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Items of general interest to members and friends of the Roane County Historical Society
General Interest : Minutes for RCHS April 27, 2017 meeting
Posted by Linda Cottrell Liss on 2017/5/8 12:18:40 (1338 reads)

The regular monthly meeting of the Roane County Historical Society, Inc. was held on Thursday, April 27, 2017 at the Roane County Library. President Rick Greathouse called the meeting to order at 7 p.m. with sixteen members and guests present. An opening prayer was led by Jack Nida and the Pledge to the American Flag was recited by all. In absence of the Recording Secretary, the minutes of the March 23, 2017 meeting were read by Linda Liss and approved as read. Treasurer, Carol Board Westfall, reported no receipts/disbursements since last meeting: Balance: $12,419.95.
Linda Cottrell Liss, Correspondence Secretary, reported:
1. Society member, Lisa Carper Stott who lives in OH, had picked up the many books, and genealogy papers of the late Society member, Jan Parker of Millersburg, OH. She went through the car load of materials and took pertinent and historical items as a donation to the Summit County Library, Akron OH, with whom the RCHS has an exchange relationship.
2. Email correspondence from Sherri Unger, Spencer, WV: Sherri is in possession of a box of photo slides from the estate of the late Virgil Daughtery. Would the RCHS like them? Will respond, YES, as one of the society’s members has scanner that can convert slides to photos.
As Membership Secretary, Linda reported the current membership is steady at 204.

President Greathouse, welcomed and Linda introduced our Guest Speaker, Mr. Philip Smith, Director of Planning and Development for the City of Spencer.
Mr. Smith is busily finding and implementing ways to promote and celebrate the history and heritage of Spencer, Roane County. He is looking for new and exciting ideas to promote Annual Heritage Days coming up, tentatively June 3-4, 2017. He announced that the Civil War Heritage Park on hill behind Wal-Mart promotes the Civil War heritage of Spencer with a marked walking trail; the park also marks a walking trail for viewing the area once occupied by the historical Spencer State Hospital. The Park is open to the public. No digging or metal detectors allowed. Philip is working with Woodworks and Signs of Spencer and the Boy Scouts Troop 437 to create and install historic kiosks in strategic areas to commemorate the history of the former Spencer State Hospital and its 96 year history in this community. He displayed two sample kiosk ideas for the hospital: One for the hospital’s farm and one for the history of the hospital itself.
Along the line of remembering the historic Spencer State Hospital, he is working on ideas for a SSH Memorial Park to be located in a prominent area of the former SSH property. The Park may include decorative columns from the original hospital building, decorative plantings, park benches and perhaps a memorial walkway with bricks in remembrance of hospital patients buried in its two cemeteries.
Additional Business:
Annual Genealogy Fair is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, 9 am – 3 pm at the Heritage Park Community Building in Spencer. The September meeting of the RCHS has been reschedule for Thursday, Sept. 14th to accommodate final planning for the Genealogy Fair.

Newsletter Editor, Linda Liss, reported that the Spring 2017 “Journal” newsletter had been mailed. New items needed for the Summer 2017 Journal.

Linda Cottrell Liss announced that the Essay Scholarship Committee met and selected the 7th annual scholarship winner as Mr. Chase Webb, upcoming 2017 graduate of Roane County High School. The $1,000 scholarship presented annually by the Roane County Historical Society will be awarded at the school’s May 16th Awards Ceremony. Mr. Webb will be program guest for the May 25th meeting of the Society.

Bonita Schreckengost reported that the sign commemorating the Spencer State Hospital cemeteries is still in the hands of the Sewah Studios, in Marietta, OH. They do not have a copy of the original photo that was on the reverse side of the sign. A sharp digital photo is needed to complete the project.

Bonita also reported that she had checked with appropriate authorities regarding our raffling off a long-rifle at our upcoming Sept. Genealogy Fair. Is a permit needed to hold such a raffle? It was noted that other area organizations have had such projects with no trouble. She has proceeded in designing at ticket for the project, noting that tickets will be sold for a $20 donation. Drawing to be held at the September Gen. Fair.

Linda Cottrell Liss reported on the progress of identifying the location of and protection of the Spencer State Hospital’s two cemeteries. It has been learned through a 1981 deed that 17.05 acres of land was sold to the Roane County Board of Education and within that acreage were the hospital’s burying grounds. The deed details that a chain-link fence was to be erected around the cemetery portion of land before any school construction was begun. The fence was never constructed, but the school was built on portion of the cemetery, desecrating a number of graves. Each addition to the school has encroached further into the cemetery property. A letter has been written to Mr. Jeff Mace, current Roane County Board President, and copies sent to six other prominent entities, relating her concern and the concern of the Spencer State Hospital Face Book group. It is Linda’s hope, with support of the Roane County Historical Society and the 423-member Face Book group, that enough concern can be generated to encourage the Board of Education to erect a chain-link fence around what is left of the cemeteries.

Rick announced that a Committee on Nominations needs to be formed to nominate officers for the 2017-18 fiscal year.

Meeting adjourned at 8:30 p.m. with refreshments being served.

General Interest : Spencer State Hospital (1893-1989) Face Book Group Has Been Formed
Posted by Linda Cottrell Liss on 2016/11/19 18:26:35 (1599 reads)
General Interest

We are excited to announce that a Face Book group has been formed to remember Spencer State Hospital, first known as the Second Hospital for the Insane. The purpose of the group is to remember the contributions that the hospital made to Spencer and Roane County, West Virginia. Let us remember those dedicated employees and staff members and volunteers. Perhaps it is most important to remember those patients "the forgotten ones" who passed through the halls during the hospital's 97 year history. Let us remember all those who worked there or were patients there from 1893 when it opened with it's first 54 patients to the last days up until it closed in June 1989.
We are looking for stories, pictures and remembrances of Spencer State Hospital activities.
Interested persons may paste the following link to view the Spencer State Hospital Group & request membership, this is a Closed Group:
I look forward to meeting and greeting many new group members interested in keeping the history of Spencer State Hospital alive. Linda Cottrell Liss

General Interest : Notes from October 27th, 2016 Meeting
Posted by Linda Cottrell Liss on 2016/11/10 15:20:54 (837 reads)

The Roane County Historical Society met on Thursday, October 27, 2016, 7 p.m. at the Roane County Library. Seven members and six guests were present.
Meeting was called to order by Rick Greathouse, President, Carol Board-Westfall led an opening prayer and the pledge to the American flag was recited by all.
Rick welcomed and introduced our special guests, April L. Williams Gardner and Shirley Gilkeson of the Kanawha Valley Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Charleston, WV and Jane Larke, and husband Carl, of the Woodburn Chapter DAR of Morgantown, WV. They were invited because of possible community interest in forming a new Chapter of DAR for Spencer and surrounding area. Mrs. Gilkson explained that in order for a new chapter to be formed; [1] An organizing Regent needs to be appointed, [2] chapter must have at least twelve members [3] members must prove ancestry to a Revolutionary War patriot and [4] select name for chapter. (It is noted that Spencer formerly had a DAR Chapter – The Spencer Roane Chapter, now disbanded.) The ladies were very informative in explaining the process of becoming a DAR Chapter; conversation continued over refreshments. While those present seemed interested, no specific action was taken to go forward with forming a new local chapter.
Business session:
Susan Tucker, Recording Secretary read minutes from Sept 2016 meeting which were approved as read.
Carol Board-Westfall reported that the current treasury balance is $13,088.96 – all bills paid.
Linda Cottrell Liss reported the current membership is steady at 215 members. She noted that 21 members have not paid their 2016-17 annual dues. All have been contacted two times. Delinquent members will be removed from roll.
Melissa Swisher sent message that the Fall 2016 newsletter was mailed today. Articles are need for upcoming newsletters. Send to Linda Liss at WVRoots@aol.com or mail to RCHS, PO Box 161, Spencer, WV 25276-0161.

Linda Cottrell Liss reported that she has recently opened a Spencer State Hospital Face Book page and it already has 231 members as of the Oct. 27th date. Anyone interested in the history of Spencer State Hospital is welcome to become a member by accessing the site and requesting membership. It is a “closed group “ formed to recognize the contributions of SSH to the Spencer & Roane County communities. It is also provided as a way to recognize former employees, staff and volunteers, and to learn about the misconceptions of mental illness in general. The “forgotten ones patients” are also lovingly remembered. Link to group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1094136047340859/

Meeting adjourned. Those present were: Members, Susan Tucker, Carol Board-Westfall, Linda Cottrell Liss, Rick Greathouse, Vicki Knight & husband Smith Knight, Ellen Platt and Bonita Schreckengost. Guests included Melba Starcher, and DAR representatives, Shirley M. Gilkeson, April Gardner, Jane Larke & husband Carl.

The next meeting of the R.C.H.S. will be held on Thursday, November 17, 2016 at 7 p.m. at the Roane County Library. This is one week earlier due to the Thanksgiving holiday. Members are urged to attend and guests are welcome.

General Interest : Mining Your History Annual Conference - October 22, 2016
Posted by Rick Greathouse on 2016/10/17 17:21:08 (2657 reads)

Join us for Mining Your History Foundations Annual Conference on October 22, 2016

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General Interest : Notes from RCHS May 26, 2016 Meeting
Posted by Linda Cottrell Liss on 2016/6/5 15:43:41 (1051 reads)

The monthly meeting of the Roane County Historical Society was called to order at 7:00 p.m., May 26, 2016 by President Rick Greathouse. The meeting was opened with prayer by President Greathouse and the pledge of allegiance to the flag was led by guest Isaac Snodgrass. The meeting was held at the Roane County Library; those present were Linda Cottrell Liss, Carol Board-Westfall, Bonita Schreckengost, Vicki J. Knight, Rick Greathouse, Wanda Carpenter, Melissa Swisher, Phyllis Counts, Paul Hughes, new member David A. Hascue and guests: our 2016 Essay Scholarship winner, Brett A. Miller & his parents Tony & Tracey Miller & brother Brayden Miller, Cheryl and Isaac Snodgrass.
In the absence of the Recording Secretary the minutes of the April 2016 meeting were read by Linda Cottrell Liss. Motion to accept minutes as read was made by Wanda Carpenter and properly seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
Carol Board-Westfall, Treasurer, gave a financial report of income and expenses of the past month. The May 26th balance was $12,893.77. Financial report filed with meeting minutes.
Linda Cottrell-Liss, Correspondence Secretary, brought the Society up-to-date on correspondence.
(1) 5/10/2016 Communication from Loftis Engineering Group of East Amherst, NY with regard to the proposed construction of a Vertical Lattice Tower on Walker Ridge Rd. near Walton in Roane County. Notice also filed with WV Division of Culture & History, Charleston, WV. Carol Board-Westfall reported that she had searched map of area and identified 4 cemeteries in that area, three had been read & one had not been read.
(2) 5/09/2016 E-mail communication from society member, Lisa Carper Stott, regarding personal commitment papers found on E-bay for Spencer State Hospital & Roane County Poor Farm patients. She tried to buy the papers for the Society but due to legal/privacy issues they have been removed from E-bay.
(3) 4/19/2016 Communication/inquiry from Kimberly Lowers of Morrisville, PA regarding burial place for her ancestor George Lowers b. 21 Apr 1857. Linda responded to her that he is buried at the Cottrell/Frozen Run Chapel Cem. in Calhoun Co., WV.
(4) 4/28/2016 Inquiry from Dawn Webb of Delaware, OH regarding her gt grandfather, George Dewey Robey. Linda responded to her.
(5) 5/11/2016 E-mail from Tom Householder regarding markers at Goff Cem. in Spencer for Pool Family. Possible mix up of dates on tombstones for Peter Pool and Presley Lewis Woodyard Pool.
(6) 5/05, 2016 Annual O’Brien Reunion: 3 days August 12-14, Colville, WA.
(7) Fliers and communication from Timothy Keener: 1st Annual Tanner Takeover Family Reunion & Picnic, Monday, May 30th, 2016, [Memorial Day], at Heritage Park Community Building in Spencer, 12 Noon. For descendants of Spencer’s first family: Samuel and Sudna Tanner.
(8) 5/26/2016 from Bob Weaver, Publisher/Founder of the Hur Herald on-line newspaper for Calhoun Co., WV & area. After 20 years the Hur Herald will be discontinued as of May 31, 2016.
Membership Report for April 2016 – 213 members [Copy filed with minutes].
Membership Report for May 2016 – 215 members [Copy filed with minutes].
Our special guest, Brett A. Miller, 2016 Essay Scholarship recipient was introduced by Linda Cottrell Liss, Essay Scholarship Chairperson. The Essay Committee, Melissa Swisher, Harley Nester & Linda Liss, met on Saturday, April 16th and made their selection after reading & considering four essays from Roane County High seniors. Brett’s essay most closely met the guidelines adopted by the Society. He read his essay telling about his Miller & Greenleaf families and in particular his great grandmother, Lacey Alice Callow-Criner of Reedy. After a short time of questions & answers, Brett was presented a Certificate of Participation as the Society’s 6th Annual Essay Scholarship & an honorary 1-year membership in the R.C.H.S. Note: The $1,000 Essay Scholarship was presented to Brett at Roane County High School’s May 12, 2016 Awards Ceremony by President Rick Greathouse. His essay &/or excerpts thereof & photo will be published in the Summer 2016 “Journal” newsletter.
2016 Genealogical Fair: The committee chairperson, Melissa Swisher, reported that the annual fair will be Saturday, September 24th, 2016. Fair flier was in Spring issue of the “Journal” newsletter. She will be contacting different area societies and vendors to reserve table space. Fair will be 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Heritage Park Community Building.
Carol Board-Westfall reported that the bronze plaque from our 2009 Plaque Project has finally been installed on the old [1903] Chrystal Water & Power Co./Ice Plant building at the end of Church Street in Spencer. The building, now on the National Register of Historic Places, also has a plaque noting that historic distinction.
Carol also reported on the Spencer State Hospital Cemetery sign project. The sign made of cast aluminum is currently located in the field beside Spencer Elementary School off Rte. 36. The 1997 sign has deteriorated and needs redone or replaced & perhaps moved to a more visible place. Sewah Studios, Inc. of Marietta, OH was the original maker of the sign. They have quoted a price of $800 to refurbish the sign. The society would be responsible for taking the sign down & shipping it to the Studio. Motion was made by Melissa Swisher and seconded by Linda Liss to have the sign refurbished. Motion carried unanimously
Rick reminded those present that during the June 23rd meeting, a Nominating Committee needs to be formed to nominate officers for the 2016-17 fiscal year.

In relation to the Spencer State Hospital Cemetery sign project, we may want to consider contacting city officials about having the refurbished sign placed in a more prominent location. Spencer City Manager, Philip Smith, is considering a “next project” of much greater scale than the recent Ben’s Run Trail historic kiosk project. He will be putting together some kiosks for a new trail around the former Spencer State Hospital grounds and in the Civil War Park area on hill behind present-day WalMart. He would very much welcome the help of the Roane County Historical Society. He is willing to come to one of our meetings and discuss the project further
As discussed at the April meeting, Rick has invited Ms. April Gardner & perhaps a couple of other ladies of the Kanawha Valley DAR [Daughters of the American Revolution] Chapter to come to our June 23rd meeting as program guests. The K. V. DAR is interested in starting a DAR Chapter in Spencer, Roane County.

June 23, 2016 is the Society’s 23rd Birthday! We will celebrate with cake & ice cream.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:02 p.m. with refreshments provided by Carol Board-Westfall.
Submitted by,
Linda Cottrell Liss
Secretary Pro Tem

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