Dec. 7, 2011
The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) of the West Virginia Division of Culture and History has published “Transportation in the Mountain State by Water, Road, Rail and Air,” a 13-month calendar highlighting how the state’s mountainous terrain, abundant rivers, narrow valleys and dense forests have challenged its people and industries. The public is invited to request a copy of the free calendar while supplies last.
“Our annual calendar showcases many of West Virginia’s historic landmarks and tells the story of the importance of establishing routes that would be crucial to facilitating the growth of western Virginia and later West Virginia. Travel has always been an adventure in West Virginia and our state’s history has been impacted by the availability, or absence, of travel routes,” said Susan Pierce, deputy state historic preservation officer for the Division.
Each month, the calendar focuses upon a different aspect of travel or a structure built to facilitate navigation in West Virginia, including the Staunton to Parkersburg Turnpike, the same route where Confederate General Albert G. Jenkins led his men to occupy Weston in Lewis County and destroyed the telegraph line during the Civil War; The Wheeling Suspension Bridge, the first bridge to be constructed across the Ohio River; the Great Bend Tunnel in Summers County, which took 800 to 1,000 men and boys, including the legendary John Henry, three years to cut through more than one mile of solid rock; the Capon Springs Resort in Hampshire County and Old Sweet Springs Resort in Monroe County; the Rumsey Monument in Jefferson which commemorates James Rumsey’s successful use of steam to power a boat engine on the Potomac River in 1787; and the Sloan-Parker House and Travelers Rest in Hampshire County, which both served as a stagecoach stop on the Northwestern Turnpike.
Other topics covered include the Arthurdale and Kingwood Esso Stations in Preston County and other filling stations, which became popular as automobile ownership increased and local pharmacies, hardware stores and other commercial businesses couldn’t keep up with the gasoline demand; the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Martinsburg Shops in Berkeley County; the Weston and Gauley Bridge Turnpike in Braxton and Lewis counties, which served as an early transportation route associated with settlement, business and industry; the London Locks and Dam in Kanawha County, which by an act of Congress, allowed the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to factor in flood control and electric-power-generation dams for the first time, as long as the changes improved river navigation; the Milton Covered Bridge in Cabell County, which was used to move goods to and from the railroad depot on the C&O Railway; the Grafton Passenger Station in Taylor County; the West Virginia Air National Guard Hangar 1 in Kanawha County; and the Thurmond Historic District and New River Gorge Bridge in Fayette County. The calendar also has information on the Certified Local Government program, Section 106 Review Process, historic rehabilitation tax credits, the National Register of Historic Places and grants available.
To request a free copy of the calendar, write to West Virginia Division of Culture and History, 2012 Calendar, The Culture Center, 1900 Kanawha Boulevard E., Charleston, W.Va. 25305 or call Conni McMorris at (304) 558-0240 or e-mail her a firstname.lastname@example.org. “Transportation in the Mountain State by Water, Road, Rail and Air” 2012 calendar was funded in part by the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
With the leadership of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, Kay Goodwin, cabinet secretary, the West Virginia Division of Culture and History brings together the state’s past, present and future through programs and services in the areas of archives and history, the arts, historic preservation and museums. Its administrative offices, led by Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith, are located at the Culture Center in the State Capitol Complex in Charleston, which also houses the state archives and state museum. The Culture Center is West Virginia’s official showcase for the arts. The agency also operates a network of museums and historic sites across the state. For more information about the Division’s programs, visit www.wvculture.org. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.