WHEELING, W.Va. – The West Virginia State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) will present the 2017 “Our Legacy, Our Future” historic preservation awards at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 15, at West Virginia Independence Hall in Wheeling. The awards recognize individuals, historic sites and districts for outstanding preservation efforts. The event is free and open to the public.

Phyllis Baxter of Elkins, Randolph County, will receive the Betty Woods “Snookie” Nutting Award for exemplary service to historic preservation. Baxter, who moved to Randolph County in 1978 with her family, has been a leader in historic preservation efforts with the Rich Mountain Battlefield Foundation, Historic Beverly Preservation, Inc. and the Appalachian Forest Heritage Area. As an advocate for historic preservation, she has served on the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia board and annually attends Capitol Hill Advocacy Day sponsored by the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers and Preservation Action.

“It is an honor to recognize Betty Woods “Snookie” Nutting for her amazing lifelong commitment to historic preservation in Wheeling and in the state,” said West Virginia Division of Culture and History Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith. “We are pleased that Phyllis Baxter is the first person to receive the award which celebrates her strong commitment to historic preservation.”

In addition to Baxter’s award, the SHPO will present four other awards.

Dr. Heather Biola of Elkins, Randolph County will receive the award for outstanding individual service to historic preservation. Biola has been the guiding force in the historic rehabilitation of the Kump House in Elkins. Her unflagging commitment to preserving this historic structure and giving it new life by adapting it for use as an education center is appreciated by everyone who works with her. 

The George Pinkney Morgan House in Rivesville, Marion County, will receive the award for outstanding individual resource. Under the careful direction of Jim Rote, this Greek Revival style brick farmhouse, erected c. 1857-60, is being restored and rehabilitated. The restoration is a labor of love with Rote modeling historic accuracy as much as possible. 

The Jefferson County Historic Landmark Commission (HLC) will be recognized for outstanding service by an organization to historic preservation. Since 1974, the HLC has diligently worked at the county level to identify and protect its historic landmarks with a collective passion for the area that encourages others in the county to build on individual historic preservation projects.

The Elk City Historic District in Charleston, Kanawha County, will be recognized for outstanding work in a historic district. The rebirth of this district is invigorating Charleston’s West Side. The exemplary work of entrepreneurs and individuals within the district will ensure that the historic resources in Elk City remain a vital part of the community.

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History is proud to be able to present its programs at no charge to the public but without a solution to the state’s budget situation, this could be the last year that programs of this type could be offered. 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 The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.