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CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) of the West Virginia Division of Culture and History (WVDCH) has published its 13-month calendar highlighting poems, both modern and historic, written by West Virginians. The public is invited to request a copy of the free calendar while supplies last.

“Someone once said a picture is worth a thousand words. The 2018 Historic Preservation calendar has both: the photographs and the poetry,” said Susan Pierce, deputy state historic preservation officer for the division.

The calendar includes a variety of connections between poetry and places. The poet may be directly associated with the location; while in some instances, a certain historic building or streetscape captured the spirit of the poem. The poets featured throughout the 2018 calendar include Margaret Agnew Blennerhassett, Danske Dandridge, Mark Defoe, William DeVault, Dreama Wyant Frisk, Howard H. Johnson, Keith Maillard, Norman Jordan and Poet Laureates Roy Lee Harmon, Marc Harshman, Irene McKinney and Karl Myers.

The historic places featured include the Union Historic District, Monroe County, called Union due to several local militia units that met yearly in the late 1700s; Welch Commercial Historic District, McDowell County, which began to thrive in the late 1800s as coal and timber began to boom; Camp Washington-Carver, Fayette County, home to the Great Chestnut Lodge, the largest log building in the mountain state; Blennerhassett Island Historic District, Wood County, which was sold several times before being bought by Harman Blennerhassett in 1799; and Memorial Arch, Cabell County,  based upon the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France and the only triumphal-style arch in West Virginia.

It also features Literary Hall, Hampshire County, which by the 1830s had a library of more than 3,000 volumes and was the largest in western Virginia; “Rosebrake”(Morgan-Bedinger-Dandridge House), Jefferson County, where Dandridge wrote her poems and historical works, including the important local history Historic Shepherdstown; Downtown Morgantown Historic District, Monongalia County, which would eventually serve as the site for West Virginia’s Land Grant college; and Green Bank Observatory, Pocahontas County, home to the Reber Telescope, the Green Bank Telescope (GBT) and other telescopes and support facilities. 

Other topics covered include Adaland (Modisett Mansion), Barbour County, bought in 1920 by Judge Ira Ellsworth Robinson and named after his wife and daughter Ada; Bloch Brothers Tobacco, Ohio County, which started Mail Pouch chewing tobacco; Kay Moor Mine, Fayette County, now part of the New River Gorge National River and accessible via their trail system; and Spencer Cemetery, Marshall County, the final resting place of John and Effie Spencer.

To request a free copy of the calendar, write to West Virginia Division of Culture and History, 2018 Calendar, The Culture Center, 1900 Kanawha Boulevard, E., Charleston, W.Va. 25305 or contact John Adamik at (304) 558-0240 or [email protected]. The 2018 calendar was funded in part by the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.

The division, led by Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith, is an agency within the Office of Secretary of Education and the Arts with Gayle Manchin, cabinet secretary. It 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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