NEW CUMBERLAND - Ten years ago, the vision of many Hancock County residents was realized with the opening of the Hancock County Historical Museum.
On Saturday, many of those who have supported the museum over the years gathered to celebrate its continuing efforts to preserve local history within the walls of its Ridge Avenue home.
Museum President Linda McNeil welcomed the gathered guests, thanking the members of the museum board, as well as the Hancock County Commission, local legislators and the Top of West Virginia Convention and Visitors Bureau and many other volunteers who have lent a hand toward the creation and operation of the museum.
Marie Converse and Victor Greco were among those honored Saturday during the 10th anniversary celebration of the Hancock County Historical Museum for their dedication toward the creation of the museum and the preservation of local history. Also honored was the Wells family, who have operated Homer Laughlin China Co. for several generations. -- Craig Howell
Museum President Linda McNeil greeted those attending Saturday's service, discussing the history of the museum and their hopes for the future. -- Craig Howell
"We're here because 10 years ago, they were here with us," McNeil said.
The museum is located in a house which had been built in 1887 by Oliver Marshall, who later would become a state senator.
Among those given special recognition Saturday were Marie Converse, Victor Greco and members of the Wells family.
Converse, according to McNeil, had been involved in similar efforts prior to moving to Hancock County and her experience proved invaluable in reaching out to various organizations in getting the museum started.
Greco was recognized for his vision and efforts in preserving the history of the area, which also helped lead to the creation of the Weirton Area Museum and Cultural Center.
The Wells family, which has owned and operated Homer Laughlin China for several generations, has provided much support for the museum over the years, McNeil explained.
Also taking place Saturday was the dedication of a bell in the back yard of the museum. According to Janet Keller, the bell was once used on a tow boat on the Ohio River. It eventually was salvaged by J.B. Porter and used at Globe Brick before finding a home at Union Chapel in the Congo area of Hancock County.
"This bell has been in many places and left many remembrances," Keller said.
McNeil also announced there currently is work being done to renovate part of the top floor of the house, with a fund drive planned for the future, as part of the museum's continuing work.
"This house has stood for 125 years, and it will stand for another 125 years," McNeil said.
(Howell can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed via Twitter @CHowellWDT)