CHARLESTON, W.Va. -The West Virginia Division of Culture and History (WVDCH) will make five stops on a tour this month around the state to recognize the 14 historic sites featured in the 2016 West Virginia State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) calendar. The 2016 calendar celebrates the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. During the tour, the new calendar will be unveiled along with a certificate presentation for all 14 sites. The first two stops will recognize historic buildings and sites in the northern panhandle. On Friday, Dec. 4, a ceremony will take place at 11:45 a.m. at Independence Hall in Wheeling, Ohio County, and 3 p.m. at Grave Creek Mound in Moundsville, Marshall County. The Cockayne House in Glen Dale, Marshall County and Woodburn Hall in Morgantown, Monongalia County also will be recognized at this time.
“We are pleased to announce the publication of our 2016 calendar, which highlights 50 years of West Virginia’s contributions to the national historic preservation movement,” said WVDCH Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith. “The individual buildings and sites included in our calendar represent our state’s commitment to its historic resources.”
Susan Pierce, director of the SHPO added, “The calendar is the state historic preservation office’s annual educational publication, which shares information about our state’s historic resources and the programs that protect and preserve them. We are happy to be part of the 50th anniversary celebration of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966.”
West Virginia Independence Hall (WVIH) is featured in the calendar for the month of June and has been on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) since 1970. Built originally as the United States Custom House in 1859, this building gained additional significance during the Civil War. Wheeling was the center of the movement for West Virginia statehood, and the Custom House was a natural choice for the delegates to meet when they declared statehood and drafted a constitution for the new state. Today, WVIH is completely restored and serves as a museum.
Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex is featured in July and has been on the NRHP since 1966. Recognizing the need to properly preserve the mound, the Antiquities Commission encouraged its stabilization and preservation in 1965. Fifty years later, the WVDCH maintains the mound, sponsors educational activities and administers the state’s archaeological curation facility.
The Cockayne House is featured in January and has been on the NRHP since 2002. Bennett Cockayne, a successful sheep farmer in northern West Virginia, built his home in 1850. The home remained in the Cockayne family until 2001. The house was found to have been kept in nearly the same condition as it was in the early 1900s. The Cockayne House Foundation has used development grants for restoration projects.
Woodburn Hall is featured in September and was built c. 1876. Located on West Virginia University’s main campus, it is just one example of buildings that West Virginia’s higher education institutions are continuing to use as they preserve their histories on campuses around the state.
Three additional stops will take place in Huntington, Cabell County, Charles Town, Jefferson County and Lewisburg, Greenbrier County. For more information contact Caryn Gresham, deputy commissioner of the WVDCH at (304) 558-0220 or Caryn.S.Gresham@wv.gov.
The West Virginia Division of Culture and History is an agency within the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts with Kay Goodwin, Cabinet Secretary. The division, led by Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith, brings together the past, present and future through programs and services focusing on archives and history, arts, historic preservation and museums. For more information about the division’s programs, events and sites, visit www.wvculture.org. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.