The Exponent Telegram Sunday February 13, 2011
Clarksburg Publishing Company
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Legislature To honor residents for preserving historical aspect of W. Va.
By Diane Davis

CHARLESTON – West Virginia History Day at the Legislature will be held on Feb. 24 at the Cultural Center on the Capitol Complex in Charleston.
     As a part of the celebration, two Harrison Countians and a Lewis Countian are among four to be recognized as West Virginia History Heroes.
     “These nominations reflect work that has been done at the local level to further the preservation of our history” said Joseph N. Geiger J., director West Virginia Archives and History.
     Geiger said historical societies are nominating a person they are recognizing for being a significant contributor to their efforts. “These are people who go beyond the call of duty to ensure the success of local history preservation work. The person may have published a book or nomination me be rewarding a cumulative effort by these individuals to serve history at the local lever.”
     Geiger said this will be the 15th year for the awards to be given.
     The four to recognized this year are:

  • David R. Houchin of Clarksburg, nominated by the Harrison County Genealogical Society.
  • Richard A, Wolfe of Bridgeport by Rich Mountain Battlefield Foundation.
  • Bradley R. Oldaker of Weston nominated by Hackers Creek Pioneer Descendants.
  • Patricia Irene Piercy of Kingmont, nominated by West Virginia State CCC Museum Association.

         Houchin is the special collections librarian at Waldomore annex of the Clarksburg-Harrison Public Library.
         “I have a strong interest in the history of Clarksburg and Harrison County.” Houchin said. “ I assist genealogists with their searches and work with the Harrison County Genealogy Society.” I do independent research into local history.”
         Diana Johnson vice president of the Harrison County Genealogy Society, calls Houchin “the person to seek for answers to genealogical or historical questions.
         ”People in almost 50 states have found out that you need to ask the man in Clarksburg, West Virginia,” she said. “he has studied and researched many North Central West Virginia families. He is an expert in such things as the early militia make-up, Revolutionary War pension fraud and platting early settlers’ lands.”
         Wolfe was very surprised but honored, to be nominated.
         “I try to do my best to help at the Rich Mountain Battlefield Foundation and many of the other Civil War sites around the state,” he said.
         Rich Mountain Battlefield Foundation is a nonprofit private group that has preserved the Rich Mountain Battlefield.
         “There is now over 400 acres of protected land,” Wolfe said. “We started with 40 core acres of battlefield. There are now various camps and roads, plus a buffered area to protect the battlefield. We also have a museum, and we conduct various tours.”
         The Battle of Rich Mountain occurred on July 11, 1861, and resulted in a Union victory that allowed the Federals to retain control of most of northwestern Virginia.
         The Rich Mountain Battle Field Foundation thought it was appropriate to nominate Wolfe this, because it is the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, according to Michelle Depp, executive director, Rich Mountain Battlefield.
         “Rick has been very instrumental and valuable asset to the Rich Mountain Battlefield Foundation and to Civil War history in West Virginia,” Depp said. “He is so knowledgeable and so dedicated to the history.
         Oldaker was nominated as a West Virginia History Hero by the Hackers Creek pioneer Descendants.
         “I was pleased and honored. I have been a member of the Hackers Creek pioneer Descendants for many years.’ Oldaker said. “ I have also been a member of the Harrison County Genealogy Society and a member of Upshur County Historical Society. I have just published a book with Joy Stalnaker, “Images of America: Lewis County.”
         “We are pleased that Bradley has been selected a history hero, and we are very proud of his work as an avid collector of photographs and postcards of early Lewis and Upshur counties and his knowledge of the history of Lewis County.’ Said Betty Ann Nicholson, executive editor of the new book.
         The 2011 History Hero awards program will begin at 9:30 a.m. in the State Theater at the Culture Center. It will conclude before 11 a.m. when the History Heroes will go to the House of Delegates gallery to honored during the floor session

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