|Date: 1st Wednesday of every month|
Time: 1:00 p.m.
Location: Clay County Library
President: Jerry Stover
Recording Secretary: Kathy Fortner
Editor: Eloise Boggs
The Historical Society is a non-profit organization sanctioned by the Clay County Commission for the following purposes:
1. To seeking out and suitably identify sites of historic interest for preservation in Clay County.
2. To bring together those, in a non-discriminatory fashion, interested in history, and especially in the history of Clay County. That understanding the history of our community is basic to our democratic way of life, and gives us a better understanding of our state and nation, and promotes a better appreciation of our American Heritage.
The major focus of the Historical Society will be to discover and collect and preserve any material which may help to establish or illustrate the history of this area; its exploration, settlement, development, and activities in peace and in times of war; its progress in population, wealth, education, arts, science, agriculture, manufacturing, trade and transportation. The Historical Society will collect printed material such as history, family histories, genealogies, biographies, descriptions, gazetteers, directories, newspapers, pamphlets, catalogs, circulars, handbills, programs, and posters; manuscript material, such as letters, diaries, journals, charts, surveys, and field books; and especially will receive and preserve any materials worthy of being placed in a museum, such as farm equipment, pictures, photographs, paintings, protraits, scenes, aboriginal relics, and material objects illustrative of life, conditions, events, and activities of the past and present.
The Clay County Historic Landmarks Commission has been an out-growth of the Hickory and Lady Slippers Project of Clay County High School, Clay, West Virginia. In 1977, with the help of a local lawyer, Stephen Jon Alghren, Mr. Jerry Stover and other interested people formed this group.
The following people served on this commission: Ferrel Friend, Otter District; Shirley Young, Union District; Helen Proctor, Pleasant District; Joann Exline, Henry District and Jerry Stover served as Chairman of the organization.
In 1990, the Clay County History Book Committee, formed in the 1980's for the purpose of collectimg materials for publication of History of Clay County, merged with the Clay Landmarks Commission to become the "Clay County Landmarks Commission and Historical Society.
Built in 1902, the Clay County Courthouse exhibits an early 20th century eclecticism, reflected in its combination of classical elements of style. Although the lines of the building are simple, it has a Beaux Arts-style domed cupola and Doric-columned Portico, which add grace to the somewhat utilitarian stone structure. This structure was built to replace wooden and log buildings that once served as working space for both county clerks. Local legend holds that, during quarrying for the new courthouse, loose stones from the sight rolled down and demolished the old log structure. This building is of Neo-Classical Style or Beaux Arts Classicism. This style was known for putting many classical elements together in one work.
The Clay County Commission authorized the CCCLC&HS to use the building after offices moved into the new courthouse
Share the Vision
This is your building and it belongs to the future generations of Clay County people. This is the last public building worthy of preservation in the county. The vision for the old Clay County Courthouse started in 1984 when it was added to the National Register of Historic Buildings. A twenty-year plan is available upon written request from the office. The following are some areas of vision for this facility.
1. To make this building secure in its architecture and historical integrity for the enjoyment of future
generations of central West Virginia families.
2. To house in the basement, as funds will allow, an artist guild for the permanent display of local and
regional artwork. Other art work would be juried and offered for sale through the Internet. There
can be an area provided for the production of local art forms.
3. To become a repository for regional, state and local history, and to provide state of the art
computer access for this information.
4. To maintain and provide space for a Clay County Museum and traveling exhibitions.
5. To act as a Multi-County Tourist Center for the six West Virginia counties that lie within the
Elk River Basin. This would include the counties contingent to Clay County.
6. To allow the local Theater Group access to the old courtroom for performances and especially
to reenact some of our noted Clay County Court cases.
7. To be used for community organizational meetings and activities.
8. To allow the Clay County Landmarks Commission and Historical Society to have a permanent
home to meet and to fulfill a wide variety of community and county needs.
9. To catalog all existing materials available on Clay County.
10. To make available a list of all cassette tapes, CD's, writings and books.
11. When space becomes available, to have a working Clay County Museum.
You Can Help!
We have a large membership, which is mostly made up of out of state members. Many other societies and libraries are on our mailing list.
While we are very proud of our members, we would like to encourage more local participation. If you would like to receive our quarterly publication, "Now and Then," please contact us with the information at the end of this page.
If you would like to volunteer, please contact Jerry Stover at 304-587-4316. We do not have any regular office hours because of a lack of volunteers. If you cannot donate time, perhaps you would like to become a financial supporter? You do not have to be a member to volunteer.
The Genealogical Library was started in the present Hickory and Lady Slippers Room in 1997-98, by Don and Sherry Rhodes. They built shelves and organized family histories, so that research could be done. They had regular hours and assisted people, faithfully, in doing their research. Sherry also acted as Assistant Secretary and carried on much work that needed to be done by the society. Donny was Vice President of the Historical Society and was very faithful to that position.
In 1998, Norma and Richard Darr worked on the Hanshaw Rooms, that house both the Historical and Genealogical Library. These rooms were completely financed and redone by Norma Darr and members of her family to honor the Hanshw family.
We hope that you will want to help us. Let us all work together to save what belongs to all of us,"Our Mountain Heritage."
Welcome one and all to the new Clay WV Historical Society online home!
Can anyone identify the man on the left?