Skip Navigation

MINUTES
WEST VIRGINIA
ARCHIVES AND HISTORY COMMISSION
FALL MEETING
MONDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2017
WEST VIRGINIA INDEPENDENCE HALL
WHEELING, 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. Robert Conte, Nat DeBruin, Victor Greco, Darlene Hassler, Nathan Randolph, and Dr. David Trowbridge. Voting members absent were Tommy Bailey, Dr. Melissa Bingmann, Rebecca Frye, Dr. Charles Ledbetter, Audy Perry, and Dr. Joan Walker. Ex officio voting members present were Dr. William Arnett and 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; Charles Morris, director, Museums Section; Susan Pierce, director, Historic Preservation Section; and Randall Reid-Smith, commissioner of Culture and History. Ex officio non-voting member absent was J. Logan Smith, president of Preservation Alliance of West Virginia. Also present were Historic Preservation staff members Pam Brooks and Jeff Smith.

Chairman Forbes asked for a motion on the meeting minutes of May 25, 2017. A motion to approve the minutes was made by Dr. Conte with a second by Dr. Arnett. The minutes were approved.

Chairman Forbes called for a motion to approve the agenda distributed to members (copy attached to official minutes). Mr. Randolph made a motion to approve the agenda with a second by Mr. DeBruin. The motion was approved.

Chairman Forbes then called on Margaret Brennan, who welcomed members to Independence Hall and reviewed the history of the building.

Chairman Forbes called upon Mr. Geiger for the Archives and History report. He referred members to information provided in the monthly reports for May through August 2017 and the 2016-2017 Archives and History annual report (copies attached to official minutes) and asked if there were questions. Chairman Forbes thanked Mr. Geiger for the completion of the annual report and Mr. Geiger gave credit to Mary Johnson.

Chairman Forbes then called upon Ms. Pierce for the Historic Preservation report. She provided a written report to members (copy attached to official minutes) and briefly reviewed section activities.

Chairman Forbes then called upon Mr. Morris for the Museums report. He provided a written report to members (copy attached to official minutes) and informed the commission about an exhibit at Grave Creek Mound, the opening of a transportation exhibit in the Culture Center, an exhibit commemorating the 100th anniversary of World War I, and another on the 40th anniversary of the Division of Culture and History. In response to Dr. Conteís question as to how long the transportation exhibit would be on display, Mr. Morris informed him it would be up until December 18.

Due to Mr. Smithís absence, no report for the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia was given. Chairman Forbes then called upon Dr. Hohn for the West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey report. He noted that they had received a grant and had recently completed a project to do an on-line geologic transect of state. This project, supported by the Department of Education, was an attempt to get geologic information about West Virginia to the public in a form they are accustomed to using.

Chairman Forbes then called upon Dr. Arnett for the West Virginia Historical Association report. Dr. Arnett noted that he had nothing to report.

Chairman Forbes then called upon Mr. Armstrong for the West Virginia Historical Society report. He noted that the historical society newsletter was published a few weeks previously and that the historical society had offered scholarship support for the recent Regional Heritage Stewardship Program training at the Culture Center.

Turning to Old Business, Chairman Forbes called for an update on previous National Register nominations. Jeff Smith noted that there had been no nominations presented at the Spring meeting, so there were no updates to report.

Turning to New Business, Chairman Forbes called for the presentation of the National Register nominations. Wild Goose Farm, Shepherdstown vicinity, Jefferson County, nominated under Criterion A and C, with period of significance being 1810-1940, was presented by John Demer. Mr. Armstrong noted a problem with the significant dates and Mr. Demer replied that they would be glad to clarify before submission of the nomination. Mr. Armstrong moved for approval of the Wild Goose Farm nomination after the significant dates are determined. Dr. Arnett provided the second. Motion carried.

Mr. Randolph recused himself from the meeting.

Fort Gay High School, Fort Gay, Wayne County, nominated under Criterion A and C, with period of significance being 1931-1957, was presented by Isabel Thornton. Jeff Smith mentioned he had received letters of support for the project from Congressman Evan Jenkins and Wayne County Delegate Robert Thompson. In response to a question from Mr. Armstrong, Mr. Smith stated that the building was used as an elementary school until 2013. Following the presentation, Mr. Greco moved for approval of the nomination and Dr. Arnett provided the second. Motion carried.

Mr. Randolph returned to the meeting and Mr. Greco recused himself.

Chairman Forbes then called on Ms. Pierce to present the second round of FY2017 Survey and Planning Grants. She explained that the grants panel had met and prepared a recommendation (copy attached to official minutes) for three certified local government projects and three non-certified local government projects. She noted the panel had awarded Cabell County $6,000, but informed commission members that because the applicant could not meet the match for that amount, the proposed grant award needed to be reduced to $3,000.

Mr. Randolph made a motion to accept the panelís recommendations for the FY2017 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, subject to the availability of funding. The second was provided by Mr. DeBruin. Motion passed.

Chairman Forbes called on Ms. Pierce for an update of the state development grants. Ms. Pierce distributed an information sheet and reviewed the FY2017 and FY2018 state development projects.

Chairman Forbes then called upon Commissioner Reid-Smith for a report on the Division of Culture and History. He expressed his appreciation for the opportunity to host simultaneous meetings of the Archives and History Commission and Arts Commission at Independence Hall. The commissioner introduced Gayle Manchin, Secretary of the Department of Education and the Arts. She noted her lifelong love of and appreciation for arts, culture, and history, and stated that she was honored to serve as cabinet secretary and to have the opportunity to meet and work with people around the state who share a similar passion.

Commissioner Reid-Smith introduced Sue Chapman, director of administration for the Division of Culture and History. She spoke about efforts to restore the 20 percent cut in state funding for FY2018, which had resulted in a 20 percent reduction in federal dollars, and said that the decision is usually made some time in January. Commissioner Reid-Smith also reviewed activities and a new exhibit at Grave Creek Mound Archaeology Complex and noted the significant savings the agency had realized by doing a lot of the work in-house.

Chairman Forbes then called on Ms. Pierce to discuss the FY2018 Annual Work Program, and she briefly reviewed the comments that had been received.

Chairman Forbes then requested that members complete and submit their Conflict of Interest Statements. Ms. Pierce explained that it was a requirement of the National Park Service.

Chairman Forbes then asked for a resolution regarding a Statement on Confederate Memorials. He had asked for input from commission members and formed a team to develop a commission statement. Forbes proposed a resolution to endorse the statements of the American Historical Society, National Trust for Historic Preservation, and Americans for the Arts as guiding concepts in the development of the commissionís own statement of policy and principles regarding Confederate memorials. Dr. Conte made a motion to accept the resolution and Mr. Greco seconded. The motion carried, with Mr. Armstrong abstaining.

Chairman Forbes noted that the Winter meeting is to be held at the West Virginia Culture Center in Charleston on Thursday, February 22, 2018, with a backup of March 2. The Spring meeting will be held at Pipestem Resort State Park on June 1 with June 8 as backup date. Chairman Forbes encouraged commission members to attend History Day if possible.

Mr. Randolph made a motion to adjourn and Chairman Forbes declared the meeting adjourned at 10:51 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Joseph N. Geiger, Jr. Secretary


Archives and History Commission

West Virginia Archives and History