The Weston Hospital Revitalization Committee was formed in June 2000
to assist the state and county economic development entities in preservation of the building and in finding suitable tenants for the building. The organization meets monthly, generally during the last week of the month. It has earned 501(c)3 status from the Internal Revenue Service.
Persons serving on the board of directors of WHRC are Robert J. Conley representing the Lewis County Commission, Charles Stalnaker representing the Lewis County Economic Development Authority, retired Circuit Judge Les Fury, historian Joy Gilchrist-Stalnaker, Lewis County businessman Joel Flaxer, Weston City Clerk Rebecca Swisher, and Sharon Hiner-Franklin representing William R. Sharpe Jr. Hospital, and Yolanda Southall, a Weston businesswoman.
This group is now comprised of the initial appointees by the Lewis County Commission and several dozen willing workers who have volunteered hundreds of hours to restoration and revitalization of the historic structure.
Laser Scan – In May 2001, the WHRC sponsored a laser-scan of the hospital by the Virtual Environment Lab of West Virginia University. Images from the scan are available on this site.
Tours – In the summer of 2001, the WHRC sponsored the first public tour of the facility since its closure in 1994. It was so successful with more than 500 persons walked the halls and peered in nooks and crannies of this “Grand Old Dame.” Tours were given in 2002 on six different days. Again, the response was overwhelming with the number of visitors numbering a couple of thousand. So, in 2003, the WHRC resolved to be open every weekend beginning on the 4th weekend of June with trained volunteers for tour guides and charging an entrance fee. When the last tour was given on November 1, 2003, several thousand dollars in entrance fees had been added to the WHRC coffers for use in renovating the hospital.
The Weston Gold Robbery – Since June 30, 2001, the WHRC, working with the Weston Historic Landmark Commission, has sponsored The Great Weston Gold Robbery, an event that highlights the hospital.
Renovations – The fountain in front of the hospital was repaired in May 2003 in a joint effort between the WHRC and the CARP Festival Committee. About the same time, a local family, the Wendell Skidmores, repaired the clock in the hospital’s central tower so that it now keeps perfect time. Since that time, all loose paint on the first floor of the center building has been scraped and removed, more than 50 windows repaired, and several sections of woodwork have been returned to natural wood. A water line from Water Street provides water for use by the staff. It is hoped that the entire first floor of the center section can be painted in time for the 2004 tourist season.
Lease – In July 2003 the WHRC and WHTF announced the acquisition of a lease on a small portion of the former hospital grounds. The lease was granted by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, and signed by department secretary Paul Nusbaum. The lease will allow the two organizations use of 2700 square feet of space in the central tower area of the hospital building. The WHRC plans to use the leased property for the establishment of a visitor center, a mental health museum, a Civil War study center, and an arts and theater area.
Gift Shoppe – A small gift shop was operated within the hospital during the tourist season. Because there was a need for a full-season shop and an office during the colder winter months, the WHRC arranged with the United Bank to locate a shop and office in the bank building at 115 East Second Street. The shop opened in November 2003.
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