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July 2015

On Monday July 20th, the Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike Alliance will host a public meeting at the Durbin Community Library beginning at 7 p.m. to discuss how the history of this battle site might impact the future of the community. Local landowners and others interested in the historic Camp Bartow and the Battle of Greenbrier River are encouraged to attend. For more information, click HERE.


August 2014

In honor of next year's 10th Anniversary as a "National Scenic Byway," the Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike website has gotten a facelift and a makeover! New content has also been added to better reflect the progress that's been made so far, and the new projects and goals that have been slated for the future.

If you have any problems with or questions about these changes, contact: webster@spturnpike.org

May 2014

YOU'RE INVITED! to the annual meeting of the Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike Alliance. It will be held on Thursday, May 8 at the Beverly Heritage Center in Randolph County, West Virginia. (The front page photo.) 4:00 pm - Meeting begins - We'll discuss National Scenic Byway and individual community updates, grant projects, co-op marketing, potential projects and more!
5:45 pm - Pizza delivered for those who plan to stay through the meeting and evening program.
6:30 pm - Program "The Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike" by historian and surveyor Don Teter from the Randolph County Historical Society. You may recognize Mr. Teter from his portrayals of Jed Hotchkiss, the Civil War mapmaker, and David Hunter Strother, Union office and 19th-century illustrator who worked for Harper's Weekly under the pen name Porte Crayon. Don's quality presentations are always entertaining! The Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike Alliance, based in Beverly, West Virginia, consists of individuals and independent organizations who seek to:Interpret the history of the Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike and its connecting pikes; Present the history and significance of the Civil War campaigns along the pikes; Enhance the historic and scenic qualities of the land along the pikes; Encourage heritage tourism for the area.Please RSVP and let the Beverly Heritage Center (304-637-7424 or info@beverlyheritagecenter.org) know if you're planning to attend -- that way there will be enough pizza for everybody.
See you there!

May 2012

Some of the most Frequently Asked Questions about the Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike have been collected and answered. See the new FAQ page HERE.

February 2012

New Henderson Hall story joins California House piece to begin filling in Turnpike map. 

Winter 2011

Turnpike Begins Civil War Anniversary

The Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike was the axis and the prize of 1861 Civil War Battles
in Western Virginia. For a summary of this history click HERE, and for more about the 150th Anniversary events, see the RICH MOUNTAIN BATTLEFIELD website.

Fall 2010

Turnpike History CD Authors Get Press

"Michael and Carrie Nobel Kline of Elkins are masters of an art they say can change a person's world view..." So begins a new article in WONDERFUL WEST VIRGINIA magazine about the creators of the recent audio history series on the Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike. (Available from the Turnpike Store. )

To read the whole piece about Michael and Carrie, go to WONDERFUL WEST VIRGINIA online HERE.

November 2010

The next meeting of the Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike Alliance.

Where: Mountaineer Military Museum 345 Center Avenue, Weston, WV 26452
When: Tuesday, November 20, 2010, 1pm
You can check out the website of the Military Museum for location info.
Click HERE for more information or CONTACT SPTA Headquarters to buy.

New Additions to Turnpike Audio History Available!

The Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike Alliance of Beverly, West Virginia announces the arrival of three new audio history CDs created by Carrie and Michael Kline of Talking Across the Lines. The new CDs combine oral history, music and ambient sounds woven together into a fascinating listening experience that helps to the tell the history of the Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike.

The new CDs are a continuance of four previously released CDs as part of a series entitled, the Voices of the Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike that focused on the history of the eastern side in Pocahontas and Randolph Counties. The new CDs focus more on the history of the western end of the Turnpike in Wood, Ritchie, Wirt, Gilmer, Upshur and Lewis Counties. The titles of the CDs are as follows: The Old Stagecoach Line: Living Along the Turnpike, Took Off Running: Race and Culture Along the Turnpike and Old Virginians and Wildcatters: War, Wealth and Work Along the Pike.
(Parkersburg, WV)

October 2009

Group marks CD release


PARKERSBURG - Members of the Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike Alliance held a release party Wednesday for a new set of CDs featuring an oral history of the historic road.

The new three-set CDs feature more than 40 different interviews with people who recall stories of the turnpike and its history, focusing on the road from Buckhannon to Parkersburg. Duke Talbott, president of the turnpike authority, said the new CDs focus more on the history of the western end of the turnpike, covering Wood, Ritchie, Wirt, Gilmer, Upshur and Lewis counties.

"The story of the turnpike and of West Virginia tells the story of our country," says Mary Rayme, who is the coordinator of the nonprofit Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike Alliance. "The turnpike encompasses the history of the United States, from Indians to early settlers to western expansion to new immigrants coming to help build the infrastructure of our new nation. These CDs tell the history of the turnpike and also reveal wonderful details about rural living in the old days of West Virginia."

Rayme did much of the transcript work and designed the CD cover.

The CDs, created by Carrie and Michael Kline of Talking Across the Lines, combine oral history, music and sounds that help to the tell the history of the Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike.

Many of those interviewed are locals with ties to and knowledge of the historic road. More than 20 people attended the release party at the Oil and Gas Museum in downtown Parkersburg.

The three CDs feature more than three and a half hours of material. Kline said the entire seven CD set features more than 100 different interviews.

The titles of the CDs are The Old Stagecoach Line: Living Along the Turnpike; Took Off Running: Race and Culture Along the Turnpike, and Old Virginians and Wildcatters: War, Wealth and Work Along the Pike.

The Old Stagecoach Line is 76-minutes of history that focus on early settlement of West Virginia by Europeans and Indians, Blennerhassett Island in Parkersburg and how small towns grew up around the turnpike. The Old Stagecoach Line also talks about way stations along the pike, gristmills, general stores and traveling the turnpike in old automobiles. Other track titles include Prisoners Building the Pike, The Great Depression, One Room Schools and Community Life: Horses, Games, Chores, Visiting, Home Remedies, Doctoring and Lending a Hand.

Old Virginians and Wildcatters focuses on the history of Early Parkersburg, West Virginia Statehood, the Civil War and Reconstruction. Other subjects covered by this audio history CD include Timbering and Coal Mining, The Ritchie Mines, The Oil and Gas Industry, Parkersburg City Life and Pike Towns.

The CDs will be available for purchase at $15 per CD or all three new CDs for $40 at the Oil and Gas Museum. All proceeds benefit the nonprofit turnpike alliance.

Talbott said the CDs are the final part of the audio history of the turnpike, but he wouldn't rule out future products.

"These things build on each other," he said.


Contact the Turnpike Headquarters to get your copy: CONTACT SPTATurnpike Brochure Printed; Available 

Audio CD Project Will Extend Story to Western 'Pike

Talking Across the Lines has contracted with The Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike Alliance based to complete two new CDs of audio history highlighting the western portion of the Turnpike from Buckhannon to Parkersburg, covering six counties West Virginia counties. The Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike National Scenic Byway follows this historic route across West Virginia.

According to Turnpike Coordinator, Mary Rayme, “We’re excited to start this project with Talking Across the Lines. There is still so much history left to preserve along the Turnpike and we are so pleased to have the Klines creating the CDs for this historic project. There are still folks who have Turnpike stories and memories to share, and I am looking forward to hearing the finished product.”
Carrie & Michael Kline are Talking Across the Lines, a folklife documentary consulting and production firm. The Klines created a 4-CD set of oral history, local music, and ambient sounds of nature that focus on the eastern section of the Turnpike.

(See http://www.folktalk.org)

The new CDs will focus more on the western portion of the Turnpike especially focused on the African-American, ethnic, rural and industrial history and the role of the Turnpike in the Underground Railroad.

Michael and Carrie Kline have worked extensively in West Virginia and Ohio where they produced recordings on the Underground Railroad and local heritage music, with Cherokees in North Carolina, in Pennsylvania and in Southern Maryland's Chesapeake region where they produced a fast-paced documentary, Born and Raised in Tobacco Fields, and a two volume series of CDs featuring African American sacred music.

Anyone living on or near the western part of the Turnpike with stories or songs to share that relate directly to the history of the Turnpike are encouraged to contact the Klines via their website, www.folktalk.org.

Funding for this project is from a Scenic Byways grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation and will also include additional interpretive signs on the Turnpike, focused on the western portion.
The federally designated Byway is managed by the Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike Alliance, a non-profit organization headquartered in Beverly, WV, dedicated to preserving history and promoting tourism and recreation along the Turnpike. National Scenic Byways, including the Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike, can be seen at www.byways.org. You can call the SPTA at: 304-637-7424.

New Turnpike Presentation Debuts

Feature Now Available to Community At a recent Appalachian Forest Heritage Area stakeholders meeting in Buckhannon, Mary Rayme (coordinator of the SPTA), gave a PowerPoint presentation that gives a brief overview of the history of the Turnpike as well as educating the viewers about the breadth and scope of the Turnpike. If you would like Mary to give a presentation to your school or community organization, please feel free to call her at 304-636-4485.

Fall 2006

WV Highways Grant Goes To Turnpike

The SPTA recently received approval for a $112k grant through the WV Division of Highways to develop more interpretive signs for the Turnpike. The grant will also cover the research for and production of two new audio tour CDs which will capture more of the history and culture of our historic Byway.

SPT Gets Links On Internet Sites

While perusing an article about Claudius Crozet on Wikipedia, SPTA Coordinator, Mary Rayme noticed the lack of info about the Turnpike designed by Crozet. If you look at the bottom of this page, Mary added a factoid and a link back to the Turnpike website.
See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claudius_Crozet
Mary also added a blog entry about the Turnpike to the Suite101.com site. (blog "retired" by 2014)

Summer 2006

Turnpike Featured In Interview

Mary Rayme, new SPT coordinator, tells about the Turnpike in "A Woman's View" blog.

Spring 2006

New Staff At The Turnpike Offices!

The Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike Alliance proudly announces the employment of a new Grants Coordinator to oversee projects for this non-profit organization based in Beverly, West Virginia, in Randolph County.

Mary Rayme is the new coordinator and has over 15 years experience in marketing, administration, and project management. Ms. Rayme has employment experience with the Baltimore Museum of Art, Johns Hopkins University, Devon Direct Marketing, and The Maryland Institute College of Art. “I’m very excited to take on this new task”, said Ms. Rayme. “The Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike has a lot of history not just regionally but nationally as well. I’m hoping to get more people involved in this project throughout the counties that are within the Turnpike boundaries. There’s still a lot of history to uncover here.”

The Staunton-Parkerburg Turnpike was built in the 1840s and was the primary transportation route connecting the Shenandoah Valley with the Ohio River. The Turnpike has played an important role in the development of West Virginia and the industries of coal, oil, and lumber. The Turnpike also played an important role in Civil War when control of the route was fought for by both the Union and Confederate troops.

The Turnpike Alliance is dedicated to preserving the history of the area while also promoting tourism and visitors to the area. The Turnpike Alliance is always looking for people from the community to become involved in preserving the history of the region and Turnpike. In West Virginia the Turnpike runs through Pocahontas, Upshur, Lewis, Gilmer, Ritchie, Wirt, and Wood. Join the Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike Alliance by calling 304-637-7424 or by emailing info@spturnpike.org

FALL 2005

Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike Designated As New "National Scenic Byway"

WASHINGTON, DC --- The U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration officially designated 45 new Byways including The Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike on September 22, 2005 at an official ceremony in Washington, DC.

The America’s Byways Designation 2-Day Event attracted more than 150 representatives of America’s Byways including Byway administrators, marketers, volunteers and enthusiasts. On the first day, the new Byway representatives were given hands-on instruction on how to use their new designation to increase awareness of their communities. Sessions included presentations by state coordinators, local and regional tourism officials, government partners, public relations specialists and others. A formal designation ceremony was held on the second day.

“ This is a tremendous cultural and promotional opportunity for central West Virginia because this new designation will increase awareness of our region,” said Ruth Brinker of the SPTA staff. “With this new designation as one of America’s Byways, the Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike crossing north central West Virginia from the State line at Top of Allegheny to Parkersburg is eligible for additional federal funding, plus technical assistance and support. It also means the Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike will be included in future America’s Byways maps published by the US DOT, and that should help boost tourism to our area. According to the Travel Industry Association of America, 80% of all travel in the U.S. is by car and many American’s enjoy the driving experience that our region has to offer.”

 The National Scenic Byways Program is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The program is a grass roots collaborative effort established to help recognize, preserve and enhance selected roads throughout the United States. The program was established in 1991. Since 1992, the National Scenic Byways Program has provide almost $300,000,000 funding for 1,665 State and nationally designated byway projects in 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. The U.S. Secretary of Transportation recognizes certain roads as America’s Byways based on one or more intrinsic qualities: archaeological, cultural, historic, natural, recreational and scenic. 

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