Preserving WV's Historic Buildings: Woodlawn Cemetery - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Preserving WV's Historic Buildings: Woodlawn Cemetery

Posted: Updated:
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Woman suffers minor injuries after car rolls on I-77 in Raleigh County

    Woman suffers minor injuries after car rolls on I-77 in Raleigh County

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 10:13 PM EDT2014-07-31 02:13:55 GMT
    Car rolled multiple times on I-77 North in Raleigh County.Car rolled multiple times on I-77 North in Raleigh County.
    In Raleigh County, a woman is miraculously not seriously injured, after her car rolls over on I-77 around 6:30 Wednesday night.An eyewitness tells us the woman was driving in the left lane on the northbound side. She suddenly veered off the road, over corrected,then slammed into the side of a tractor trailer. The car rolled multiple times before coming to a stop on it's roof.The witness says two small dogs ran out of the car. Moments later, the woman crawled out and ran after one of the dogs....
    In Raleigh County, a woman is miraculously not seriously injured, after her car rolls over on I-77 around 6:30 Wednesday night.An eyewitness tells us the woman was driving in the left lane on the northbound side. She suddenly veered off the road, over corrected,then slammed into the side of a tractor trailer. The car rolled multiple times before coming to a stop on it's roof.The witness says two small dogs ran out of the car. Moments later, the woman crawled out and ran after one of the dogs....
  • EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Woman struck by car on Robert C. Byrd Drive

    EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Woman struck by car on Robert C. Byrd Drive

    Friday, August 1 2014 7:54 PM EDT2014-08-01 23:54:05 GMT
    A woman was struck by a car in front of Family Coin Laundry on Robert C. Byrd Drive in Beckley Thursday night.This is surveillance video given to us by the business owners. She was not walking on a designated crosswalk. So who is at fault?
    A woman was struck by a car in front of Family Coin Laundry on Robert C. Byrd Drive in Beckley Thursday night.This is surveillance video given to us by the business owners. She was not walking on a designated crosswalk. So who is at fault?
  • Alpha Natural Resources may idle eight mines in the state of West Virginia

    Alpha Natural Resources may idle eight mines in the state of West Virginia

    Friday, August 1 2014 3:58 PM EDT2014-08-01 19:58:48 GMT
    Alpha Natural Resources might lay off over 1,000 minersAlpha Natural Resources might lay off over 1,000 miners
    Just days after coal miners rally in Pittsburgh over new rules on EPA emissions another problem arises for the coal industry.Alpha Natural Resources says because of a weak market and government regulations mine sites might have to be shut down.Eight Alpha affiliated surface mines in West Virginia are expected to be shutdown by mid October. Three of the eight mines are right here in Southern West Virginia.One of the mines that could be idled is the Pioneer Fuel's Ewing Fork number 1 Surface Mi...
    Just days after coal miners rally in Pittsburgh over new rules on EPA emissions another problem arises for the coal industry.Alpha Natural Resources says because of a weak market and government regulations mine sites might have to be shut down.Eight Alpha affiliated surface mines in West Virginia are expected to be shutdown by mid October. Three of the eight mines are right here in Southern West Virginia.One of the mines that could be idled is the Pioneer Fuel's Ewing Fork number 1 Surface Mi...
FAIRMONT - The historic Woodlawn Cemetery in Fairmont is the final resting place of thousands of people, including the 'Father of West Virginia', Francis Pierpont.

"We have his wife Julia Augusta Robertson Pierpont who is considered the founder of Memorial Day, at least regionally," said Gena Wagaman, Woodlawn Cemetery Superintendent. "We have Boaz Fleming who founded Fairmont. We have James Otis Watson who is our first coal barren."

The Woodlawn Cemetery Chapel and Supervisor's Residence is a substantial brick four-square house near the entrance of the cemetery.

It was built in 1928, and was quite the sight.

"The front two rooms were where you held the funerals and then we have the cemetery office in this back room, and the caretaker actually lived upstairs," said Wagaman.

But as the years went on, this beautiful building slowly transformed into this one.

A large hole in the roof damaged interior plaster, wooden floors, and framing.

The community reached out to the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia and it was placed on the Endangered List in 2011.

"We help them seek funding, we help them seek tax credits, we help them with National Register nominations, I teach hazards materials handling. We do a whole different raft of things to try and help these people," said Lynn Stasick, the Statewide Field Services Representative.

Woodlawn Cemetery and the Preservation Alliance are working together to bring the building back to life.

"We need to stabilize the exterior and then next would come the windows and the doors. Then the interior rehab. There are some structural issues that need to be addressed," Stasick said.

It's not going to happen overnight, but there are plans for its future.

"What we would like to use it for here at the cemetery is a genealogical and historic research facility, possible classroom use with both Fairmont State and Pierpont, a possible climate controlled archival repository," Wagaman said.

The revitalization is going to take a lot of money, grants, and time.

So why not just tear it down and put something else in its place?

"There's a certain joy in seeing the building come back. To know we have preserved history for future generations, because that's what it's all about," said Stasick. "If there is nothing there for our children's children to see, what are they going to understand?"