from Joe Geiger


Hoot Owl Night
Hoot Owl Night in the Archives Library
11th Annual Hoot Owl Night a Success
The West Virginia Archives and History Library held its 11th annual Hoot Owl in the library on March 26-27, 2010. Fifty-four people from as far away as Michigan and Florida attended the all-night event, which ran from 6:00 p.m. on Friday, March 26, through 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 27. In addition to having the entire night to research in the library, attendees were able to tour the closed stacks areas with Archives and History Director Joe Geiger. Although no food is allowed in the library, plenty of refreshments were available in the Archives Conference Room, where attendees could take a break from research. Hoot Owl is co-sponsored by the Mining Your History Foundation and Archives and History as a fundraiser for the Archives library.

Photos of Hoot Owl 2010


New Counter Space Installed in Archives and History Library Microfilm Room
On March 5, 2010, Division of Culture and History staff completed installation of a new counter space for microfilm reader/printers in the Archives and History Library Microfilm Reading Room. The new, deeper, L-shaped counter matches two counter space areas remodeled by division staff in September 2008 in order to accommodate microfilm reader/printers, which are deeper than older machines. Tim Walton, Roy Dolin, Jack Bostic, and David Husband were responsible for the work, which took several days to complete.
Microfilm Reading Room
Microfilm readers on new counter space

Work Crew
Tim Walton, Roy Dolin, and Jack Bostic


Archives and History News 10th Anniversary Cake
Archives and History News 10th Anniversary Cake

Susan Scouras with the 10th Anniversary Cake

Susan Scouras with the 10th Anniversary Cake and a copy of the newsletter's first issue
Archives and History News Completes 10th Year of Publication
With the February 2010 issue, West Virginia Archives and History's newsletter West Virginia Archives and History News completed its tenth year of publication. Librarian Susan Scouras, who joined the Archives staff in July 1999, began editing the newsletter in March 2000. On March 2, 2010, the staff held a celebratory lunch that included a cake recognizing Scouras's ten years of hard work.

West Virginia Archives and History News


Activities of February 18, 2010

Archives and History Director Joe Geiger accepting the donation of two books from the Daughters of the American Revolution presented by Cora Teel (left) and Shirley Gilkeson (right). Forgotten Patriots: African American and American Indian Patriots in the Revolutionary War is a gift from the Kanawha Valley Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, and A Comprehensive History of the West Virginia State Society NSDAR is a gift from the State Society. Donations from the DAR
Elaine Gates, charter member, and Gerald Ratliff, of the Kanawha Valley Genealogical Society, presenting a check to President Wes Cochran of the Mining Your History Foundation. Elaine Gates, Gerald Ratliff, and Wes Cochran


West Virginia History Day
West Virginia History Day
February 18, 2010
The Fourteenth Annual West Virginia History Day is a Success
West Virginia History Day at the Legislature was held February 18, 2010, at the Culture Center and Capitol. Despite winter weather that has left many parts of the state with more than a foot of snow, 55 historical, genealogical, museum, patriotic, preservation and similar groups from around the state had displays in the upper rotunda at the capitol. In addition, 44 individuals nominated by historical groups were honored as History Heroes in a ceremony at the Culture Center. Biographical sketches of History Heroes and photographs from the ceremony can be viewed on our Web site.

West Virginia History Day at the Legislature was begun by the West Virginia Archives and History Commission in 1997 and is officially designated by the commission as a special day to recognize the state’s rich and varied history. The first History Day was held on March 5, 1997, with groups from around the state providing history displays in the capitol. This annual event is now in its fourteenth year.

Pictures of History Day 2010


Archives and History Begins Tuesday Morning Genealogy Club
On January 19, 2010, Archives and History held the inaugural meeting of the Tuesday Morning Genealogy Club in the Archives and History Library. Fourteen people attended the first meeting of this free club, which will meet every Tuesday morning from 10:00 a.m to 11:00 a.m. The weekly club is designed to help beginners learn basic research techniques, and attendees will receive personal attention from the library staff. For more information, or to join the Genealogy Club, contact Library Manager Bob Taylor by e-mail at Bobby L. Taylor or by phone at (304) 558-0230.

Pictures of the first meeting of the Genealogy Club

Genealogy Club
Genealogy Club


Attendees of the Archives and History Showcase, December 7, 2009
Attendees of the
Archives and History Showcase,
December 7, 2009
Archives and History Holds Showcase of Its Collections
West Virginia Archives and History held a very successful showcase on Monday evening, December 7, 2009, at the Culture Center. Dozens of items were on display in the Archives library, including rare books, posters, photographs, manuscripts, Civil War documents, and audio-visual materials. Staff demonstrated techniques for document preservation, and tours were offered to the closed-stacks areas of the Archives. The evening began with introductory remarks in the Great Hall, where refreshments also were provided. The showcase drew more than 80 people.

Pictures of the Showcase


Carving of Names on the West Virginia Veterans Memorial Completed
In late October 2009, work was completed on carving the names of 11,427 West Virginians on the Veterans Memorial on the Capitol Complex in Charleston. Clamp Memorials of Georgia performed the engraving work using stencils made by Cold Spring Granite of Minnesota. Clamp also was responsible for removal of names from the memorial in 2007-2008 using a vertical-polishing machine to grind off the surface of the granite panels. Images of the work are available on the Archives and History Web site.

The Veterans Memorial, designed by P. Joseph Mullens, was dedicated on November 11, 1995, ten years after Governor Arch Moore created a commission to establish a West Virginia Vietnam Veterans memorial. The project later was expanded to memorialize fallen servicemen and women of other 20th-century actions. Etched on the black interior walls of the memorial are the names of men and women who were born or resided in West Virginia and who died during officially recognized periods of conflict. Four bronze sculptures set in niches in the exterior walls represent service in World War I (Army doughboy), World War II (Navy sailor), the Korean Conflict (Air Force aviator), and Vietnam (Marine) and were dedicated between 1995 and 1999. Plaques with the names of 20th-century Medal of Honor winners and casualties from post-Vietnam 20th-century conflicts were added later.

After receiving the records for the memorial in 1998, Archives and History staff became aware of errors, missing names, and names that fell outside the date ranges of the various conflicts. A Veterans Advisory Committee was established in 2004 to provide guidance to staff on various questions regarding names and eligibility.

Additional names were identified through communications from the public, who either visited the memorial in person or via the online database, as well as through extensive research by Archives and History staff, predominantly through state newspapers for the World War I, World War II, and Korean Conflict periods. Spellings of names were verified through staff research and information provided by family members. Some names were removed because they did not meet the qualifications for inclusion. Most World War I removals occurred because of death after the recognized period of conflict.

Pictures of the Carving work

Veterans Memorial
Veterans Memorial


Governor Joe Manchin, Archives and History Library, October 6, 2009
Governor Joe Manchin
Archives and History Library
October 6, 2009
Governor Joe Manchin Announces New On-Line John Brown Exhibit


Archives Assistant Director Confirms That West Virginia Spruce Was Used in Wright Brothers’ Planes
A recent transfer of documents from the Division of Natural Resources to the West Virginia State Archives included a March 5, 1904, letter from the Wright Cycle Company of Dayton, Ohio, to the West Virginia Spruce Lumber Company of Cass, West Virginia. In the letter the Wright Cycle Company is requesting “the finest possible spruce for use in constructing flying machines.” The wood had to have a straight grain and be free of knots. All straight components of the Wright brothers’ planes were made of spruce; all the curved or bent parts were made of ash.

State Archives Assistant Director Bryan Ward said, “When I saw the letter I stood there with my mouth open for a moment. I looked at DNR District Administrator Bob Beanblossom who was making the transfer and he said, 'wouldn’t it be nice if we could prove that they actually bought it from Cass?'”

After Ward did some research, he found that Wright State University has a collection of Wright Brothers check stubs. He sent an email to Dawne Dewey, Director of Public History and Head of the Special Collection Library at Wright State. Ward explained, “It took less than an hour for her to find a check stub referencing the West Virginia Spruce Lumber Company for $45.10 on March 29, 1904.” From additional research he was able to find that a second order of spruce was purchased from the company in November 1905.

When these two purchases were made the Wright Brothers were building their second and third fliers. Following their successful first flight in 1903, the Wright Brothers returned to Dayton and began work on the Wright Flier II. While hopes were high for the new plane made ready on May 23, 1904, the Wright Flier II was plagued with control and landing problems and the design was abandoned.

In 1905 the brothers designed and built a new plane: the Wright Flier III. With the new design the Wright Brothers created the first practical airplane. The new designed allowed the brothers to fly farther than all of their previous flights combined and to land safely. The plane proved so reliable that in 1908 the Wrights were able to secure contracts from U.S. Army Signal Corp and La Compagnie Generale de Navigation Aérienne, a French consortium.

In an article for the Associated Press Tom Crouch, a Wright brothers’ biographer and senior aeronautics curator at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C. explained that there is no question the spruce was used in building the crash-plagued Wright Flier II and the brothers' first practical plane, Wright Flier III.

Crouch further explained that around the turn of the century spruce of the dimensions and quality that the Wright brothers needed was hard to find and that with West Virginia’s close proximity, inquiring there only made sense.

In 1908 while testing changes made to meet their contracts, Wilbur crashed the third flier into a sand dune at Kitty Hawk. Following the crash the plane was packed up and placed into storage. In 1911 a Massachusetts industrialist purchased the flier in pieces and moved it to a museum in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. After viewing an attempt by the museum staff to reassemble the plane, Orville demanded that their version of the plane never be displayed. In 1947, a renewed effort to reassemble the Wright Flier III was undertaken this time in Dayton, Ohio, and under the direction of Orville Wright. The restored plane was unveiled on July 3, 1950, but sadly Orville Wright had died two and half years earlier.

Today, the Wright Flier III resides in the Carillon Historical Park in Dayton. In 1990, the plane was named a National Historic Landmark and in 2000, it was completely restored. In 2003, the plane was designated as a Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark.

Summing up his research Ward explained, “When you look at West Virginia you always note that the state’s history is linked to its natural resources, but when you realize that some of these resources played a role in events that have changed not only the United States, but the world, it is very gratifying.”

Archivist Debra Basham accepts donation from DNR District Administrator Bob Beanblossom
Archivist Debra Basham accepts donation from DNR District Administrator Bob Beanblossom


Dr. Melissa Bingmann's Public History Class, WVU
Dr. Melissa Bingmann's Public History Class, WVU
Archives and History Partners with WVU Public History Class to Propose New Highway Historical Markers
Students in Dr. Melissa Bingmann’s Public History class at West Virginia University made a trip to the State Archives to meet with Archives and History staff to discuss the West Virginia Highway Historical Marker Program and to conduct research on topics significant enough to qualify for consideration for a marker.

As part of their coursework students picked a topic or person in West Virginia history that has not yet been recognized with a marker. Some of the student topics included statehood leader John S. Carlile, a Civil War skirmish near Berkeley Springs, the Cockayne Homestead in Glen Dale and Watt Powell Park in Charleston. Once the project research is completed, students will try to secure funding to have the sign manufactured and seek permission from property owners if necessary for marker placement.

When asked about the project Archives Assistant Directory Bryan Ward said, “It is both exciting and refreshing to see students dedicated to researching their states’ history and taking an active role in trying to make sure that these important places that make West Virginia unique are identified by Highway Historical Markers.”

Want to learn more about the West Virginia Highway Historical Marker Program?


Employee Recognition Ceremony
At a ceremony held on September 25, 2009, Culture and History employees were recognized for their devoted service to the people of West Virginia. Greg Carroll of Archives and History was awarded a plaque recognizing twenty years of service, and Mary Johnson was named section employee of the year. Congratulations to both!
Mary Johnson named Archives and History Employee of the Year
Mary Johnson at
Employee Recognition Ceremony


Bryan Ward holding grant award certificate
Bryan Ward holding
grant award certificate
Archives and History Section Receives Grant for Highway Historical Marker Program
At a ceremony held on August 11, 2009, in the Great Hall of the West Virginia Culture Center at the Capitol Complex, Governor Joe Manchin presented the Archives and History Section of the Division of Culture and History an $80,000 grant to provide funding to restore, refurbish, repaint and/or replace damaged or missing highway historical markers across West Virginia. The grant was funded through the Transportation Enhancement Program of the Federal Highways Administration and administered by the West Virginia Division of Highways.

The grant is the third phase of a project to replace and repair approximately 300 highway historical markers across West Virginia. Previous projects also funded through the Transportation Enhancement program include: the creation of a marker inventory and database, which can be found on the Archives and History website at http://www.wvculture.org/history/markers.html; and the publication of a guidebook entitled Marking our Past: West Virginia’s Highway Historical Markers available from Archives and History.

The West Virginia Highway Historical Marker Program was initiated in 1937 as part of the New Deal as a way to encourage tourism during the Great Depression. The West Virginia Commission on Historic and Scenic Markers worked with the State Road Commission, Works Progress Administration, and Federal Emergency Relief Administration to place 440 markers during the first year alone. After World War II, markers were placed at the sites of most state-run facilities and schools. The West Virginia Historic Commission took over the program in 1963. Since the late 1960s, the program has been managed by West Virginia Archives and History, which is today part of the West Virginia Division of Culture & History.


Motorcyclists Help West Virginia’s Highway Historical Marker Program
Icons of the highways and byways of the Mountain State, West Virginia Highway Historical Markers identify the state’s key historical, geological, and geographical locations. The first markers were installed in 1937 during the Great Depression to encourage tourism in the state. The program today includes more than 1,000 signs spread across the state’s 55 counties. Although no funds are available for new markers, legislative appropriations and grants from Highways have permitted the refurbishment, replacement and installation of more than 200 existing signs in the past year. The last survey of the markers was conducted nearly a decade ago, but determining which markers to refurbish has been made easier thanks to the efforts of a group of motorcyclists who are traveling across the state documenting the present condition of the state’s highway historical markers. The documentation project was the brain child of Michael Elyard, a motorcyclist from the Clarksburg area who set up an internet bulletin board on the Adventure Rider website to track and photograph the historical markers. Using the Highway Historical Marker database on the Archives and History website and Marking Our Past, a guidebook to the state’s markers, the motorcyclists photograph the signs, post the pictures on the bulletin board, and write short descriptions of what they find. The information has already proven useful in determining which signs are in need of repair or replacement. The motorcyclists have been the eyes for the program statewide, having documented well over 500 markers. Check out their efforts at the Adventure Rider website. For more information, contact Joe Geiger at (304) 558-0230.
Motorcyclists documenting highway historical markers visit Archives and History Director Joe Geiger at State Capitol
Motorcyclists documenting highway historical markers visit Archives and History Director Joe Geiger at State Capitol, August 29, 2009
(Click for larger image)


Kim Hoffman and Greg Carroll

Kim Hoffman accepting the Civil War medal of John L. Harrison from historian Greg Carroll.
Kim Hoffman of Columbia, South Carolina, accepted the Civil War medal of her ancestor, John L. Harrison of the 13th West Virginia Infantry, on July 17, 2009. Kim Hoffman
Kim Hoffman displaying her ancestor's Civil War medal.


Mother Jones under house arrest at Pratt, 1913
Mother Jones
(Click for larger image)
New Image of Mother Jones
An extremely rare photograph of Mother Jones under military arrest at Pratt during the Paint Creek and Cabin Creek Coal Strike in 1913 has been acquired by West Virginia Archives and History. In the picture Mother Jones can be seen with Cora Older, author and wife of San Francisco Bulletin editor Fremont Older, and Major Tom Davis of the West Virginia National Guard. The photo is rare because access to the labor leader was severely limited by military officials, and reporters, like Mrs. Older who was held for ten days, were put under arrest when they attempted to get access to Mother Jones. At the time Jones was held by military officials, put on trial in a military court, and swiftly convicted of conspiring to murder a mine guard. Jones remained under arrest until May when she was released following the end of the strike and the completion of a contract that was forced on the companies and miners by the recently-elected Governor Henry Hatfield.

Through research the Archives staff was able to confirm the identity of the other people in the photograph and uncovered a series of four in-depth articles written by Mrs. Older that ran in the Bulletin. The photograph, transcripts of the articles and other materials on Mother Jones are available on the Archives and History website.

For more information, contact Joe Geiger.


The West Virginia Archives and History Library has a New Look

Here are photographs of the newly renovated library, which features newly painted walls and new carpeting and blinds. Also note the addition of four new microfilm reader/printers.

   

Check out photographs of the June renovation work in progress.


A Busy Day at the Archives, June 30, 2009

Donation by Alice V. Perry Malphus Archives Director Joe Geiger accepting the donation of a 1964 Big Creek High School yearbook from Alice V. Perry Malphus. View our list of yearbooks.
Keith and Robert Brotherton Keith Brotherton (left) and his father Robert Brotherton, a World War II veteran, who stopped by for an interview with Veterans Memorial Archives researcher Constance Baston.
Robert Brotherton and Constance Baston Robert Brotherton, displaying the Bible that deflected a German bullet and saved his life, and Constance Baston.


Archives and History Announces On-Line Photograph Exhibit on West Virginia Schools and Search for Additional School Photographs
Archives and History has scanned more than 1,000 photographs of West Virginia schools, school activities and students, and placed them on-line at http://www.wvculture.org/history/education/schoolphotos.html. Great strides have been made over the past few years to increase holdings of school and school-related photographs, but there are many schools and counties that are underrepresented in the collection. During the pinnacle of one-room schools in the 1910s, West Virginia had more than 10,000 schools. School consolidations and new school construction over the years has significantly reduced the number of schools and many of the original buildings have been lost or risk being lost to the annals of time. If you have school photographs you wish to donate to Archives and History, please contact Joe Geiger. Arrangements may also be made for the Archives photographer to create a negative copy and return the original to the owner. Call Ed Hicks at (304) 558-0230 for more information.
Buck Run School
Buck Run School
Wood County
(Click for larger image)


Yearbook Collection
Part of the Yearbook Collection
(Click for larger image)
Yearbook Collection Popular With Researchers
In 2005, Woodrow Clay Hamilton, Jr. donated more than two thousand West Virginia college and high school yearbooks. He has since added to the collection, and other yearbooks in the State Archives were added. Today, the Yearbook Collection covers 240 linear feet of shelf space. Researchers have utilized these annuals, which are an important yet often overlooked resource. An index of the yearbooks in the collection found on the Archives and History website at http://www.wvculture.org/history/yearbooks.html. Schools and individuals interested in donating yearbooks to the collection should consult the yearbook index, and then contact Bobby Taylor at (304) 558-0230 for more information.


What's Happening?

West Virginia Archives and History