By Ashley Centofonti
On April 26, various groups from Mineral County came together on the WVU Potomac State College campus to celebrate a ribbon cutting for the new Civil War Trails sign. Groups included in the ceremony were: Mineral County Tourism, Mineral County Chamber of Commerce, WVU Potomac State College, Mineral County Historical Foundation, Mineral County Historical Society, Mineral County Development Authority, Mineral County Commission, and the Allegany County Civil War Roundtable.
Among those participating in the ribbon cutting for the Civil War Trail sign on the WVU Potomac State College (PSC) campus were from left: Nicholas Gardner, PSC librarian; Stephanie Nickerson, Mineral County Development Authority; Dinah Courrier, Mineral County Historical Society; Frank Roleff, Mineral County Tourism and Historical Foundation; Cody Jose, Mineral County Parks & Recreation; Gary Clites, Mineral County Tourism and Allegany County Civil War Roundtable; Jennifer Orlikoff, WVU/PSC president; Kevin Clark, Mineral County Development Authority; Virginia Stephens, PSC librarian; Shaun Dorsey, Allegany County Civil War Roundtable; Randy Crane, Mineral County Chamber of Commerce; Ashley Centofonti, Mineral County Tourism; Pete and Joann Peugh, Allegany County Civil War Roundtable; Jess Riden, Mineral County Commission; and Barbara Crane, Mineral County Tourism, Photo Courtesy of Mineral County Tourism
Before the ribbon cutting, Potomac State College President Jennifer Orlikoff said a few words on behalf of the College. “We are here to commemorate the significance and the value of the land in which WVU Potomac State College was founded in 1901. We are also grateful to recognize the role that Fort Fuller played during the Civil War.” Mineral County Tourism Director, Ashley Centofonti, spoke briefly on the significance of the new sign. “We are excited to welcome Civil War Trails into Mineral County. This organization not only focuses on tourism, but also on economic development. When people come to Mineral County, they will not only visit this sign, but they will also visit our local businesses, stay the night in our hotels, and help stimulate our local economy.” Centofonti also went on to say, “This sign does not celebrate. Instead, it helps us interpret the events that took place during the most pivotal time in our nation’s history, right here in our own backyard.”
WVU Potomac State College President Jennifer Orlikoff and Mineral County Tourism Executive Director Ashley Centofonti cut the ribbon to commemorate the new Civil War Trail sign beside the Mary F. Shipper Library on the College campus. Also pictured are Nicholas Gardner, PSC librarian; Dinah Courrier, Mineral County Historical Society; and Barbara Crane, Mineral County Tourism.
WVU Potomac State College President Jennifer Orlikoff and Mineral County Tourism Executive Director Ashley Centofonti stand in front of the new Civil War Trail sign with Dighton “Pete” Peugh, with the Allegany County Civil War Roundtable.
Nick Gardner, Potomac State College librarian, who was instrumental in helping with the project spoke briefly on the significance of Fort Fuller. Gardner said “History is not just the places, the events, the land, but it’s the people. When you think of Fort Fuller, there were people stationed here that moved on to become authors or political figures. Some are remembered as heroes and others as criminals. Thousands of men passed through New Creek Station to help defend it. Afterwards, many went back home to their families, and countless men never made it back home.” A moment of silence was held in remembrance of those soldiers who never made it home.
If you’d like to learn more about Fort Fuller and the role it played in the Civil War, make sure to visit the sign on the Potomac State College campus, 101 Fort Ave, Keyser, WV 26726. More information can be obtained by contacting Mineral County Tourism at 304-790-7081 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.