Civil War Symposium - 14 April 2012
In Morgantown. Produced by The West Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission and The Mason-Dixon Civil War Round Table. Besides four great presentations the symposium will also feature exhibits of Civil War memorabilia, vendors of books relating to the period, and Civil War living history. There will be unique West Virginia Civil War artifacts that have never or rarely been on display. The symposium is open to all for a fee of $25, which includes lunch as well as morning coffee and snacks. The Beverly Heritage Center will be represented, accompanied by a good selection of items from the Beverly Heritage Center gift shop.
HEART OF A HERITAGE Benefit February 11th
Festive Saturday evening of music, insider tours and news, and fine dining will raise funds for the Beverly Heritage Center. See the event poster and a press release with full details: HERE
Beverly Old-Fashioned Christmas
The 2011 Christmas celebration featured plenty of good food and drink, a profusion of arts and crafts, and some spirited musical enhancement. Many came through the Heritage Center to participate. We hope to have a feature on it soon.
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM
This Year's “Night at the Museum” living history and reception fund raiser at the Beverly Heritage Center has been set for Saturday, 12 November 2011. See the event poster HERE for details.
OnTRAC Report Issued
Beverly ON TRAC conducted a Community Survey to find out the opinions of local residents about issues that affect life in Beverly. The report on the results of this survey have just been published and can be found HERE.
150th Has Come to Beverly
The 150th Anniversary of the Civil War events that swirled around Beverly in 1861 is now well under way. The special tour and reenactment week is done. Be sure to check the event calendar (HERE) for other events in town, and for an account of the Rich Mountain 150th events see the RMBF website HERE.
Warming the winter evening was a Dinner and Open House event at the Beverly Heritage Center.
"At the Heart of A Heritage" took place on Saturday, 12 February 2011. See the pre-event info: HERE.
Night At The Museum
The Fall BHC benefit event was "Night At The Museum: The Museum Comes Alive" and took place on 6 November. See the flyer HERE.
150th Anniversary of the Civil War Inspires Historical Journal.
An ongoing series of entries will document the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War in the Western Virginia in chronological form. See the first of these entries HERE.
Beverly Heritage Days was 24-25 July this year.
A good time was had; See the pre-event info HERE
First few pictures have come in from the event: see them HERE
Historic Beverly NEWSLETTER:
Recent Issues are now posted online as PDF files, inside Rich Mountain newsletters HERE
ON TRAC Community Survey
Beverly ON TRAC is conducting a Community Survey to find out the opinions of local residents about issues that affect life in Beverly.
For more information, go to the OnTrac Page HERE
Go directly to the online survey:
"At the Heart of a Heritage"
In February of 2010, Beverly Heritage Center celebrated completion of Phase III construction with a romantic Valentine Dinner and Open House. See the orginal event invitation HERE
Elkins, Beverly, Belington chosen for OnTrac
From the Elkins, West Virginia daily newspaper "The InterMountain."
Copyright 2009 by the InterMountain: used by permission; all rights reserved.
By CARRA HIGGINS
And BEN SIMMONS
Three local communities have potential to build on efforts that have already been taken to create economic and community growth.
Wednesday, Gov. Joe Manchin announced Elkins, Beverly and Belington are among the 13 West Virginia cities accepted to the state's first group of OnTrac participants.
OnTrac is an acronym for Organization, Training, Revitalization and Capacity and was recently created by Main Street West Virginia to help communities boost economic growth with evaluation, education and networking resources.
OnTrac affords communities the opportunity to receive training on the National Trust for Historic Preservations Four-Point Approach, which includes organization, promotion, design and economic restructuring; an assessment of strengths and weaknesses; access to an online library of databases and resources; attendance to Main Street training workshops; action-planning services; telephone consultation; scholarship and grant information; technical design visits; and participation in the mentoring program.
"OnTrac illustrates one way the residents of this state have pulled together to improve the quality of life and business opportunities in their respective communities," Manchin said.
OnTrac also acts as a stepping stone to become a Main Street community, which helps towns "experience an increase in tourism through shopping and cultural and social activities; a stabilized or improved housing market; an increase in customers and sales; and an improved image," according to literature about the program.
"The program is a structured approach to strengthening and revitalizing so called 'Main Streets,'" said Randolph County Development Authority Executive Director Jennifer Giovannitti. "By participating in the program, the community can take advantage of technical consultants who have a wealth of knowledge and experience working with small downtown retail cores to help them grow and prosper."
Randolph County Development Authority is acting as Elkins' sponsor for OnTrac. Giovannitti said OnTrac is important to downtown Elkins because it offers a fresh new way to look at the commercial downtown core.
Historic Beverly Preservation and Beverly Historic Landmarks Commission Director Chelley Depp explained the organizations applied to the OnTrac program in order to build on the revitalization that is already taking place in the town. Depp said OnTrac experts will provide an explanation of strengths and weaknesses in Beverly. Historic Beverly Preservation and Beverly Historic Landmarks Commission will work with OnTrac advisers to continue to develop and enhance the town. The Beverly Town Council is serving as the OnTrac sponsor.
"To have the distinction is great," Depp said.
Giovannitti and Depp said the two Randolph County communities will work together to better the entire county.
"Ideally, building shared links with the other neighboring small town Main Streets, like that of the town of Beverly, would expand the economic model further and create more continuity between our towns and cities," Giovannitti said. "Randolph County has a lot to offer."
Belington Revitalization Committee Chairman Chris Sauerwein said the OnTrac program would immensely increase the amount of revitalization resources at Belington's disposal and open doors of opportunity that might not otherwise be possible.
To make OnTrac a success, community participation is vital, explained Main Street Philippi Program Director Tammy Stemple.
Philippi became a Main Street West Virginia city in 1997. Since then, Stemple thinks the city has become a better place to live.
The success of Philippi's Main Street program relied on the dedication and work of volunteers, Stemple said. Their work has resulted in establishing events that bring tourists to the town; enhancing streetscape; and obtaining grants for walking trails and other activities for residents, she explained.
OnTrac is designed as a community program and its success will depend on involvement from a variety of people, including Elkins City Council, building owners, residents and business owners, Giovannitti explained.
Prior to receiving the OnTrac designation, she said Elkins merchants have worked to strengthen and build unity downtown and the Elkins-Randolph County Chamber of Commerce is enthusiastic about the potential of the downtown.
Giovannitti said the RCDA is counting on the ERCCC and Elkins' Downtown Merchants Association to take the lead on the project.
The team of people working directly on the program will be doing community assessments, working with consultants, scheduling interviews with building owners, meeting with businesses, attending training workshops and generally figuring out the best ways to promote the area based on the Main Street model.
"The more people trained and involved the better, because it will be a labor intensive process that needs commitment from all of the stakeholders," Giovannitti said.
"All the stakeholders would have to remain committed to the OnTrac program," she said. "Since the program requires a lot of work to develop and implement the workplan, it is a litmus test for whether the community is ready to take on the Main Street program."
Elkins-Randolph County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Ellen Spears said, "The chamber is committed to working in partnership with the Randolph County Development Authority, the city of Elkins and the downtown merchants to build consensus and cooperation among all the stakeholders as we strive together to reach a common goal."
Giovannitti added, "We have to succeed with OnTrac before looking ahead to Main Street and that is why the community and City Council must dedicate serious time and effort to the program."
According to Giovannitti, state OnTrac program directors likely found Elkins appealing because of historic buildings, active commerce, its walkable, quaint streets and because it "holds tremendous potential with the growth of tourism and tourist activity in the adjoining railyard."
"We all want to see the downtown businesses succeed and prosper and we want tourists to come to our community and remember the specific shops and local charm," Giovannitti said. "I hope the OnTrac program gives the community new ideas, new perspectives and new strategies to consider so that Elkins can continue to diversify the economy."
Businesses will benefit from OnTrac, Spears added, because the program revitalization protects the existing tax base and provides an incubator for new businesses.