The Pocahontas County Historical Society celebrated the 60th anniversary of the opening of its museum last Monday. The Society itself was formed two years earlier in November 1961 at the Pocahontas County Courthouse with 16 people present.
At the second meeting in March 1962 with more members, one of the subjects was how they might celebrate the Centennial of the formation of the State of West Virginia in 1963.
It was decided in early April 1962 that they would open a museum. Hearing of its possible availability, members toured Mrs. Anna Hunter’s home, River Place, on Seneca Trail, facing the Greenbrier River in Marlinton, and voted to purchase it.
Chisel Sheets and Bill McNeel worked on changing a home into a museum, and showcases from stores all across the county were donated to be used to hold the displays. At the same time, a large number of members were donating and collecting historical items, and doing countless jobs to make house and grounds ready for the June deadline.
If you had a relative living in Pocahontas County at that time, they were almost certainly working on this incredible community project, in one way or another.
The goal, at first, was to fill the ground floor, but due to the generosity of the communities, the exhibits spilled over to the upstairs rooms.
On June 5 1963, Pearl S. Buck and West Virginia Governor and Mrs. Wallace Barron were treated to luncheon, the ribbon was cut and, from the River Porch, Mrs. Buck addressed a large group seated on the lawn on a sunny day.
Sixty years later, we need that unity and county pride to restore this Pocahontas County gem. Over the years the collection has grown considerably. People continue to give of their best and historical items, but the building and grounds need the touch of willing volunteers to restore them.
If you can work, please volunteer.
If not, please consider becoming a member of the Historical Society. The dues are $20 a year. The dues and other donations may be mailed to PCHS, P. O. Box 453, Marlinton, WV 24954.