Shepherd University Faculty Visit Historical Sites in Charles Town

L to R: President Shipley, James Taylor, Keith Alexander, Christana Johnson, Linda Ballard, George Rutherford, and James Tolbert.

University President Suzanne Shipley led a group from Shepherd University for a tour of historical sites in Charles Town related to the rich African American heritage of this area.  Dr. Shipley was joined by Dr. Keith Alexander from the History Department, Christana Johnson, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Student Success and Ray Smock.  The group toured three historic sites and came away with a better appreciation of the work being done by their hosts, members of the Jefferson County Black History Preservation Society, to save these sites and interpret them to visitors as part of the Jefferson County African American Heritage Trail.

Mr. James Taylor, Mr. George Rutherford, Mr. James Tolbert, and Ms. Linda Ballard served as their tour guides.  The Byrd Center for Legislative Studies recently conducted oral history interviews with George Rutherford and James Tolbert regarding their relationship to Senator Byrd and the senator’s efforts to help preserve Fisherman’s Hall, one of the sites visited.   Even though Senator Byrd passed in 2010, an appropriation he earmarked for Fisherman’s Hall in 2009 is still helping with the restoration of this important building.  Work was still going on in the final phase of the building’s restoration at the time of the visit.  Click here to read the entire article and view photos. http://www.byrdcenter.org/index.php/2014/10/14/african-american-heritage-in-charles-town-wv/