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Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
Charles Town, West Virginia
March 18, 1999     Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
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March 18, 1999

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4 SPIRIT OF JEFFERSON Farmer's ADVOCATE - Thursday, March 18, 1999 Furniture Discussed at Lecture By Bill Theriault P.O. Box 173, Bakerton, WV 25410 Dial 876-3321 Approximately 35 people at- tended last Thursday's presenta- tion on 18th century furniture at the Planning Commission Meet- ing Room in Charles Town. The presentation, given by Tom McGarry of Birnam Wood Joinery, was the latest installment in the Peter Burr Lecture Series. The programs, sponsored by the Jeffer- ' son County Historic Landmarks Commission, deal with a wide va- riety of topics related to our early history, from restoring log cabins to cooking, from agricultural prac- tices to furniture. The series was started to give volunteers working on the Peter Burr Living History Farm the information they will need for interpretation and resto- ration of the site. Lectures are preceded by progress reports and discussions by members of the various living history committees. Both meetings are open to the public. McGarry prefaced his discus- sion of the furniture that might have been found in Peter Burr's Letters to the Editor WVDOH TO BLAME FOR DELAYS! The West Virginia Department of Highways has recently released plans to upgrade Route 9 between Charles Town and Martinsburg. WVDOH, as well as our elected of- ficials, blame citizens groups for causing delay in the building of this new segment of Route 9. In fact, WVDOH is itself responsible for this delay. Most of the financing for the Route 9 project derives from fed- eral funds. It is therefore obvious that any plan proposed by WVDOH must comply with federal laws. Yet, WVDOH has refused to comply to those laws. WVDOH's initial plans destroyed several his- toric sites and therefore violated federal laws protecting properties eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. Not surprisingly, WVDOH proposals did not receive requisite Federal agency approv- als. WVDOH has since taken years to modify its plans. The new plans avoid many of the historic sites in the area, but inexplicably, WVDOH's preferred alternative does not avoid all of the historic sites. The remaining affected his- toric sites can be easily avoided-- both WVDOH's impact statements and local citizens have proposed simple modifications for avoiding them. Yet, WVDOH continues to promote an alternative which does not avoid all of the historic sites, and therefore, does not comply with federal law. In short, the quickest solution is for WVDOH to advance an alternative which meets all federal requirements. Our legislators should exercise proper oversight of this State agency by swiftly directing WVDOH to propose plans meeting legal requirements. Patricia Fiori ABOUT THE POLICE LEVY Dear Editor: Charles Town's Chief of Police wants another policeman at $30,000 plus. 25-30% of Charles Town's 3,000 population is black and none of them make $30,000 plus. He also states that the tax- payers in Charles Town only pay $69 property tax and can afford higher taxes for police protection. For his information, I pay double what my neighbors do and rightly so because I have the office in my house. That bill is $1,466.88 a year but also pay an- nually a Business and Occupation tax, a permit to practice and a franchise tax. Then, monthly to the City, I pay a tax on the TV Cable, my electric bill and tele- phone. . 'Ikvo break-ins in my home re- sulted in losses of over $15,000 in stolen jewelry, heirlooms and ster- ling silver. They took my pillow slip to load some of the items. I felt violated. None have been re- turned and no arrests made. Stealing a bicycle, a lawnmower and firewood from the property outside are not counted! Downtown merchants plead for foot-patrols. How much time does it take to walk three blocks twice a day? My comments regarding City of Charles Town's management problem are NOT to be construed as "sour grapes". I enjoyed fully my 22 years as Mayor - a state record at least 20 of them but not the last two; heavily involved in the drug traffic. Nor do I wish ever to "run for office" again but I will continue to criticize and]or of- fer suggestions where and when I deem appropriate. Don Master BLAIRTON WATER PROBLEMS CONTINUE Could you live without water in your home? I asked this same question several months ago. I am a resident of the community of Blairton fighting to keep my water supply. The Blairton water supply is being threatened to be turned off by the Riverton Corporation. Riverton is owned by a Virginia- based corporation which also owns Capitol Cement of Martinsburg. Riverton leases the ground from several landowners, and residents in the community of Blairton sub- lease the land from Riverton. The Blairton residents own their homes, but not the land the homes sit on. We pay a monthly lease pay- ment for the use of the water and property. There is one monthly lease payment for the use of water and property. There is one Church (Blairton United Methodist) and 40 homes in the Blairton commu- nity. :. I have been asked why I pur- chased a home in Blairton. My re- sponse is that Blairton was estab- lished in 1909. I grew up in the area and have attended the Blairton Church my entire life. There was not any reason for me not to move into the Blairton com- munity. Almost one year to the day after moving to Blairton, I received a letter from Riverton saying that they intended to cut off my water supply. Would I have moved there if,I would have know this was going to happen? NO! But now that I am in this situation, do I just give up my home? NO! And I don't think any- one else would either. There are people in our community that have lived here for over 70 years. At any given moment they could be told that they have 30 days to move. Try to put yourself in our situation. This has been a very stressful four years for our community and church. The residents of Blairton want to pay for public water, but Riverton will not give us the right of way to hook up, or a long-term lease to allow us to repay the pub- lic water system. To receive more information about our community, please call our hotline number (263-4909). Susan Linton Blairton resident 11 ! I Rain Forest Juan Tejada, a Peruvian naturalist, is shown here speak- ing with students at Wright Denny Intermediate School. He visited the school recently to talk about the rain forests of Peru. He also spoke with students at C.W. Shipley Elemen- tary School and at Charles Town Junior High School. C.W. Shipley Elementary School science teacher Jim Jenkins in- vited him to the schools. Students saw a slide presentation about life in the rain forests. Give the United Way house with an outline of furniture styles in America through the 17th and 18th centuries. Accom- panied by a timeline showing the evolution of various types of furni- ture, he showed slides of represen- tative pieces and discussed their significant features. Starting with the inventory of Peter Burr's estate in 1793, McGarry presented the various possibilities for the items listed, such as bedstead, chests, a leaf table, and chairs. He noted that several items you would expect to find in a house of this period were not reported -- items such as benches, stools, and storage boxes for many of the household items in the inventory. Since the original (1751) por- tion of the house shows excellent craftsmanship and costly finish- ing touches, it is reasonable to ex- pect that some of the original fur- niture may have been of equal quality. Burr, who came from Fairfield, Connecticut, may have brought along some pieces that matched the houses distinctive New England style. Burr's second wife was from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and it is likely that some of the furnishings in the house originated in that area. During most of Peter Burr's life, Shepherdstown was the closest and most important commercial center, so Burr may also have ob- tained furniture from local crafts- men. No original furniture from the house has been located. McGarry, who makes reproduc- tion pieces and restores originals, is overseeing the Landmarks Commission's efforts to recreate period implements and furnish- ings for eventual use on the Peter Burr Living History Farm. Per- sons wishing to help in this effort should contact him at 728-0373. The next lecture, "How Does Our Garden Grow?" will explore local agriculture in the 1790's and plans for growing heritage crops at the farm this year. The meeting will be held on April 8 at 8 p.m. in the Planning Commission Meet- ing Room, two doors down from the Jefferson County Court House. During the business meeting, Chairman Bill Theriault an- nounced that archeological work would be resuming soon at the Pe- ter Burr House under a grant from the State Historical Preservation Office. A trip to the Landis Valley Museum in Pennsylvania is planned for Friday, March 26. Museum staff will answer ques- tions about the types of crops grown during the 18th century. The Museum is one of the largest sources of heritage seeds in the East. Persons wishing to go on the trip should contact Bill Hartgroves (725-6423) or Virginia Provenzano (267-6924). !: Speaker Tom McGarry of Birnham Wood Joinery styles of 17th and 18th century furniture. A work session has been sched- uled at the Peter Burr Farm for Saturday, March 27. In addition to performing general mainte- nance, volunteers will construct a temporary leanto for use by arche- ologists and interpreters during the summer, cut up fallen trees, remove brush, and split wood. Gardening activities may also be- gin at this time if the weather is suitable. Interpreters will have ii:iiiiii Speedy (And Easy!) Loan Approval. Up To 97% Financing. Fixed Rate Mortgages. Adjustable Rate Mortgages. Construction Loans. Low Rates. an opportunity to see th~ where they will be determine what they will their presentations. session is open to the tours of the house and will be given The begin about 8 a.m. and continue until mid further information, Hartgroves, Virginia or Bill Theriault. Now At F&M Bank - West Virginia. Member CALL F&M BANK WV TODAY. FOR SPEEDY SERWICE, 14 Convenient Locations To Serve You in Berkeley, Jefferson and Mineral Counties. Berkeley County Jefferson County Mineral County 264.5020 728.4200 788.3111 F&M Bank - West Vir We're Rich in History.sM Et L. 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