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Vice Chairman Nathan Randolph called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m. In addition to Vice Chairman Randolph, other voting members present were Tommy Bailey, Dr. Melissa Bingmann, Tracy Burch, Laura Carroll, Dr. Robert Conte, Nat DeBruin, Darlene Hassler, Audy Perry and Dr. David Trowbridge. Voting members absent were Dr. Charles Ledbetter and Darla Spencer. Ex officio voting member absent was Fredrick Armstrong. Ex officio non-voting members present were Joe Geiger, director, Archives and History Section; Hanna Law, West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey; Charles Morris, director, Museums Section; Susan Pierce, director, Historic Preservation Section; Randall-Reid Smith, curator of the Department of Arts, Culture, and History; and J. Logan Smith, president of Preservation Alliance of West Virginia. Also present was Historic Preservation staff member Pam Brooks.

Following introductions, Vice Chairman Randolph asked for a motion on the meeting minutes of May 31, 2019. A motion to approve the minutes was made by Mr. Bailey with a second by Mr. Perry. The minutes were approved.

Vice Chairman Randolph asked for a motion on the meeting agenda. He noted that the grants under consideration were not state development grants but survey and planning grants. A motion to approve the agenda was made by Mr. Perry with a second by Dr. Conte. The agenda was approved.

Mr. Geiger informed members that Chairman Greco had resigned from the commission and noted that the by-laws require that officer vacancies be filled for the unexpired term at the next meeting. Geiger, as secretary of the commission, had contacted Dr. Bingmann and requested that the most recent nominating committee present a plan for replacing the chairman. Vice Chairman Randolph called on Dr. Bingmann for the report of the nominating committee. Dr. Bingmann reported that the committee recommended the appointment of Nathan Randolph as chairperson and Tommy Bailey as vice-chairperson. There being no nominations from the floor, Mr. Perry moved for the adoption of the committee’s recommendation and Dr. Conte provided the second. Motion approved.

Turning to New Business, Chairman Randolph called for the presentation of the National Register nominations. Ms. Pierce first introduced Marshall Markley, superintendent of Cass Scenic Railroad State Park, who gave a summary of ongoing work at the National Register-listed facility.

West Virginia Schools for the Colored Deaf and Blind, Institute, Kanawha County, nominated under Criterion A for Education and Ethnic Heritage: Black, with period of significance being 1926-1955, was presented by Sarah Elswick of Aurora Research Associates, LLC. Following the presentation, Dr. Trowbridge commended the author for noting the impact of integration on African Americans, asked about the graduation rate compared with that of the school at Romney, and made several suggestions for changes. Courtney Fint-Zimmerman of Aurora Research Associates requested that the changes be submitted to Jeff Smith, National Register coordinator for the West Virginia SHPO. She also noted the interest of and assistance by West Virginia State University. Dr. Bingmann moved for approval of the nomination and Dr. Trowbridge provided the second. Motion carried.

Chairman Randolph then called on Ms. Pierce to present the third round of FY2019 Survey and Planning Grants. J. Logan Smith recused himself.

Following Ms. Pierce’s presentation, Vice Chairman Bailey made a motion to approve the recommendations for the third round of FY2019 Survey and Planning Grants with the provision authorizing staff to move funds from cancelled projects or projects unable to use all available funding to projects which did not receive full funding and can expend additional funds prior to the end of the grant period, or to the most deserving projects which were not funded at the discretion of SHPO staff, with any remaining funds to carry over to the next fiscal year. Ms. Burch provided the second. Motion carried.

Turning to Old Business, Chairman Randolph called for an update on previous National Register nominations. Ms. Pierce noted that six of the nominations have been listed (Isaac Lane Farm, New Deal Resources in Cacapon State Park Historic District, New Deal Resources in Kumbrabow State Forest Historic District, New Deal Resources in Greenbrier State Forest Historic District, Prabhupada’s Palace of Gold, and Laurel Hill District School), while three other previously presented nominations were still pending.

Chairman Randolph then called on Ms. Pierce for an update on The McWhorter House tax credit appeal. Ms. Pierce noted that the owner filed an appeal with the Roane County Circuit Court and the State Historic Preservation Office had responded via the Attorney General’s Office.

Chairman Randolph called upon Mr. Geiger for the Archives and History report. Mr. Geiger referred members to information provided in the monthly reports for April through July 2019 (copies attached to official minutes) and reviewed recent activities. He noted the completion of processing of the McDowell and Roane County circuit court files, numbering about 400 boxes. The State Archives has also received the oldest Pendleton County clerk records and is preparing to receive a transfer of chancery and law case files from Wirt County. About one hundred of the sesquicentennial markers have been installed and the new marker book is progressing. Archives and History staff met with Department of Education officials regarding document-based question exercises using primary sources from the State Archives collections. A new photo exhibit on musical bands in West Virginia will be installed in the next few weeks and a Civil War symposium is scheduled for September 28.

Chairman Randolph then called upon Ms. Pierce for the Historic Preservation report. Ms. Pierce provided a written report to members (copy attached to official minutes) and reviewed section activities. She noted work on the five-year plan and informed the commission that SHPO had received two grants from the National Park Service, one an Underrepresented Communities grant and the other an Historic Revitalization grant. Staff continues work with General Services on the capitol building, 2020 development grants and the HP calendar. Dr. Bingmann offered congratulations on the grants, and Ms. Pierce stated it was good for the state.

Chairman Randolph then called upon Mr. Morris for the Museums report. Mr. Morris provided a written report to members (copy attached to official minutes) and reviewed section activities. He mentioned the Marx Toys exhibit at Grave Creek and noted that a Fostoria exhibit will be installed beginning on Monday. Mr. Morris stated that the String Band Festival experienced its largest attendance ever and observed the section also has received a large number of entries for the juried exhibition, scheduled for November 17 in the Culture Center.

Chairman Randolph then called upon Curator Randall Reid-Smith for the Department of Arts, Culture and History report. He noted the new appointments and stated the agency was scheduled for a budget hearing on Tuesday. The historic preservation awards ceremony will be held on October 13. He informed commission members that the Buffalo Native American remains will be repatriated in the Monongahela National Forest. Curator Reid-Smith also discussed the VH-1 Save the Music Foundation efforts, which have resulted in more than one hundred schools receiving more than $4 million in grants. The West Virginia Marching Band Invitational will be held on October 19, and he encouraged members to attend this event and to participate this year in National History Day and History Bowl. He also noted that Archives and History was to receive additional storage space. Dr. Bingmann spoke about National History Day and encouraged support.

Chairman Randolph then called upon J. Logan Smith for the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia report. He spoke about the AmeriCorps project and mentioned the organization was looking for volunteers. The awards banquet was held recently, and the next conference was scheduled for the Spring of 2020.

Chairman Randolph then called upon Hanna Law for the West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey report. She noted work on mapping fiber broadband service in the ten most economically depressed southern counties, studying the feasibility of geothermal energy on the WVU campus, and conducting a Rogersville shale assessment. The museum at Mont Chateau was constantly expanding and she extended an invitation to commission members to stop by for a tour.

There was no report from the West Virginia Historical Society.

Chairman Randolph noted that the Winter meeting will be held at 1:00 p.m. on February 20, 2020, in the Green Room of the Culture Center. The Spring meeting will be held at Jackson’s Mill on June 5, 2020.

Mr. Perry made a motion to adjourn and Chairman Randolph declared the meeting adjourned at 11:13 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Joseph N. Geiger, Jr.

Archives and History Commission

West Virginia Archives and History