CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - In a ceremony Thursday morning in Washington, D.C., which was attended by first lady Laura Bush, Charles Town was recognized as one of 14 communities across the country that has made strides in promoting heritage tourism, a city official said.
Charles Town was named a Preserve America Community for its work in a number of areas, including its effort to preserve the Fishermen's Hall building on West Street, its support to save the former Jefferson County Jail in town, its attempt to purchase the historic Happy Retreat home and its efforts to redevelop old industrial areas in and around North Street, according to Charles Town City Council member Matt Ward.
The Preserve America program was established by an executive order signed by President Bush in 2003, said Ward, who attended Thursday morning's ceremony on Capitol Hill.
The program encourages and supports community efforts to preserve and enjoy priceless cultural and natural heritage. The goals of the initiative include a greater shared knowledge about the nation's past, strengthened regional identities and local pride, increased local participation in preserving the country's cultural and natural heritage assets, and support for the economic vitality of communities, according to a press release.