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home : web-exclusive features : web-exclusive features July 22, 2017

5/17/2017 3:35:00 PM
Historical Society Meeting Sunday At Fudge House

The Alleghany Historical Society will hold its Spring Informational Meeting at the Historic Fudge House in the Parklin Heights section of Covington on Sunday, beginning at 3 p.m.

Owners Pat and Lynda Loving have graciously offered to be the hosts for the meeting. Important information will be provided about the current activities and projects of the society.

Those projects include the interior rehabilitation of the Lawrence-Stephenson House in downtown Covington which is nearly complete. Exterior painting and landscaping is now in progress.

“What’s Your Story?” is the latest initiative undertaking by the society. The vision for the initial group of “What’s Your Story?” was created be Joan Vannorsdall and the first storytelling project included reflections from patrons of the Historic Masonic Theater. The result was Volume I of “What’s Your Story?” and the sale of the book was quite successful.

The group determined that coming under the umbrella of the society would be an ideal partnership, because collecting stories of the past is an important historic preservation project.

The society offered its status as a charitable organization and “What’s Your Story?” accomplishes an important mission for the society.

Volume II was created by the group and sponsored by the society. It contains a collection of stories about the presence of the railroad in the Alleghany Highlands.

Sales of the second volume have also gone well and a second printing was necessary.

Future separate volumes of the “What’s Your Story?” series will relate stories of our industrial heritage and stories about Dabney S. Lancaster Community College and its 50-plus years of serving the Alleghany Highlands.

Sam Hale and Paul Linkenhoker authored the Arcadia book on Alleghany County and it has had good sales. Copies of these books will be available at the meeting. Each sells for $20.

The meeting will also offer an update on the development of the Alleghany Highlands Industrial Heritage and Technology Discovery Center.

The former commercial buildings on Maple Avenue were obtained from the family of Woodrow Rooklin through a gift/purchase agreement. Rehabilitation of the buildings is in progress and plans are being developed for exhibits, displays and hands on activities.

The buildings date to 1899-1916 and will retain their historic architectural features.

Date blocks reveal that the Nettletons were the original builders of the structures.

The membership year for the Alleghany Historical Society runs from July 1 through June 30.

“We are beginning our Summer Membership Drive and we are asking our individual and corporate members to continue their generous support,” said Linkenhoker, president of the Alleghany Historical Society. “The society has grown and the funding of operations has increased.”

Normal operating expenses include the pay of two part-time employees, annual premiums for museum and property insurance, office supplies, printing, postage, phone and internet, alarm system monitoring, and membership in professional societies.

The annual budget for operations is approximately $25,000. While some funds come from the sale of books and gift shop items, most of the expenses are covered by membership fees and contributions.

A Historic Preservation Trust Fund account supports the operations and maintenance of the Lawrence-Stephenson House at 251 W. Riverside Street.

Income received from rent is used exclusively to pay the expenses of a mortgage, utilities, insurance, taxes and upkeep. Any remaining funds can be used for other approved preservation projects. If the property is sold, the proceeds will provide additional funds for those projects.

The “What’s Your Story?” program is a self-sufficient operation and the funds for that account are generated from sales and contributions. Grant funding also provides support but the society will be seeking additional grants and sponsors for future publications.

Discovery Center funds are also held in a separate account. At this point the majority of the funding for this project comes from a grant awarded by The Alleghany Foundation.

The initial five year budget projection for the establishment and operation of the center will require additional funds in excess of $300,000.

“We are pleased to announce an initial fundraising plan to allow individuals and organizations an opportunity to recognize the work ethic and contributions of a family member, loved one or friend,” Linkenhoker said. “For a gift of $100, an individual’s name, occupation, years of service and company affiliation will be listed on a Wall of Labor at the main entrance of the Discovery Center.”

The display will recognize anyone who has worked in the Alleghany Highlands for any period of time. Management, labor, professional, retailer, salesperson, food service, educator, administrator, transportation worker, contractor, public servant and others may be listed on the wall. A printed listing of the individuals will be displayed at the site until the permanent recognition plates are installed.

Other opportunities for larger memorial or corporate sponsor gifts will be available.

These include naming rights for a specific display area, meeting room or activity space.

Contact Linkenhoker at (540) 962-3718 or (540) 969-6908 for more information.

The Alleghany Historical Society is a recognized corporation in the commonwealth of Virginia and is a qualified 501(c)(3) charitable organization. All gifts are tax deductible in accordance with applicable laws.

“The society recognizes that your gift represents an effort on your part to help create a better world,” Linkenhoker said. “We truly believe that the efforts of the Alleghany Historical Society are helping to create a better world by making the Alleghany Highlands a better place.”

Some members choose to make their annual dues payment and contributions later in the year, Linkenhoker explained. If you have a question about your membership status, he asks that you give him a call.

“In addition to the financial support, the society is in need of volunteers to further improve its ability to preserve our historical and cultural heritage,” Linkenhoker said. “You can choose to work at the depot, get involved with the gathering of stories by the ‘What’s Your Story?’ group, or participate in the committees developing the exhibits and displays at the new Discovery Center. We welcome your ideas but we expect that you will also be prepared to offer the leadership necessary to implement those ideas endorsed by the society.”

The Alleghany Historical Society was formed on June 26, 1958 with 231 charter members.

Today, the organization is located at in the restored 1908 C&O Depot, located at 149 S. Maple Avenue in Covington.

For more information, call 965-0149.

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