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Commission hears from museum, honors law enforcement

lTHANKS — Members of the Hancock County Commission, during their meeting Thursday, offer thanks to representatives of the county Sheriff’s Department, New Cumberland Police, Chester Police and the West Virginia State Police. The commission also approved a proclamation recognizing May 9-15 as National Police Week. -- Craig Howel

NEW CUMBERLAND — The Hancock County Commission heard a request for support, Thursday, from the Hancock County Museum and also expressed appreciation for the county’s law enforcement officers.

Museum President Vivian Weigel and Vice President Janet Keller approached commissioners, expressing their appreciation for supporting the establishment of the museum at the Marshall House in New Cumberland almost 20 years ago, and for continued support through the reimbursement of the museum’s regular costs since that time.

Now, they explained they are working to raise funds in order to remediate issues of wood rot in windows and other areas of the house.

“It was built in 1887, so wood doesn’t last forever,” Weigel said. “That’s the main problem we’re dealing with right now.”

Located at 1008 Ridge Ave. in New Cumberland, the Queen Anne-style brick structure was built by Oliver S. Marshall, who was a state senator and, at one time, served as president of the West Virginia Senate. In 2001 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

“The Marshall House is a historical building,” Weigel said. “It has to be treated differently when it comes to repairs.”

Much of the funding for operations of the museum have come through fundraising efforts by the museum commission, Keller noted, who added recent events have reduced the availability of such money.

“We did everything by donations and grants,” Keller explained. “All of those have dried up.”

Weigel said estimates the museum commission has obtained show it would take $100,000 to address wood rot issues and repairs to all windows at the museum, although contractors have agreed to address the worst cases for $50,000. The museum has obtained $25,000 from the Pugliese Foundation which could assist with the project, but is asking the county commission to help fill in the gaps.

Commission President Paul Cowey asked for a letter from the museum detailing the request, with a total dollar amount being requested.

Commissioner Jeff Davis, explaining they often meet with various officials and groups prior to their meetings, suggested setting up a tour of the museum for those groups.

“It would expose the museum to those groups that come to meet with us, as well as the commission,” Davis said, noting it could lead to new fundraising opportunities.

Also, Thursday, the commission approved a proclamation recognizing this week as National Police Week, and acknowledged representatives of the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department, New Cumberland Police Department, Chester Police Department and the West Virginia State Police who were in attendance.

The observance of National Police Week, as well as May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day, can be traced to a proclamation signed in 1962 by President John F. Kennedy.

(Howell can be contacted at chowell@weirtondailytimes.com, and followed via Twitter @CHowellWDT)

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