In celebration of the third year anniversary of the Mingo Historical Society, the group announces a name change to reflect the inclusion of all communities within the "Upper Valley" region of Randolph County.
The April 7 meeting was hosted by group Vice President Sylvester Fretwell and his wife, Carol, at their historic home "EdnaWood" in Mingo. The group meets the first Monday at the Mingo Community Center from May through September and at "EdnaWood" in the winter.
The goal of the Mingo District Historical Society is to protect the integrity of the family histories, historic sites and landmarks within the Mingo District including the communities of Valley Head, Monterville, Elkwater, Mingo, Blue Springs and Mace.
The photo depicts the home EdnaWood, rebuilt in 1875 after being burned to the ground by Union soldiers. Here Doris See Wood shares the story with Lemeul Muniz for his ‘Civil War in West Virginia’ series. She is a direct descendant of Georgiana See Marshall, who fled the day of arson in 1863, hiding with her children and slaves in the laurel thicket above the home.
President Lauren Ragland explained the need for the name change: "Early church records from 1830 and 1839 along with the census data starting in 1840 list the names and families in the Mingo District.
This is what is now called the Upper Valley, the headwaters of the Tygart Valley River. Our group should reflect the word 'district' both within our direction and our name."
The MDHS is offering a $500 scholarship to a Tygart Valley graduating senior. Open to residents of the Mingo District it is an essay contest entitled "Listening - My Families History." The requirement is to obtain an oral history from a family member, adding footnotes of actual documents. Details will be available at the Tygart Valley High School Guidance Office. Entrants, a minimum of three, will sign a release and their essays will be included in "The History of the Mingo District, Randolph County, WV."
Thanks were given to Jim Andrews for Samuel Richard "Dick" Hall's "Fairview: The Story of a One-Room School," and family histories and photos of the Beaty, Hall and Wood families; Bob Bright for his assistance in mapping Falling Spring Run; Vicky Graham for providing documentation for the building of the Confederate Soldier Monument; Herbert Marshall for writing "Mingo History" and sharing photos of the Lawson and Marshall properties and family portraits; Amy Mitchem for sharing the "Lawson - Marshall Correspondence," and Marshall and Holt personal and business correspondence. Howard H. Painter for sharing his "The Life of Howard Taylor 'Cap' Painter" and Mingo photos.
Ongoing projects include the creation of the Mingo Historic District nominating first, as a group, the Confederate Soldier Monument, the Mingo Indian Statue, and "EdnaWood" ca. 1875 home.
The group is now a member of the Bath County Historical Society, the Randolph County Historical Society, Allegheny Regional Family History Center, and is a preservation partner with the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia.
Pickin' in Mingo will resume in warm mid-May every Sunday from 2-4 p.m. at the Mingo Community Center. Also a "Scanning Party" will take place inside the 1898 Mingo School, where photos and family documents can be copied and saved for the "History of the Mingo District, Randolph County, WV."
You can follow the progress on the groups Facebook group page and Google blog. Membership is $20 per year, MDHS PO Box 5, Valley Head, WV 26294. Contact 304-339-2598 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.