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MINUTES
WEST VIRGINIA
ARCHIVES AND HISTORY COMMISSION
FALL MEETING
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2015
TAMARACK
BECKLEY, WEST VIRGINIA

Chairman Harold Forbes called the meeting to order at 9:35 a.m. In addition to Mr. Forbes, other voting members present were Dr. Melissa Bingmann, Dr. Robert Conte, Victor Greco, Dr. Charles Ledbetter, Nathan Randolph, Bill Richardson, Dr. Joan Walker, and Keven Walker. Voting member absent was Rebecca Frye. Ex officio voting member present was Dr. Bill Arnett. Ex officio voting member absent was Fredrick Armstrong. Ex officio non-voting members present were Joe Geiger, director, Archives and History Section; Dr. Michael Hohn, director, West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey; Susan Pierce, director, Historic Preservation Section; and Sandra Scaffidi, president of Preservation Alliance of West Virginia. Ex officio non-voting members absent were Charles Morris, director, Museums Section, and Randall-Reid Smith, commissioner of Culture and History. Also present were Caryn Gresham, deputy commissioner of Culture and History, and Historic Preservation staff members Pam Brooks and Erin Riebe.

Chairman Forbes asked for a motion on the meeting minutes of 29 May 2015. A motion to approve the minutes was made by Dr. Conte, with a second by Dr. Arnett. The minutes were approved.

Chairman Forbes called upon Mr. Geiger for the Archives and History report. Mr. Geiger referred members to information provided in the monthly reports for May through August 2015 and the annual report (copies attached to official minutes) and then reviewed recent activities. He noted that the Archives and History Library would be hosting the Virginia Genealogical Society Conference on October 2-3 and discussed recent additions to the State Archives, including chancery files from Calhoun County. In response to a question from Chairman Forbes, Mr. Geiger stated that Archives and History continued to microfilm all of the state’s newspapers. He then reviewed efforts to preserve electronic records.

Chairman Forbes then called upon Susan Pierce for the Historic Preservation report. Ms. Pierce provided a written report to members (copy attached to official minutes) and reviewed section activities. She noted staff changes and informed members that SHPO had received a $10,000 grant award related to the nationwide programmatic agreement mitigating the impact of Positive Train Control installation along railroads. Ms. Pierce also mentioned work on text for the annual calendar and a new feature, “HP50 Moments,” that will be published in newspapers across the state as part of the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act. She noted that she had attended a lecture in the Archives and History Library by Erin Riebe on the New River Gorge Bridge and attended the NAGPRA (Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act) tribal consultation meeting regarding the repatriation of the Buffalo remains. Ms. Pierce also participated in the quarterly meeting of the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers and prepared an overview of West Virginia’s Historic Preservation program and the use of federal funding.

In the absence of Charles Morris, no Museums report was given, although a written report was submitted to members (copy attached to official minutes).

Chairman Forbes then called upon Caryn Gresham for a report on Culture and History activities. She reviewed recent programs, including West Virginia Ambassador’s Camp and West Virginia Day at Independence Hall. She noted that Culture and History had received a NAGPRA grant to determine how best to repatriate the remains from Buffalo. Appalachian Power, which owns the property, has pledged to assist in the effort. Native American groups are interested, since this is the largest repatriation east of the Mississippi River. Ms. Gresham noted the success of the String Band festival and informed members that Stan Bumgardner has been hired as the editor of Goldenseal. She also discussed the STEAM Power program initiated in West Virginia, which provides grants to schools and teachers that incorporate arts with science and technology or engineering. She informed the commission that $30,000 from VH-1’s Save the Music Foundation would be used to purchase instruments for students in seven counties. Dr. Arnett asked about a burial site near Morgantown and Ms. Pierce informed him the situation had been worked out properly.

Chairman Forbes called upon Dr. Arnett for a report from the West Virginia Historical Association. He noted that the organization was inactive but stated he had continued to attend commission meetings because he was following the State Code and wished to help the commission achieve meeting quorums.

Chairman Forbes noted that Mr. Armstrong was not present and there would be no report from the West Virginia Historical Society.

Turning to Old Business, Ms. Riebe reported that since there were no nominations at the Spring meeting there were no updates.

Turning to New Business, Chairman Forbes called for the presentation of the National Register nominations.

Charles A. Haviland’s Summers House, Kanawha County, nominated under Criterion C, Architecture, with period of significance being c. 1939, was presented by Erin Riebe. Mr. Randolph asked if the visit of John F. Kennedy to the home had been documented and Ms. Riebe said it had not. Dr. Bingmann asked if there were other West Virginia properties designed by Haviland that were listed in the National Register. Ms. Riebe explained that although he designed numerous properties throughout the Charleston area, she could not recall if any were listed specifically for its Haviland design. Mr. Walker asked how much of the rating is dependent on the master’s body of work and how much based on the architecture of the specific structure. Ms. Riebe explained that properties only need to meet one area of significance but each must be justified on its own. Before calling for a motion, Chairman Forbes recognized Don and Joan Kingery, owners of the property. Mr. Richardson moved for approval of the nomination and Dr. Arnett provided the second. Motion carried.

Lincoln National Bank, Lincoln County, nominated under Criterion C, Architecture, with period of significance being c. 1907, was presented by Erin Riebe. Chairman Forbes asked about the current status of the windows, and Ms. Riebe noted that storm windows had been placed on some of the windows. Mr. Walker asked about the drastic changes inside the building and Ms. Riebe reviewed the process and stated her belief that the exterior of the building was significant for Hamlin, which does not retain any similar historic buildings. Mr. Walker asked if original things were hidden behind the renovations and Ms. Riebe stated she believed there were. Dr. Walker asked if the terra cotta roof was original and Ms. Riebe said she would check with the consultant. Dr. Arnett moved for approval of the nomination and Dr. Ledbetter provided the second. Motion carried.

Chairman Forbes then called on Ms. Pierce to present the FY2015 Survey and Planning Grant for the Beaver Grist Mill in Nicholas County. Following her presentation, Mr. Greco moved to approve the staff recommendation for the FY2015 Survey and Planning Grant. Mr. Randolph seconded. Motion carried.

Chairman Forbes noted that the Winter meeting is scheduled to be held in Morgantown on January 29, with February 5 as a backup date. The Spring meeting will be held in Sutton on June 3 with June 10 as a backup date.

Mr. Walker made a motion to adjourn and Chairman Forbes declared the meeting adjourned at 11:04 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Joseph N. Geiger, Jr.
Secretary


Archives and History Commission

West Virginia Archives and History