Shepherdstown

Downtown Shepherdstown
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia / David Fattaleh/WV Division of Tourism (WVDT)

A month after passing a resolution strongly encouraging Shepherdstown businesses to require face masks inside their establishments, the Shepherdstown Town Council is formally calling on Gov. Jim Justice to mandate face masks in public spaces across West Virginia.

Posters like this one can be seen in windows of several businesses in Shepherdstown, W.Va.
Shepherdstown Town Council

Updated on July 2, 2020 at 5:30 p.m. 

Scientific evidence is mounting that wearing a mask is an effective way to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. But in many states, including West Virginia, officials have been reluctant to mandate mask wearing in public.

In the Eastern Panhandle, one town has passed a resolution that “strongly encourages” mask wearing and gives businesses the option to get local police involved if customers refuse to wear one inside their establishments.

On this West Virginia Morning, we’ll hear a conversation about the coronavirus, antibodies and what medical researchers are trying to learn about immunity as it relates to the ongoing pandemic. Also, in this show, we hear about a resolution passed in Shepherdstown that “strongly encourages” businesses there to require customers to wear face masks.

May 8, 1892: U.S. and Confederate Congressman Alexander Boteler Dies

May 8, 2020
Alexander Boteler
E-WV, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

U.S. and Confederate Congressman Alexander Boteler died on May 8, 1892, shortly before his 77th birthday. Before launching his political career, Boteler was a farmer and the owner of a hydraulic cement plant on the Potomac River at Shepherdstown. He entered the U.S. House of Representatives as a Whig in 1859. That same year, he interviewed John Brown extensively after Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry. A skilled artist, Boteler also made a sketch of the imprisoned abolitionist.

Shepherd University Sign, McMurran Hall
Cecelia Mason / West Virginia Public Broadcasting


Shepherd University President Mary Hendrix announced Wednesday that the remainder of the 2020 spring semester will be taught completely online.

Robert C. Byrd
E-WV

  

On November 18, 2009, Senator Robert C. Byrd became the nation’s longest-serving member of Congress.  He was first elected to public office in 1946.  After serving two terms in the West Virginia House of Delegates and one in the state senate, he was elected to three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives.  In 1958, voters sent him to the U.S. Senate, where he would remain from 1959 until his death in 2010 at age 92.

Shepherdstown resident Tracy Danzey (right) walked 70 miles in 11 days from Kalundborg to Copenhagen protesting Rockwool. Martinsburg resident and former organizing director of the national AFL-CIO, Stewart Acuff (left), accompanied Danzey on the walk.
Emily Vaughn


Residents in the Eastern Panhandle continue to protest Denmark-based, stone wool manufacturing facility, Rockwool. For more than a year now, hundreds of residents still rally at commission and town council meetings in Jefferson County and at the Rockwool construction site – in an effort to stop the plant from being built.

Downtown Shepherdstown
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia / David Fattaleh/WV Division of Tourism (WVDT)

On November 12, 1762, Thomas Shepherd presented articles of incorporation for the town of Mechlenburg to the Virginia General Assembly. Along with Romney, Mechlenburg, which was later renamed Shepherdstown, would become one of present West Virginia’s first two incorporated towns.

Shepherd established a grist mill there along the Potomac River as early as 1739, but it’s believed that German immigrants might have settled at Shepherdstown more than 20 years before. Located along Pack Horse Ford—an ancient Potomac crossing—Shepherdstown is among West Virginia’s most historic places.

Author Crystal Wilkinson.
Courtesy Crystal Wilkinson

Author Crystal Wilkinson is the 2019 Appalachian Heritage Writer-in-Residence at Shepherd University.

Wilkinson’s second book Water Street was chosen by the West Virginia Library Commission as this year’s One Book One West Virginia common read.

E-WV / WV Humanities Council

On September 5, 1716, Virginia Lieutenant Governor Alexander Spotswood and about 50 men reached the crest of the Allegheny Mountains, likely in present Pendleton County, and claimed the land for King George the First of Great Britain.

Spotswood and his men—described as “gentlemen, servants, Indians, and rangers”—journeyed up the Rappahannock River and crossed over the Blue Ridge Mountains into the Shenandoah Valley. Robert Brooke, a member of the expedition and the king’s surveyor general, made the first scientific observations west of the Alleghenies.

Adobe Stock

A regional chapter of Planned Parenthood is hosting a pair of bar crawls in West Virginia to spread the word about upcoming changes to the organization.

On Monday, national Planned Parenthood leaders announced they were stepping away from Title X funds they’ve been receiving from the federal government for roughly 50 years. The decision came after the Trump administration made some changes to Title X rules that would’ve prohibited Planned Parenthood from referring patients to abortion clinics. 

Associate Producing Director Peggy McKowen and Founder and Producing Director Ed Herendeen speak at an event for the 2019 season of CATF. Photo taken May 2019.
Contemporary American Theater Festival / catf.org

The Contemporary American Theater Festival in Shepherdstown, West Virginia just closed on its 29th season. The festival draws visitors from all over the world to West Virginia and has helped the state stand out in the professional theater scene.

December 3, 1787: James Rumsey Tests First Steamboat Near Shepherdstown

Dec 3, 2018
 Spectators gathered in Shepherdstown along the banks of the Potomac River to watch history being made.
E-WV

On December 3, 1787, spectators gathered in Shepherdstown along the banks of the Potomac River to watch history being made. Inventor James Rumsey stepped aboard a crudely built wooden boat and fired up a steam engine. The waters of the Potomac started churning up, and, suddenly, the boat headed upstream, leaving a stunned crowd in amazement.

Dozens of locals came out to rally before the W.Va. Public Service Commission's public hearing on the Mountaineer Gas Pipeline expansion into the Eastern Panhandle. October 24, 2018.
Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The West Virginia Public Service Commission traveled to Shepherdstown this week for a public hearing to address concerns about a pipeline expansion project in the Eastern Panhandle. About a hundred people showed up to rally before the event. Dozens went on to speak during the hearing – and many took the opportunity to mention the controversial Rockwool manufacturing company.

Shepherdstown, WV
e-WV / WV Humanitites Council

It was the morning of September 19, 1862, and two days after the Battle of Antietam. The bulk of Robert E. Lee’s retreating Confederate Army had already crossed the Potomac River at Shepherdstown.

Lee left behind a rear guard at the Potomac to defend against an anticipated attack from Union General George McClellan.

Shepherdstown sometimes argues that it is older because its bill was read for the third time before Romney’s bill was.
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia / WV Humanities Council

The West Virginia Humanities Council is presenting the last of its series on journalism and informed citizens next month in Shepherdstown.

Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Eric Eyre of The Charleston Gazette-Mail and National Public Radio newscaster Giles Snyder will discuss the importance of pursuing complex stories and creating context for them.

Aneesh Sompalli (center) speaking at a Gereration West Virginia event in Shepherdstown.
Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Generation West Virginia’s local Eastern Panhandle chapter hosted a panel discussion at Shepherd University Thursday night with four young locals who decided to stay in West Virginia to build their careers.

Unemployment Line
Matt Rourke / Associated Press

 


Several organizations throughout Appalachia will see federal grant money. Funds are designed to help strengthen coal-impacted economies.

 

The Appalachian Regional Commission announced nearly $2 million additional dollars this week for regions in Appalachia that have been affected by job losses related to the declining coal industry.

 

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

It’s nothing unusual to think about leaving your hometown after you graduate high school, but sometimes it’s not an option to leave, and sometimes, as we’ve heard, leaving can be difficult and expensive, too. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

Burns Exposures

"People want something tangible, something they can hold, something of substance. This is one of vinyl's greatest strengths."

May 12, 1971: Nurse Col. Florence Blanchfield Dies at 87

May 12, 2017
 Florence Blanchfield
E-WV / WV Humanities Council

Colonel Florence Blanchfield died in Washington on May 12, 1971, at age 87. She was born in Shepherdstown in 1884, the daughter of a nurse and a stonecutter. After training as a nurse in Pittsburgh and Baltimore, she enlisted in the Army Nurse Corps in 1917 and served in France during World I.

May 8, 1892: U.S. and Confederate Congressman Alexander Boteler Dies

May 8, 2017
 Alexander Boteler
E-WV / WV Humanities Council

U.S. and Confederate Congressman Alexander Boteler died on May 8, 1892, shortly before his 77th birthday. Before launching his political career, Boteler was a farmer and the owner of a hydraulic cement plant on the Potomac River at Shepherdstown. He entered the U.S. House of Representatives as a Whig in 1859. That same year, he interviewed John Brown extensively after Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry. A skilled artist, Boteler also made a sketch of the imprisoned abolitionist.

On February 1, 1798, publisher Nathaniel Willis shortened his newspaper’s name from the Potowmac Guardian and Berkeley Advertiser to just Potomak Guardian.

  

Why is this paper important? It’s the oldest known newspaper from present West Virginia.

Nathaniel Willis was a native of Boston who’d taken part in the Boston Tea Party and fought in the Revolutionary War. He founded the Potowmac Guardian and Berkeley Advertiser in Shepherdstown in 1790.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Hundreds of protesters gathered across the street from the Bavarian Inn in Shepherdstown Thursday morning as the United States Democratic Senators held their annual retreat inside.

On Thursday morning, Harpers Ferry resident Cheryl Kemp joined some 250 people gathered outside the Bavarian Inn in Shepherdstown. She says she came out because she wants the senators to know they have her support.

Shepherdstown and Romney were both chartered on the same day, the big question still comes down to which one came first.
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia / WV Humanities Council

On December 23, 1762, the Virginia General Assembly chartered the towns of Romney and Shepherdstown, igniting one of the longest-lasting debates in West Virginia history. The question?  Is Romney or Shepherdstown West Virginia’s oldest incorporated town? 

Shepherd University

Award-winning author Charles Frazier is 2016's Appalachian Heritage Writer-in-Residence at Shepherd University. Frazier was born in Asheville, North Carolina and spent time as a teacher before he published his first novel, Cold Mountain, in 1997.

Shepherdstown, WV
e-WV / WV Humanitites Council

It was the morning of September 19, 1862, and two days after the Battle of Antietam. The bulk of Robert E. Lee’s retreating Confederate Army had already crossed the Potomac River at Shepherdstown.

Lee left behind a rear guard at the Potomac to defend against an anticipated attack from Union General George McClellan.

Lovely Pixels / www.lovelypixels.com

If you're reading this right now, chances are you made it out to last Sunday's #WhyListen First Listen Music Party at Shepherdstown's Town Run Brewing with MiBurg. If you did, we have a new music playlist waiting for you.

Earlier this year, Mountain Stage host, artistic director, and co-founder Larry Groce independently released “Live Forever,” his first full-length recording in over 27 years. Prompted by the encouragement of friends and family, the album is filled with some of Groce’s favorite songs, many of which, have been performed on the storied radio program since its inception in 1983.

Ryan Fischer / The Parthenon

Have you ever wondered what makes a new song into a good song? Or why West Virginia music sounds so different from the rest? Then join West Virginia Public Broadcasting for a #WhyListen: First Listen Music Party on Sunday, August 28 from 4 to 6 p.m at Town Run Brewing Company in Shepherdstown.

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