2012 Holiday Historic House Tour
Experience Christmas Past at the 2012 Holiday Historic House Tour
Once again the Marion County Historic Society is sponsoring the 2012 Holiday Historic House Tour on Saturday, November 24 from 10 am to 3 pm. This self-guided tour includes nine historic properties and has been an area favorite for many years.
Want to know more about the tour? Here’s a look at the history of the homes you can see, provided by the owners.
Located at 210 Adams Street, Fairmont, the former sheriff’s home now serves as the Marion County Museum.
Construction on the Sheriffs’ home and connecting county jail was started on October 22, 1909 and completed on March 12, 1912. Calvin D. Conaway and family became the first residents on January 1, 1913. The design of the structure is unique in that the Sheriff could go to the jail and court house without ever going outside. All three structures had a common utilities connection. The residency became the Marion County Museum in 1986. The Sheriff’s office and several jail cells have been restored for viewing.
The Methodist Protestant Church (The People's Temple) is located at 216 Monroe Street.
The cornerstone was laid in 1896 and a stained glass window, originally from the "Church on the Hill" (1834), was installed. The church has over 40 stained glass windows from the 1800s. West Virginia Governor Francis H. Pierpont and his wife, Julia, worshiped here.
111 Virginia Avenue (at 2nd Street) is the address for the George S. Brackett Home.
This circa 1902 Shingle Victorian Home is thought to have been built by A.B. Fleming and his wife Carrie as an investment property. Owners of the home include an engineer (who worked for the City of Fairmont and had several U.S. patents), a local church, and the George S. Brackett family, who purchased the home in 1927 and resided there for the next 62 years. The home's most significant features are in the library with its hand hewn old growth oak beams that span the entire room and a hand cut stone fireplace that covers the entire width of one end of the room.
Located at 205 Fairmont Avenue, the Hutchinson Coal Company Warehouse still stands.
This 1920’s construction is a contributing building to the Downtown Historic District. The company offices for Hutchinson Coal Company were located here. The building has since been renovated into apartments.
The Hunsaker-Ice Farm is located at 1683 Fairmont Avenue.
When the 'Hunsaker Farm" was built in the 1860s, it faced the Beverly Turnpike. In the 1930s, the house was turned around to face new Route 250. During the WPA era, it was resurfaced with same stonework used in the construction of East-West Stadium and the 12th Street Pool. Guest James Watson once brought the entire Ziegfeld Follies cast from New York to visit for a weekend.
This Sears and Roebuck Kit House is located at 1623 Edgeway Drive.
This Sears and Roebuck Argyle Cottage was built from a kit in 1920 and shipped by rail in crates to Skinner’s Tavern, and then hauled by horse and wagon to its present location. It features the original gable front porch and exposed roof rafter tails capped in copper.
The Arthur G. Martin House is found at 201 Watson Avenue.
This American Arts & Crafts (Craftsman style) home is attributed to a commissioned Gustav Stickley design. Pictures of the home are featured on pages 438, 439, and 440 of the book, “Stickley’s Craftsman Homes”, by Ray Stubblebine. Arthur G. Martin, mayor of Fairmont, had the home built as a family residence in 1911.
Situated at 1312 Pennsylvania Avenue, the Meredith House stands.
This Federal Italianate-style two-story wood frame home was built prior to 1860 by William Meredith, a manufacturer of lumber as well a Contractor. He was a Captain commissioned by Governor Pierpont as well as a Justice of the Peace and the first Mayor of Belleview, originally known as Barnesville. His son, Judge Winfield Scott Meredith, next occupied the house. He served as a director of the People’s National Bank of Fairmont, a State Senator and a Judge of the Circuit Court of Marion County.
The Shaw Home sits at 425 Morgantown Avenue
The Tudor style, 2-½ story home was built in 1916 by Judge Harry Shaw, a Marion County Circuit Court Judge and prominent political figure. The interior features a birch-paneled living room beneath a ceiling patterned after the strap work of the Long Gallery at Haddon Hall in Derbyshire, England. Three stained glass windows contain a coat of arms. Note: This may be the last time the house is on the tour, as it is currently for sale by the owner.
There are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind if you’re considering taking the tour:
This tour is designed for adults.
Please respect your hosts’ privacy and possessions.
Kindly ask for the owner’s permission to take photographs, as photographs for commercial purposes must be given written permission from the owners.
No soliciting of any kind.
Also remember that many of our tour locations are privately owned homes. There may be family emergencies that occur that can affect the availability of the home for the tour.
Sound like fun? If you’re going, Tickets are $16.00 in advance and $18.00 the day of the tour and can be purchased at the Marion County Historical Society Museum located at 210 Adams Street, Fairmont. For more information, call 304.367.5398
Will we see you on the tour?
2012 Veteran’s Day Parade
Meet Gunnery Sergeant Shawn Shoulders, Grand Marshal of the 2012 Veteran’s Day Parade
The 2012 Marion County Veterans Day Parade will be held on Monday, November 12 in Fairmont. And this year there will be a very special Grand Marshal. One of Fairmont’s own veterans will lead the parade.
Gunnery Sergeant Shawn Shoulders was born in Fairmont on April 16, 1976. He graduated from East Fairmont High School in June 1994. Upon graduation he attended Fairmont State College for about a year and then enlisted in the Marine Corps in September 1995. He attended Recruit Training in October at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina.
Following completion of training, Private First Class Shoulders was assigned to F Battery 2nd Battalion 11th Marines, Camp Pendleton, CA where he served as a cannon crewman and made multiple deployments to Okinawa, Japan and Kuwait.
In December 1999, Sergeant Shoulders transferred to I Battery 3rd Battalion 10th Marines where he served as a Section Chief and Platoon Sergeant, deploying to Croatia and Bosnia. In May of 2002 Staff Sergeant Shoulders was reassigned to Ft Sill, Oklahoma as an instructor for the Marine Corps Artillery Detachment and was later selected to be the enlisted representative for the new lightweight howitzer research and development team. In June 2005, Staff Sergeant Shoulders was again reassigned to S Battery 5th Battalion 10th Marines where he held positions ranging from Platoon Sergeant to First Sergeant and Platoon Commander. During his time in S battery Staff Sergeant Shoulders deployed to Fallujah, Iraq; Pakistan, and helped evacuate the U.S. citizens from Beirut in 2006.
After three years with S Battery, now Gunnery Sergeant, Shoulders was assigned to G Battery 3rd Battalion 14th Marines as the I&I Battery Gunnery Sergeant. During his tenure with G Battery, Gunnery Sergeant Shoulders also served as the Supply Officer, Armory Officer, community relations coordinator, and Military Funeral Honors Coordinator. After three years serving with G Battery he was reassigned to Headquarters Battery 10th Marines to serve as the Civil Affairs Detachment Chief for their upcoming deployment. While serving this billet Gunnery Sergeant Shoulders was injured in an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast on May 31, 2012 and subsequently transferred to Wounded Warrior Battalion East located in Bethesda, MD.
Shoulders is a highly decorated soldier. He’s received the following:
- Purple Heart
- Navy Commendation Medal with 2 gold stars
- Navy Achievement Medal with 2 gold stars
- Army Achievement Medal
- Combat Action Ribbon
Shawn is married to the former Suzan Rice, also from Fairmont. They reside in Richlands, NC with their two children, Madison and Conner.
Parade line-up is at Palatine Park at noon. The parade starts at 1:00 pm.
The parade will follow Merchant Street, cross the Robert H. Mollohan Bridge, travel Washington Street, Monroe Street and on to Adams Street ending at Veterans Plaza.
A short ceremony will take place on the plaza following the parade (approximately 1:45 pm). The presentation will also include a wreath laying ceremony, Presentation of Colors, a 21-gun salute and Taps.
For more information about the parade or to find out how to participate, contact Chris Griffith at 304.657.3016.
Other Events in the County
Plans are also underway for a 5:00 pm ceremony at the Vietnam Veteran Memorial located at the entrance to East Marion Park. The memorial consists of a six-ton monument with the 27 names of the men from Marion County who died in Vietnam, along with a Hey Helicopter which actually flew in Vietnam. Jim Zinn is the guest speaker.
The North Marion Senior Center is hosting a free roast beef dinner in honor of all veterans at 4:00 pm. Randy Elliott is the master of ceremonies.
Do you know of any other Veterans Day activities? Be sure to share them with us.
Barrackville Covered Bridge
Barrackville Covered Bridge
Barrackville is the home to the second oldest covered bridge in West Virginia and the first such bridge in Marion County. Barrackville was founded in 1767 by William "Indian Billy" Ice and named in honor of an early settler, John Barrackt was incorporated January 25, 1968). Construction of the bridge was completed in1853, the same year that the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad reached Barrackville and was part of the Fairmont & Wheeling Turnpike.
The only hostile army ever in Marion County crossed this bridge on the morning of April 29, 1863. General William E. "Grumble" Jones at first planned destruction of the bridge but decided to spare it with persuasion from the Ice family, nearby mill owners and Southern sympathizers. However, two other B&O bridges in the area were destroyed by "Jones Raiders".
In 1850, Lemuel Chenoweth, a cabinet maker by trade (also a self-taught civil engineer, and often described as a mechanic, inventor, draftsman, and craftsman) arrived in Richmond, VA with a model of his bridge packed in his saddle bags. He brought the model before the Board of Public Works which was then considering bids for the constructions of bridges. Chenoweth assembled his model "made of poplar and nary a nail in 'er". He suspended the frail looking toy between two chairs, stood upon it, and challenged his competitors to put their models to the same test!
Needless to say, Lemuel Chenoweth along with his brother, Eli, is associated in the building of this and many other covered bridges in West Virginia, between 1851 and his death in 1884.
The construction of stone work was let to Squire James E. Conaway and the masons were the fore-fathers of many prominent Barrackville citizens.
Built at a cost of $1,852, the Barrackville Covered Bridge remained in use for over 130 years. It was the only covered bridge in the state that supported traffic loads without the use of modern reinforcement, a tribute to the expert craftsmanship of the Chenoweth brothers. It has been said that the 159 year old engineering marvel was built by the most talented bridge builder in America.
The Barrackville Bridge, using a 145 foot long modified Burr truss (which integrates an arch into the truss framework), was fully restored in 1999 and has been bypassed with a modern road and bridge. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1981.
The covered bridges that remain across the state possess intrinsic beauty and charm, a testimony to the craftsmanship of their builders. Their practical straightforward design created long-lasting structures, which have survived the gales of war, floods, ice, and even grievous fires over the past century and a half.
Do you know which body of water the bridge spans?
Toys for Tots at Heston Farms
Toys for Tots Benefit Concert
The concert will take place from noon until 10:00 pm.
The cost of admission is the donation of a NEW unwrapped toy(s) with at least a $10 value.
About Toys for Tots
Toys for Tots began in 1947, when Major Bill Hendricks, USCR and a group of Marine Reservists in Los Angeles collected and distributed 5,000 toys to needy children.
The idea came from Bill’s wife, Diane. In the fall of 1947, Diane crafted a homemade doll and asked Bill to deliver the doll to an organization, which would give it to a needy child at Christmas. When Bill discovered that no such agency existed, Diane suggested Bill start one. He did.
The 1947 pilot project was so successful that the Marine Corps adopted Toys for Tots in 1948 and expanded it into a nationwide campaign. That year, Marine Corps Reserve units across the nation conducted Toys for Tots campaigns in each community in which a Marine Reserve Center was located and have continued to do so every year.
The initial objective that remains the hallmark of the program today is to “bring the joy of Christmas to America’s needy children”.
Bill Hendricks, a Marine Reservist on weekends, was in civilian life, the Director of Public Relations for Warner Brothers Studio. This enabled him to convince a vast array of celebrities to support Toys for Tots. In 1948, Walt Disney designed the Toys for Tots logo, which is still used. Disney also designed the first Toys for Tots poster used to promote the nationwide program. Nat “King” Cole, among others recorded the Toys for Tots theme composed by Sammy Fain and Paul Webster in 1956.
In 1995, the Secretary of Defense approved Toys for Tots as an official activity of the U. S. Marine Corps and an official mission of the Marine Corps Reserve.
Toys for Tots in Marion County
Can’t make it to the concert – not a problem! Heston Farm Winery will continue to collect toys and money through November.
At present, there are no other toy drop-off sites located in Marion County. However, by early November, additional sites will be established. Visit www.toysfortots.org to find a complete list of locations.
In the meantime, enjoy a day of great music, food and friends and “bring the joy of Christmas to Marion County’s needy children”!
Marion County is Full of Treats (and Maybe a Few Tricks) This Halloween
Can you imagine Halloween with no trick-or-treating? Well that’s what happened during World War II when sugar had to be rationed.
Oh, how times have changed! Today, Americans spend an estimated $6 billion annually on Halloween, making it the nation's second-largest commercial holiday.
Well, there is certainly no shortage of sugary-treats in Marion County this Halloween. Check out some of the fun activities planned throughout the area.
“Halloween Town” in Mannington, October 27
Participating businesses will place pumpkins on their doorsteps for trick-or-treaters from noon until 2 pm. A Halloween party and dance will be held in the Mannington Elks Lodge Ballroom from 2 – 4 pm. Treats and costume prizes will be given away. Adults and kids alike can take part in the fun here.
The Middletown Mall is hosting a costume parade and trick-or-treating inside the mall from 6 – 8, Monday, October 29
This is the last weekend for Halloween at Coal Country Miniature Golf, October 26 - 28
Play mini-golf amidst Halloween decor, scary music, dim night lighting, and a few SURPRISES! The level of scariness here is moderate, so plan ahead for those in your group.
Friday 4-10 pm, Saturday 12-10 pm, Sunday 12-8 pm
Schedule of Trick-or-Treating throughout Marion County:
Tuesday, October 30:
Barrackville 6 – 7pm
Wednesday, October 31:
Farmington Costume parade begins at 6 pm. Trick-or-Treating is from 6:30 – 8:00 pm
Prizes for costumes and treat bags will be given to children participatin
Fairview 6 - 7
Fairmont 6 – 7:30
Colfax 6 – 7:30
Mannington 6 – 7:30
Pleasant Valley 6 – 7:30
Rivesville 6 – 7:30
White Hall 6 – 7:30
Monongah 6 – 7:30
How are you celebrating Halloween this year in Marion County?
2nd Annual NightGLOW race
Ready to get your Glow on?
Last year, following the dedication of the Alan B. Mollohan Gateway Connector, Fairmont hosted the first Gateway NightGLOW race. 163 people participated with hundreds more enjoying the fireworks display afterwards.
The event was such a success, that Main Street Fairmont and the Associated Businesses of East Fairmont decided to host Fairmont’s 2nd Annual Gateway NightGLOW 5K Run and 2 Mile Walk.
On Saturday, October 27th the race will start at 8:00 pm (hence, Night Glow).
Here’s what you need to do. . .
Those interested in participating in either race can pre-register at www.runsignup.com and pay the early registration fee of $15.
Or you can register the day of the race at C J Maggie’s from 8 – 10 am or at Pavilion 1 between 5:30 – 7:30 pm. Same day registration fee is $20. C J Maggie’s is located at 207 Jefferson Street (the former American Legion building).
Glow in the dark t-Shirts are included in the registration fee.
C J Maggie’s is hosting a carb-loading pancake breakfast Saturday morning from 8 – 10 am. The cost is $5 and proceeds benefit the Associated Businesses of East Fairmont.
Timing is everything . . . .
Timing of the event will be provided by the Miles of Smiles Training Services. Chip timing will be used.
The Course (which will be well marked) . . . . .
The starting line will be between Stony Road and the Veteran’s Bridge. Runners and walkers will use the far left lane (southbound) of the Connector. They will stay in this lane until reaching the 2nd traffic light then proceed to the sidewalk. Racers will continue on the sidewalk until the bottom of the hill where they will turn left on Merchant Street / 310.
Mile 1: Shortly after the turn, runners and walkers will cross the street, go past the Auto Zone store and turn right down the hill. Racers will turn left on Water Street but as they go underneath the bridge, runners and walkers will separate.
Runners will turn left on the sidewalk which goes to the bridge then turn left again as they enter the bridge. They will continue on the bridge sidewalk all the way across the river and then turn left. They will run by the rescue squad on Virginia Street and turn right on 4th Street. They will run up 4th Street to Fairmont Avenue and turn right.
Walkers will go out Water Street. Near the intersection of Water and Diamond Street, they will turn around. Walkers will proceed to Palatine Park. They will finish using the same finish line as the runners.
Mile 2: This is on the South Side Bridge, which goes over the parking lot. Runners will continue onto Adams Street then will turn right on Monroe Street and continue onto Washington Street. Runners will turn right onto the High Level Bridge. On the East Side, they will turn right, briefly retracing their steps. After passing the Auto Zone they will turn right down the hill towards Water Street and turn right (instead of left).
Mile 3: Runners will pass this mark near the entrance to Palatine Park. The common finish line is at the other end of the park.
And the winner is . . . .
For the 5K, the top three female and male finishers will receive an Alan B. Mollohan Gateway collectible coin. The coin features the Connector on one side and the Visitor Center building on the other.
Prizes will also be awarded to the top two age group winners.
For the 2 Mile Walk, the top three female and male walkers will receive an Alan B. Mollohan Gateway collectible coin.
More importantly. . . . .
Three sets of bathrooms will be available at East Marion Park and a stunning firework display will start and end the race!
Are you planning to run?
Things to Do in Marion County For Kids (or the Kid-at-Heart)
School is in full swing and some days there is not a free minute in the schedule, but occasionally you hear “I’m bored, there’s nothing to do!”
That’s when you need a plan of action. But do you find yourself having a hard time coming up with fun area activities? Never fear, we’re got the answers.
In fact, we’ll help you give your kids something to brag about when their friends ask, “What did you do over the weekend?”
Valley Worlds of Fun boasts both indoor and outdoor activities. From bowling, laser tag and bumper cars to a rock climbing wall, valley free fall to a sky glider, kids of all ages will have the time of their life. What better way to burn off all that energy?
Valley Worlds of Fun also offers great party packages. Just think, you don’t have to clean your house before OR after the party!
Open through October, Coal Country Miniature Golf and Batting Cages provides fun while giving kids a glimpse into the life of the coal mines. Each miniature golf hole highlights a piece of equipment or aspect of a coal mine. In addition, there is a mining museum that also gives kids a peek into the life of a miner. The can even see what it is like to shovel a ton of coal. What a good way to get them primed for snow shoveling.
Kids can also practice their swing using their automatic feed batting cages. They have baseball or softball in a variety of speeds. You can bring your own equipment or use theirs. Call and ask about setting up a practice for your child’s team or just rent a machine for their friends!
A Different Kind of Golf
Carry on that competitiveness at the Seth Burton Memorial Disc Golf Course. Located at Morris Park, this course includes two 18-hole premier disc golf courses. Kids can play as a team or as individuals. You’ll have to bring your own discs as there are none available on site. Not sure how to play? Rules are easy and you can review them before heading out.
Hit The Water
For the young fishermen of the family, the Marion County Youth Fishing Park, located about a half mile past the BMX Park, is a great fishing opportunity for all the children in your life. The pond is situated so that it is easy access for those little ones. The park is owned and operated by the Marion County Commission and is open to the public each year from March 1 to October 31. The pond is stocked regularly with bass, hybrid bluegill and catfish.
Kick it Old School
Take a step back in time (before the Wii) and move to the music at Skate-A-Way. Now when is the last time you did the hokey-pokey – on skates? Have the kids ever even been in a roller rink? Skates and rollerblades are available to rent, or you can bring your own. Skate-A-Way is also a great party destination.
Get Dressed Up
If you are looking for something to do between adventures, stop by The Illusive Skull Costume Castle. This is one store where imaginations can run wild. They offer hundreds of costume rentals as well as retail merchandise for every occasion. And with Halloween just around the corner, you’ll have a blast checking out the costumes and coming up with a creative disguise this year.
Ah, to be a kid again! Where else do you take kids for fun in Marion County?
History of the Visitor Center Building
The new Marion County Visitor Center, located off of exit 136 of I-79, has a rich history. The facade of the facility is covered with the original stone used to build the former Children’s Shelter.
Then . . . .
Prior to 1929, the Marion County Children’s Shelter was located on what is commonly known as the Poor Farm on Montana Road. In 1929, the Shelter moved to Country Club Road where it maintained three buildings.
The Shelter soon outgrew these facilities and a campaign for a new site began. In 1941, with a sponsor fee of $20,000 from the Courts, the new Marion County Children’s Shelter was built on 60 acres of property on State Street Extension. The labor for this project was provided by the Works Progress Administration (WPA). This was one of the last WPA projects in West Virginia.
And Now . . . . .
So in the spring of 2001, this historically significant structure stood in the path of the Gateway Connector. The original idea was to move the entire building to a suitable location. After review and consideration, this plan was determined to be technically unfeasible. A decision was made to dismantle the Children’s Shelter, stone by stone, store the material, then reassemble the stone on the exterior of the new Marion County Visitor Center.
The Marion County Visitor Center is owned by the Marion County Commission and contains the offices of the Convention & Visitors Bureau of Marion County and the Marion County Parks & Recreation Commission.
Within the historic structure, visitors can find a variety of brochures highlighting Marion County’s many attractions such as Civil War and Frontier Days sites, relaxing bike trails and beautiful parks, and great places to eat, drink and unwind.
Have you visited the new Center?
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