Skip Navigation

MINUTES
WEST VIRGINIA
ARCHIVES AND HISTORY COMMISSION
WINTER MEETING
FRIDAY, JANUARY 29, 2016
CULTURE CENTER
CHARLESTON, WEST VIRGINIA


Chairman Harold Forbes called the meeting to order at 1:30 p.m. In addition to Mr. Forbes, other voting members present were Dr. Melissa Bingmann, Dr. Robert Conte, Victor Greco, Dr. Charles Ledbetter, and Nathan Randolph. Voting members absent were Dr. Joan Walker, Keven Walker and Rebecca Frye. Ex officio voting members absent were Fredrick Armstrong and Dr. Bill Arnett. Ex officio non-voting members present were Joe Geiger, director, Archives and History Section; Dr. Michael Hohn, director, West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey; Charles Morris, director, Museums Section; Susan Pierce, director, Historic Preservation Section; Randall-Reid Smith, commissioner of Culture and History; and Sandra Scaffidi, president of Preservation Alliance of West Virginia. Also present was Education and the Arts Cabinet Secretary Kay Goodwin, Deputy Cabinet Secretary Martha McKee, and Historic Preservation staff members Pam Brooks, Andrew Lore, and Jeff Smith.

Chairman Forbes asked for a motion on the meeting minutes of 25 September 2015. A motion to approve the minutes was made by Mr. Greco, with a second by Dr. Ledbetter. The minutes were approved.

Chairman Forbes asked for a motion on the meeting minutes of 7 December 2015. A motion to approve the minutes was made by Dr. Conte, with a second by Dr. Ledbetter. 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 September through November 2015 (copies attached to official minutes) and then reviewed recent activities. He noted that Dr. Hohn had presented a well-received lecture in the Archives and History Library on the previous evening and that a presentation on the Loudon Heights area of Charleston was scheduled for Tuesday, February 2. A new photo exhibit on the John C. Norman family was ready for display, and History Bowl regional tournaments were scheduled throughout the month of February. Geiger stated that Archives and History staff had purchased the equipment necessary to initiate dark storage of permanent electronic records and would begin the process in February. The first forty highway historical markers for the sesquicentennial marker project have been ordered. A total of 160 markers will be created, all relating to the Civil War or statehood. Several new collections had been received and were being processed, including the Bob Beanblossom collection and the Brown family collection.

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 the FY2015 end-of-year report had been completed and submitted to the National Park Service. Jennifer Brennan has provided technical assistance to property owners in Harpers Ferry, and she and Ms. Brooks are working with various owners to ensure compliance with development grant covenants. A number of public events had been held across the state to launch the 2016 calendar and announce the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. A second edition of Historic West Virginia is being published, and staff are working with a number of sponsors to develop an application for Charleston to host the 2018 National Alliance of Preservation Commission conference.

A revised programmatic agreement with the Federal Highway Administration and the West Virginia Division of Highways was signed to streamline the review of projects having minimal impact. Ms. Brooks organized the outside panel to review the third round of FY2015 Survey and Planning Grants and staff met with consulting firms regarding grants and surveys.

Noting that this was the first commission meeting since the resignation of Erin Riebe, Dr. Ledbetter made a motion to commend Erin Riebe of the SHPO office for her years of dedicated service. Mr. Greco provided the second, and the motion carried.

Chairman Forbes then called upon Charles Morris for the Museums report. Mr. Morris provided a written report to members (copy attached to official minutes) and reviewed section activities. He urged members to see the 2015 West Virginia Juried Exhibition at Tamarack, which would be on display until February 21. Mr. Morris stated that the new web-based learning project titled ďWest Virginia: A Digital PrimerĒ is ready to go on-line. He informed members that work was ongoing to create new archaeology exhibits at Grave Creek Mound and that they would be ready to open in May. The exhibition West Virginians Answering the Call, which was on display at the Culture Center, has been moved to Museum in the Park. A landscaping project was being planned at Independence Hall, and several Youth Art Month programs were being held in February.

Dr. Bingmann asked if the Museums Section had a collections committee to determine what materials should be accessioned and Mr. Morris responded that staff members made up the committee, which was chaired by himself and the commissioner. Dr. Bingmann pointed out that it can be challenging to determine which items do not fit in with the museumís mission.

In the absence of Dr. Arnett, no report was given by the West Virginia Historical Association.

In the absence of Mr. Armstrong, no report was given by the West Virginia Historical Society.

Chairman Forbes then called upon Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith for a report on Culture and History activities. He noted the success of the SHPO calendar tour and informed commission members that fifty districts and historic properties were to receive the Governorís Medallion of Excellence. He also spoke about arts awards, History Bowl, and the VH1 Save the Music Foundation. A STEM to STEAM grant of $225,000 was received from the Benedum Foundation and more than $166,000 has been awarded to forty-two projects. Rolled shelving for the museum collections room is being installed, and work is being planned for restoring the mound at Grave Creek, which will involve removing roots and weeds and other work. The roof of the Chestnut Lodge at Camp Washington Carver has been restored and a gospel festival will be held in September. Preparations are underway to update the Hatfield-McCoy exhibit at Museum in the Park, and the West Virginia Ambassadors Camp will be held June 20-23 in Charleston.

Mr. Randolph expressed his appreciation to Cabinet Secretary Goodwin, Commissioner Reid-Smith, and Culture and History staff for their assistance with the Leadership West Virginia group, which visited the Culture Center in November.

Turning to Old Business, Chairman Forbes called for an update on previous National Register nominations. Mr. Smith informed members that both nominations approved at the September meeting, Charles A. Havilandís Summers House and Lincoln National Bank, had been listed.

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

Brill Octagon House, Hampshire County, nominated under Criterion C, Architecture, with period of significance being 1890, was presented by Janie-Rice Brother. Following the presentation, Mr. Greco moved for approval of the nomination and Dr. Conte provided the second. Motion carried.

Pin Oak Fountain, Hampshire County, nominated under Criterion A, Transportation and Social History, with period of significance being 1932 to 1955, was presented by Janie-Rice Brother. Following the presentation, Dr. Ledbetter moved for approval of the nomination and Mr. Randolph provided the second. Motion carried.

Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Building, Fayette County, nominated under Criterion A, Recreation and Culture, with period of significance being 1951 to 1966, was presented by Ami Dangerfield. Dr. Hohn asked if the floor had been replaced and was informed that it had been replaced in 2012. Dr. Conte asked if they had considered adding Architecture as a criterion, and Ms. Pierce replied that SHPO staff had considered this but believed that there may be concerns with window replacements. Dr. Conte moved for approval of the nomination and Mr. Randolph provided the second. Motion carried.

Spencer Presbyterian Church, Roane County, nominated under Criterion C, Architecture, with period of significance being 1903, was presented by Andrew Lore. Following a discussion of the post-1954 history, Dr. Bingmann moved for approval of the nomination and Mr. Greco provided the second. Motion carried.

Chairman Forbes then called on Ms. Pierce to present the FY2016 Survey and Planning Grants. A grants review panel had met and made funding recommendations, which had been provided to commission members prior to the meeting. Following her presentation, Mr. Forbes stated that he appreciated the expanded information, which removed a lot of questions and doubts. Dr. Hohn was surprised some applicants had not provided documentation that they could meet cost share. Mr. Randolph made a motion to accept the panelís recommendations for the FY2016 Survey and Planning Grants with the provision authorizing staff to move funds from cancelled projects or projects unable to use all available funding to the next project in order of priority or to increase funding to an approved project needing additional funds. Dr. Ledbetter seconded. Motion passed.

Chairman Forbes appointed Dr. Conte, Mr. Randolph, and Mr. Walker to serve on the Nominating Committee, which will present a suggested slate of officers (Chair and Vice Chair) at the Spring meeting.

The Chairman informed members that in response to his inquiry regarding expiration of terms, the commissioner had responded that they will serve until they are released. Chairman Forbes also mentioned that Bill Richardson has resigned from the commission and noted that he has spoken to the commissioner and cabinet secretary about filling vacancies, and they had been in regular contact with the governorís office concerning that issue.

Chairman Forbes noted that the Spring meeting is scheduled to be held in Morgantown on June 3, with June 10 as a backup date. The date and location of the Fall meeting is to be determined.

Mr. Greco made a motion to adjourn and Chairman Forbes declared the meeting adjourned at 3:23 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Joseph N. Geiger, Jr.
Secretary


Archives and History Commission

West Virginia Archives and History