Julia-Ann to dedicate Fence

From The Parkersburg News and Sentinel:

A final dedication and commemoration of the Riverview Cemetery Fence Project in the Julia-Ann Square Historic District will be 2 p.m. Oct. 15.

After the ribbon cutting, re-enactors will portray some of Parkersburg’s past residents who are interred in Riverview Cemetery along Juliana Street near 13th Street. The re-enactors will provide the characterizations at the actual grave sites, said Judy Smith, chairwoman of Riverview Cemetery Committee.

Those attending the cemetery dedication are invited after the program to meet at First Presbyterian Church, 1341 Juliana St., in the Harris Room for refreshments.

“It’s a joy to me to see the final product,” Smith said Wednesday about the cemetery fence project.

Smith and other committee members have been working for more than three years to raise money to erect a wrought-iron fence, which is time-period correct, around the cemetery and make other improvements. The committee is part of the Julia-Ann Square Historical Community Association Inc., which works to preserve and promote the historic district.

Through donations and grants, $140,000 was raised to build the fence, which was completed this summer, Smith said.

Kathryn Harris wrote the grant applications, and descendants of those buried in Riverview were among those donating money.

“People were so kind” with their donations, Smith said.

An “Edwardian Gala” last year at the Juliana Street home of Madison and Katharine Brown raised money for the cemetery project. Katharine also compiled and wrote a cookbook, “Historic Parkersburg Cooks,” containing recipes from women who lived in the historic district many years ago. Proceeds from the cookbook sales were given to the cemetery project.

Riverview Cemetery’s earliest grave dates back to 1801. It was developed as the Cook family cemetery of patriarch Tillinghast Cook.

The historic Cook House at 1301 Murdoch Ave. sits below the cemetery. Riverview Cemetery later grew into a community cemetery, Smith said.

Two former governors of West Virginia, a former U.S. senator and eight former mayors of Parkersburg are buried at Riverview Cemetery. They are joined by local families such as Dudley, Dils and Rathbone, Smith said.

Riverview Cemetery is held in perpetual trust by United Bank, which pays for the cemetery’s upkeep.

“United Bank is very supportive” of the Riverview Cemetery Committee’s efforts, Smith said.

Shawn Critzer, the cemetery’s caretaker, is doing a good job in maintaining the Riverview grounds, Smith said.

Besides adding a new fence, gates and stone pillars, the cemetery project also involved removing trees that were in danger of falling on tombstones, trimming other trees and sprucing up the grounds.

The Julia-Ann district group also recently raised $4,000 for signage at the cemetery.

Smith said money is still needed to replace deteriorated tombstones that have legible inscriptions.

The Riverview Cemetery Committee will be asking Gov. Jim Justice and politicians who helped with the cemetery restoration to cut the ceremonial ribbon on Oct. 15.

Donations will be accepted at the dedication, Smith said, but there is no charge to attend.

Category : In The News &News

Julia-Ann Square Announces Riverview Cemetery Preservation Project

The Julia-Ann Square Historic District is one of the showplaces in the city of Parkersburg, reminding citizens and visitors of the rich history of the Mid-Ohio Valley. Many of the planners and developers of early West Virginia worked vigorously in developing the area and the character of the state. Numerous early state government officials resided in Parkersburg. The majority of the homes in the Julia-Ann Square Historic District date c. 1840 to 1910. The historic district was home, work, and the final resting-place for many of these people. Julia-Ann Square Historic District is the largest and oldest historic district in West Virginia and is a community of approximately one hundred twenty five homes. The entire Julia-Ann Square was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.


The restoration and preservation of the Riverview Cemetery located within the district is currently in the planning stage. Former WV Governors, Senators, and other renowned people are buried here. The goal for Julia-Ann Square Association in the cemetery restoration is to replace the fencing, repair deteriorated tomb stones, and provide assistance with continual maintenance. The association plans to partner with other historic organizations, seek grants, and donations to complete the project.


The district association is organized as Julia-Ann Square Historical Community Association, Inc., a tax-exempt non-profit 501(c) (3) organization. The association was incorporated in the state of West Virginia January 29, 2001. The goals of the association are to implement a long-range Master Plan to preserve and restore the district to its original splendor.


Throughout the year, the district attracts many visitors from other states and countries as well as local citizens who come to take a magical step back into history and experience the beauty of this area. The Victorian Christmas Tour of Homes, the Spring Home and Garden Tour, and the Riverview Cemetery Tour are some of the events offered for the public. Each year, the district organization distributes approximately 4000 Walking Tour Brochures located at intervals throughout the district, community, airport and hotels. The brochure provides an interesting view of the many homes throughout the district.


Category : In The News

Victorian Garden Tour & Tea slated for June 7-8, 2014

PARKERSBURG – Garden lovers and those interested in historic homes will have the chance to combine their interests or sample something new when the Julia-Ann Square Historic District holds its annual Victorian Spring Home and Garden Tour and Tea on the first weekend of June.


Category : In The News

Past comes alive at tour of historic cemetery

Notable figures in Parkersburg’s past came to life on Sunday at the Riverview-Cook Cemetery Comes Alive program organized by the Julia-Ann Square Historic District.
Read more 

Category : In The News

Parkersburg couple to restore homes

A Parkersburg couple that restores old homes continues to work on a trio of once-stately homes in the Julia-Ann Square Historic District.  The DeKlavons breathe new life into several historic homes. Read More 

Category : In The News

Reflections of the Past festival approaching

An 1860s-era baseball game; antique car show; architectural, ghost, church and Smoot Theatre tours, and New Era School Museum events will highlight the Reflections of the Past festival.  Julia-Ann Square Historic District participated by sponsoring the RiverView Cemetery View and other events during the Festival.   Read More

Category : In The News

Concerts planned for historic district

A progressive concert will be sponsored in July by the Julia-Ann Square Historic Homeowners Association.  Judy Smith, corresponding secretary, said A Mid-Summer’s Eve Victorian Stroll – A Progressive Concert will begin at 6:30 p.m. July 10.

Musicians from the American Wind Symphony Orchestra will perform mini concerts at five historic sites beginning at the First United Methodist Church, 1001 Juliana St., Smith said. Read more

Category : In The News

Garden Tour

People opened their homes and gardens in the Julia-Ann Square Historic District this past weekend for the annual Victorian Spring Home Garden Tour and Tea.
Read more

Category : In The News

Julia-Ann Square Christmas featured in two WV magazines

Julia-Ann Square Historic District’s spectacular annual Christmas Tour was featured in two popular West Virginia magazines:  Goldenseal‘s Winter Issue 2011,  and Wonderful West Virginia (November 2011.)

Category : In The News

Victorian Christmas: Five homes featured on annual tour

PARKERSBURG – Good weather and crowds made for a successful Victorian Christmas Home Tour and Tea over the weekend in the Julia-Ann Square Historic District in Parkersburg.  The annual tour featured five historic homes decorated for the holiday season, which could be viewed over the course of two days.  “Things have been going wonderfully,” said organizer Judith Smith, whose home at 1024 Juliana St. (Caswell-Smith House), was featured on the tour. “I know we are nearing Christmas, but the weather has been so gorgeous, it has brought people out.
“I was afraid with no snow or anything like that, people might not want to come to a Christmas tour. We have had a wonderful response,” she said Sunday afternoon.  People have been interested in the decorations of the homes, their histories and more.  “Just the kindest people come on these tours,” Smith said. “I think it is a cosmic rule.”

The stops on this year’s tour were 1035 Ann St., 936 Juliana St., 1014 Juliana St., 1024 Juliana St. and the West Virginia Baptist Convention office at 1019 Juliana St.  On Saturday, the tours were escorted by guides in period attire and homeowners shared the history of their homes. Afterwards, guests attended a Victorian tea.

“(On Sunday), we just let people flow through,” Smith said. “This was a more relaxed day (on Sunday).
“We have had a house-full all day long.”
Many homeowners on the tour hoped people would appreciate the history of the homes and the decorations put up. Many homes on the tour featured antiques as well as items from around the area, businesses and such that are no longer around.  “I hope they develop a respect, if not a love, for the old house and see what made them great,” Smith said. “I hope they get an understanding of the history and what we have left.
“I hope they will honor and respect the old.”
Many young people have gone through the tour throughout the weekend.
“On this tour, we have seen so many young people, teenagers and children,” Smith said. “That always makes me so happy to see young people loving old things.
“It gives them a perspective and a respect.”
The tour raises money for the improvement of the historic district.
Past projects have included lighting, sidewalk repair and improvements and the installation of arches at the entrances to the district.
Karen Radcliff, of Parkersburg, works at the West Virginia Baptist Convention, which was one of the featured houses on the tour at at 1019 Juliana St. (the Crawford House).

“Each one is different,” she said. “I just love all of these historic houses here.
“I wanted to come and see what some of these other historic houses looked like in the neighborhood,” she said.
Radcliff loves antiques and likes to see how they are displayed in the area’s historic homes.  “They have the space to display them like they should be where most homes don’t,” she said. “I like to see how they display and use them.

Anna Schultheis, who owns the home at 1014 Juliana St. with her husband, Kirk, said the tour was great.   “It has been very busy and we have had a lot of people going through,” she said. “We have had great weather and a great turnout.  “We are very pleased.”

Story by:  BRETT DUNLAP, Parkersburg News and Sentinel
See:   http://newsandsentinel.com/page/content.detail/id/554830/Victorian-Christmas.html

Category : In The News

Julia-Ann Square seeks additional funding

Walking tour brochure available

As reported in the Parkersburg News and Sentinel:
Representatives of the Julia-Ann Square Historic District showed their updated walking tour brochure, thanked Wood County commissioners for past funding and submitted a request for an additional $2,500.
Katharine Brown, with the Julia-Ann Square Historic District Association, told county officials the brochure had not been revised since it was initially put together in 2002.
“This committee has invested hundreds of hours of research in the writing, editing and photography for the brochure. Most of us have graduate degrees in relation to history, teaching experience and we volunteered our professional expertise to make this possible. We wanted to do this as our gift to the community. The association paid for the design and layout, and the commission’s contribution was used to have the brochures printed,” Brown said. She owns the Chancellor-Burwell-Lowe House (1878) at 904 Juliana St., which was home to her great great-grandfather.
Brown said the district draws tourists from all over the country.
“The district is one of the principal reasons people come to Wood County and Parkersburg, and tourism is an economic development tool,” she said. “I believe there are few areas that can match the quantity and quality of historic architecture we have in our district.”
Updated brochures for the walking tour of the Julia-Ann Historic District are available in boxes within the district, including the entrances, Oil and Gas Museum, Blennerhassett Museum, Greater Parkersburg Convention and Visitors Bureau, Wood County Courthouse and Blennerhassett Hotel.
“We are hopeful when it comes time to reprint the brochures we can get some funding assistance from you all for that,” Brown said.
John Martin, president of the district, noted the commission’s past funding contributions helped create the walking tour brochures, DVDs, period street lighting and gateway arches that welcome visitors to the district.
“The next project in our continuation to restore the district is the replacement of deteriorating sidewalks, currently under construction with completion expected this summer,” Martin said. In a letter to the commission, the district requested an additional $2,500 to be used to continue production of the walking tour brochures.
The square was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.
The association is a tax-exempt, nonprofit entity. The group has developed a master plan. The first phase was installation of gateway arches at the entrance. Park benches were placed throughout the district. The next phase includes replacement of deteriorated sidewalks. The association was awarded $15,000 in Community Participation Grant funding along with funds from the county commission. The district has allocated an additional $15,000 in matching funds to start the project. They hope to complete the sidewalk project this year, noted Kathryn Harris, district treasurer.
The association sponsors various fundraisers throughout the year including a Christmas Tour of Homes, Spring Garden Tour and Riverview/Cook Cemetery Tour. Annually the group distributes approximately 4,000 tour brochures.
The website, which was redesigned during the past year for the district, can be found at www.juliannsquare.org to view homes, gardens and future tour information.
Commissioner Steve Gainer agreed the district is one of the area’s tourist attractions.
“We had company here over the weekend and we took a tour all around the area, which included a drive up Juliana and Ann Streets. They were really impressed with the preservation of the older homes, and we were quite proud to show it to them. It is a beautiful area,” Gainer said.
“The county commission has in the past, and will continue to be in the future, very supportive of your efforts. We were quick to set up a funding source for you through our hotel/motel tax. From time to time you have asked us for funding and we’ve always provided it. I don’t think there is any change in the commission’s will that you are a wonderful example of what neighbors can do for neighbors. We’ve seen that start to take place also in the Washington Avenue area as well. We are always in favor of any events that promote the history of our area,” said commission President Blair Couch.

Category : In The News

Neighborhood good for tourism

The Julia-Ann Square Historic District recently conducted its annual Garden Tour and Tea. It was a great success for the neighborhood, bringing in needed proceeds, which help to enhance the district.
Many may not realize, but the district’s residents have had an active homeowners’ association since the 1970s. This association meets monthly to discuss business, coordinate neighborhood activities and money-raising events such as Christmas and garden tours.
The association is a not-for-profit entity, thus subject to government rules and regulations. Residents volunteer their services managing the association and sitting on community boards in various positions. Recently the association has been involved in obtaining grants to help supplement the proceeds brought in from our events.
The district’s master plan, finalized in 2002, called for several improvement phases to the neighborhood. One of the final items in the plan is sidewalk restoration. The sidewalks were in a deteriorated condition for several years.
Combined with grant money awarded to the district from the state and county, district residents’ contributions and the association’s matching amount, the district, in partnership with the city of Parkersburg, are repairing the sidewalks. This is a wonderful example of how all the stakeholders can benefit when they work together to preserve and maintain a valuable asset in the city.
The Julia-Ann Historic District is a large draw for tourism in Parkersburg and together with many other historical elements and groups in and around Wood County, help bring needed revenue to city and county coffers through taxes and other fees generated by small businesses, retail establishments and tourist attractions.
The Julia-Ann Historic District residents appreciate those who attend our events and help to keep the district alive. We would also like to recognize those who understand the value of a neighborhood such as ours and how it contributes to the vitality of Parkersburg and Wood County.
Ruami Dyck

Category : In The News