On behalf of the sponsors of West Virginia History Day at the Legislature, West Virginia Archives and History is pleased to announce that the following individuals will be recognized as West Virginia History Heroes during a History Day program and ceremony to be held at the Culture Center on the Capitol Complex in Charleston on Thursday, Mar. 9:
- Larry Y. Bennett of Grassy Meadow possesses a wealth of knowledge regarding the location of Nicholas County cemeteries and historical sites. Since 2012, he has shared WV history with elementary school students during New Hope’s Old Time Community Festival. He also lectures Richwood Middle School students on early county and state history during the school’s annual Heritage Days. In addition, Bennett has photographed more than 25,000 grave sites in the state and has been coordinator of the Greenbrier County WVGenWeb since 2015. He currently is writing a book on early Nicholas County settlers. Nominated by Nicholas County WVGen Web.
- Leslie Weddle of Caldwell is the most versatile volunteer that the Greenbrier Historical Society has ever had. She started out at the front desk, greeting the public and answering the phone. Her organizational and information management skills soon found an outlet in the archives and collections, however. Weddle’s quick grasp of collections management and care practices has made her a valued and trusted member of the team. She accessions, catalogues, labels and ensures the proper storage of artifacts, and she assists with creating and staging exhibits. Weddle also helps with hosting special events at the museum and gives tours as needed. Nominated by Greenbrier Historical Society.
The 2017 History Hero awards program is set to begin at 9:30 a.m. in the State Theater at the Culture Center and will conclude before 11 a.m. Honorees’ local legislators have been invited to participate in the ceremony at the Culture Center, time and legislative session permitting.
West Virginia History Heroes are nominated by historical, genealogical, preservation, museum, patriotic or like organizations from across the state. The purpose of the annual award is to give state-level recognition to individuals chosen for dedicated service on behalf of an organization’s programs or for a recent significant contribution to state and local history through research, interpretation, publication or preservation. The West Virginia History Hero award is a one-time only recognition.
West Virginia History Day at the Legislature was begun by the West Virginia Archives and History Commission in 1997 and is officially designated by the commission as a special day to recognize the state’s rich and varied history. The annual event, during which groups from around the state provide history displays in the capitol, is now in its 21st year. This year, more than 60 groups have registered to have displays in the upper rotunda of the capitol.
In addition to the Archives and History Commission, co-sponsors of West Virginia History Day are the Mining Your History Foundation, Preservation Alliance of West Virginia, Inc., West Virginia Association of Museums, West Virginia Division of Culture and History, West Virginia Historical Society and West Virginia Humanities Council.