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Exploring Middleway’s past

By Staff | Nov 16, 2012

A presentation and workshop on digitizing and maintaining papers and records from the founding of Middleway in 1795 to present times will be held on Friday, Nov. 30. The event, a joint project by the Middleway Conservancy Association and the Jefferson County Historic Landmarks Commission, will be at 7 p.m. in the Grace Church Parish Hall, 112 East Street, Middleway. Admission is free and refreshments will be served.

The two organizations agreed in June that the archives of the Middleway Conservancy merited scanning and adding to the county’s historic documents data-base, known as the West Virginia GeoExplorer Project. These archives include Civil War-era correspondence, Middleway Town Council minute books, and records from local businesses as well as personal papers of residents. In September a grant was received from the WV Humanities Council for the project, and the project is underway under the direction of Bill Theriault and Brad Wiles. Completion of the project’s first phase is expected to be in March 2013.

The presentation will explain how the WV GeoExplorer Project database works, what is being done to digitize Middleway Conservancy’s records, and the forms of research and educational opportunities that the Project will make possible. Brad Wiles will demonstrate the computer digitization process and the research capabilities of the Project. Members of the public are invited to add any historic documents relating to Middleway and to share their knowledge of the community’s history. The original documents are copied and returned intact to their owners.

One possible use of the data is to create a virtual Historic Middleway. This would show visually how the village changed through time with maps that link to photographs, Census records, newspaper articles and the archived records. This will require considerable work on the part of the Conservancy and the WV GeoExplorer Project.

For more information about the presentation and the project contact Bill Theriault, WV GeoExplorer Project (wmtheriault@myactv.net). For more information about the Middleway Conservancy Association, contact Peter Fricke (peter.fricke@frontiernet.net).