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Preserve WV Americorps serve with Taylor County Historical Society


From left to right: (top) Elizabeth Satterfield, Jenny Boulware, Ian Gray (bottom) Elizabeth Herrick, Andrew Linderman, Kristen Wilkes

On January 15, 2018, members of the WVU History Department and over twenty volunteers spent the chilly day serving at the Taylor County Historical Society in downtown Grafton. The service project was in commemoration of MLK, Jr. Day of Service and was organized by Preserve WV AmeriCorps member and WVU student of history, Elizabeth Satterfield. Several alumni of the WVU’s public history program also attended including Ian Gray, Andrew Linderman, and Kristen Wilkes. 

Volunteers came from across the state and were a mix of AmeriCorps members, community volunteers, and WVU students, faculty, and alumni. For nearly six hours, volunteers organized hundreds of historic items, photographs, and books in anticipation for the historic bank to become a museum and research center for local history and family genealogies.

Olive Ricketts, a member of the historical society, was thankful for the help received, stating that “the project went very well and it really helped the Taylor County Historical Society because we need to know what is in our collection.  We have not had enough help to get it started, but with us wanting to display our collection, we needed to complete this step first.” 

Volunteers also enjoyed the experience. Jenny Boulware, professor of history at WVU, volunteered at the project and said “civic service projects like the one held in Grafton today allow for agencies to gain hands-on support with an immediate impact. Each one of us was given an opportunity to explore Grafton's history through the historical society's collections of photographs, books, maps, records, antiques - and even band uniforms!” 

Elizabeth Herrick, Preserve WV AmeriCorps member and WVU student of history, said she liked the project “because it was a team effort. We worked together to organize, brainstorm ideas, and discover interesting item!”