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CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) of the West Virginia Division of Culture and History has published its 13-month calendar highlighting 13 of the Mountain State’s historic districts across the state with personal reflections by individuals associated with many of the sites. The public is invited to request a copy of the free calendar while supplies last.

“In our 2017 Historic Preservation calendar, we celebrate the wealth of historic districts – large and small, residential and commercial – that can be found all around the state,” said Susan Pierce, deputy state historic preservation officer for the division.

West Virginia has 157 historic districts, including one in Barboursville, Cabell County,  which was on an early stagecoach route that brought travelers who needed hotels and other commercial businesses to the area; Centre Market Square in Wheeling, Ohio County, which opened in 1853 and provided farmers in the area with an open air, cast-iron building to sell their goods; Nuttallburg Coal Mining Complex and Town Historic District in Fayette County, which was owned by John Nuttall and then Henry Ford, who bought the complex to supply coal for his Ford Rouge Plant in Detroit; Greenmont Historic District in Morgantown, Monongalia County, which had a fort used for protection from Native American attacks and later became part of Morgantown, providing working class and ethnically diverse neighborhoods for local workers; and Matewan Historic District, Mingo County, which gained fame on May 19, 1920, when coal operators’ detectives who arrived to evict coal miners belonging to the union from company housing were challenged by Chief of Police Sid Hatfield and gunfire erupted.

It also features the Bramwell District in Mercer County, where coal mine operators and executives lived in huge mansions in a town known as the “home of the millionaires”; the B&O Railroad and Related Industries Historic District in Martinsburg, Berkeley County, which had facilities destroyed by Confederate troops in 1861 and was rebuilt by 1872, providing the starting point for the Great Railroad Strike of 1877; Camp Rhododendron in Coopers Rock State Forest, Monongalia County, which was one of hundreds of Civilian Conservation Corps camps built after 1933; and the Washington Avenue Historic District/Parkersburg High School in Wood County, which developed between 1914 and 1940.

Other topics covered include the Charleston East End Historic District in Kanawha County, which includes residential and commercial properties that exemplify the evolution of the neighborhood from late Victorian to post-1890 revival styles; Ronceverte Historic District in Greenbrier County, which has roots dating to c. 1872; Sistersville Historic District in Tyler County, which was laid out by Sarah Wells and Delilah Wells Grier on land inherited from their father, Charles; and the Mullens Historic District in Wyoming County, which was settled in 1894 by Andrew Mullins who built a small mill and by 1906 the town became a stop on the Deepwater Railroad which provided access to the timber and coal resources in the area.

A historic district is a neighborhood or group of buildings that are important because, taken together, they help to tell an important story. Historic districts can be farms, recreation areas, industrial areas, neighborhoods or a significant part of a city or town. Individual buildings or homes in this area may not qualify for the National Register of Historic Places; however, when taken together, they provide a valuable sense of place that helps to retain the historical character of the region, state or nation.

To request a free copy of the calendar, write to West Virginia Division of Culture and History, 2017 Calendar, The Culture Center, 1900 Kanawha Boulevard, E., Charleston, W.Va. 25305 or contact John Adamik at (304) 558-0240 or [email protected]. The 2017 calendar was funded in part by the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.

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.

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