Dear Historic Shepherdstown Members and Supporters,
We hope you have been having a good summer. It is hard to believe it is already the middle of August and schools across the county, including Shepherd University, will be starting again on Monday. Watch out for those school buses!
Historic Shepherdstown has two important events scheduled during the first full week of September, the annual meeting and September Speaker Series on Wednesday, Sept. 6, and the Fall Fundraiser on Saturday, Sept. 9.
Even though the Fall Fundraiser will be held after the annual meeting, I am going to mention it first because the deadline to RSVP is August 30.
This year the event will be held at the historic Shepherd Grist Mill on High Street in Shepherdstown. Parking will be available at the Shepherd University lot at the corner of High and Princess streets. There is no home football game that day.
Our hosts will be Sharon and Adam Thomas, the owners of the mill. They are hoping to run the 40-foot water wheel for a while at the beginning of the event, which is scheduled for 5 to 7 p.m. They have invited HSC guests to tour the lower level of their home, where the workings for the grist mill are located, as well as the first floor and back porch. You get a great view of Town Run from the back porch.
The event will be catered by MJ’s on German DeliCafe. We have selected a luau theme, and the menu will include pulled pork with Hawaiian rolls and slaw; Polynesian grilled chicken; Hawaiian style macaroni salad, citrus spinach salad, and pineapple upside down cake.
Make sure you bring along some cash or your checkbook. Once again, we will be offering a 50/50 raffle. We will be selling the new 2023 Historic Shepherdstown ornament, which features Christ Reform Church, and the 2021 ornament of the Shepherd Grist Mill. We also have discovered a cache of Diana Suttenfield prints and cards that she did for Friends of the Riverfront. She has given us permission to sell them. You won’t want to miss this opportunity.
We hope to see many of you there. And if you can’t make it, we would appreciate it if you would still make a donation to Historic Shepherdstown.
Annual meeting and September Speaker Series
Historic Shepherdstown Commission’s annual meeting and September Speaker Series will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 9, at the Robert C. Byrd Center for Congressional History and Education on the Shepherd University campus. The annual meeting will begin at 6:45 p.m., followed immediately by the speaker series talk.
At the annual meeting, HSC members will be voting on the nominations of three well-qualified people to join the board of Historic Shepherdstown, and three current members who have agreed to serve a second three-year term.
The nominees, in alphabetical order, are:
Greg Coble: A Shepherdstown resident since April 2022, Greg devoted most of his career to mission-based nonprofit organizations. He worked at the Washington-based National Trust for Historic Preservation, an organization focused on saving historic resources and communities, for 30 years, in a range of positions including finance, strategic planning, human resources, chief of staff, and program development. For 18 of those years, he served as senior vice president of business and finance. More recently, he worked at Hosteling International USA (HI USA) for nine years as senior vice president of finance and administration.
Greg began his career working for the West Virginia Governor’s Office of Economic & Community Development, and also worked at Blue Cross of California in Oakland for two years. A Charleston, WV native, he has a bachelor’s in journalism and master’s in public administration from West Virginia University. He has served on the boards of Bonnet House (the Fort Lauderdale, FL historic house museum), International Student House of Washington, D.C., and Historic Hotels of America. He joined the board of the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia in June 2023.
Mike Nickerson: Dr. Mike Nickerson holds a doctorate in molecular medicine from the George Washington University and conducted cancer genetics research for 30 years. He is the current president of the Shepherdstown Battlefield Preservation Association. SBPA is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the site of the noted Civil War battle in Shepherdstown. His wife Dr. Rosemary Nickerson is a long- time board member of the Shepherdstown Library. The Nickersons have a farm off Trough Road.
Dave Pugh: David C. Pugh Jr. is a retired educator for Jefferson County Schools, having taught social studies at Jefferson High School from 1975-2006, and then mentoring new teachers for an additional five years. Born in Scranton, Pennsylvania and raised in Carlisle, he attended Shippensburg University earning a Bachelor of Science in secondary education and a Master of Science in social science. He and his wife Jean Anne have lived in the immediate Shepherdstown area for 47 years.
From 2006-2008, Dave served on the Shepherdstown Community Club board (formerly the Men’s Club) as vice-president and chair of the Morgan’s Grove Park Committee. In 2021, he completed his second three-year term on the board of Historic Shepherdstown Commission serving as chair of the program committee and chair of the membership committee. Finally, most recently, Dave served on the board of the American Conservation Film Festival during its successful live return to the Shepherdstown Opera House in March of this year.
The three current board members who have agreed to seek re-election to a second three-year term are Terry Fulton, John Kavaliunas, and Dianne Roman. Terry and Dianne are both members of the museum committee, and have devoted a significant amount of time during the past three years working on organizing the Historic Shepherdstown archives. John is the current chair of the Museum Committee and also serves on the executive committee for HSC. He received a West Virginia History Hero award this year.
Following the annual meeting, Dr. Benjamin Bankhurst will give a talk entitled Loyalist rising and conspiracy in the Potomac borderlands before Yorktown. Bankhurst is the Ray and Madeline Johnston Chair in American History and Associate Professor of History at Shepherd University. He completed his graduate study at King’s College London. His research focuses on migration to the Appalachian frontier in the colonial and revolutionary periods.
Before joining the History Department at Shepherd, he held teaching and research appointments at the London School of Economics; the Institute of Historical Research; and Queen Mary, University of London. His articles have appeared in journals include Eire/Ireland, The Pennsylvania Magazine for History and Biography, and the Journal of Irish and Scottish History, among others. The American Council for Irish Studies awarded his first book Ulster Presbyterians and the Scots Irish Diaspora, 1750-1764 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013) the Donald Murphy Prize. Bankhurst co-edited a collection of essays alongside Nigel Aston entitled Negotiating Toleration, Protestant Dissent and the Hanoverian Succession (Oxford University Press, 2019).
Bankhurst is the co-director, alongside Dr. Kyle Roberts of the Congregational Library and Archives in Boston, of the Maryland Loyalism Project, a public archive and database documenting the experiences of Chesapeake loyalists in the era of the American Revolution.
Check out the Historic Shepherdstown website for coming events and digital exhibits
Not sure when the museum is open? Want to find out about the Adam Link desk or Craft clocks? Check the website of Historic Shepherdstown, Historic Shepherdstown , for museum hours, upcoming events, and much more. The Research tab lists several items including Digital Exhibits. Here you will find illustrations and information about:
- Artifacts, such as the Adam Link desk, the Baptismal font made by Samuel P. Humrickhouse of Shepherdstown, which HSC recently acquired from the former Christ Reformed Church, as well as several fine clocks made by Jacob Craft and John Woltz of Shepherdstown. The museum also has a collection of silver spoons made by John Woltz.
- Books, including the diary of C.M. Entler for 1852 and the logbook of Henry Bedinger, Continental Army private, store keeper, postmaster, and a member of the Virginia House of Delegates.
- Events, ranging from the War of 1812 and the Civil War to the Israeli/Syrian peace talks conducted in the Shepherdstown area in 2000.
- Landmarks, including McMurran Clock Tower, the Rumsey Monument, the James Rumsey Steamboat Museum, and the Shindler House.
- Maps, including the maps that are currently on display in the museum. They range from the 1612 – Map of Virginia by John Smith to the Lori Simmons, 2007 Explorer Map of Jefferson County. One of the more interesting maps is the 1861 Map of Virginia Showing the distribution of its Slave Population from the Census of 1860.
- People, including members of prominent Shepherdstown families as well as such individuals as the Rev. John Kehler, Mary Catherine Weltzheimer, Alexander R. Boteler, and the cabinetmaker/undertaker Thomas (“Tommy”) Hopkins. Hopkins, for example, insisted on measuring the corpses in his mortuary after an assistant used a corn stalk to measure a body and then allowed a horse to bite a piece off, resulting in a too short coffin.
So, when it is too hot to go outside, spend some time checking out our website and in particular the section on digital exhibits: Historic Shepherdstown digital-exhibits.
My term as the president of the Historic Shepherdstown Board of Directors ends on October 4, and Jerry Bock, the current vice president, will be nominated for president. It has been a pleasure working with everyone involved in the organization for the past six years, including members of the Board of Directors, past and present, volunteers, and the HSC administrator Teresa McLaughlin. I hope to see you at the annual meeting and the fall fundraiser so I can thank you, our members and supporters, as well.
President, HSC Board of Directors