March 04, 2007

Two Eastern Panhandle residents were among 52 people from around West Virginia who were named History Heroes for their grassroots-level contributions to the preservation, promotion and perpetuation of the state's history.

History enthusiasts gathered Feb. 22 in the Cultural Center in Charleston, W.Va., for the awards ceremony that kicked off a successful day of celebrating West Virginia history. Throughout the day, the State Capitol Rotunda was filled with exhibitors and re-enactors eager to share their enthusiasm for the history of the state.

Edward Dunleavy is president and founding member of the Shepherdstown Battlefield Preservation Association Inc., an organization dedicated to preserving three hundred acres of the site of the Battle of Shepherdstown as a Civil War national park. Dunleavy has enlisted the support of historians, educators, county, state and federal officials, and Civil War preservation groups in this effort. Eighty-four acres have now been preserved and further development of the site is halted. By educating the public about this previously ignored Civil War battle, Dunleavy has been instrumental in saving an important part of the area's history.


He also sits on the board of Historic Shepherdstown Commission and is a member of the museum committee.

He was nominated for the award by Historic Shepherdstown Commission.

Betty Lou Harmison is one of the founders and current vice president and exhibits chair of the Museum of the Berkeley Springs. A favorite tour guide for the museum and the community, she researched and developed the Hotels of Bath exhibit. Harmison is a member of the Town of Bath Landmark Commission, which is undertaking a historical survey of the town.

In 1976, she was a one-woman bicentennial committee, developing town historical markers and an original lot owners walking tour, and hosting officials from Bath, England. Harmison wrote the National Register of Historic Places nomination for Berkeley Springs State Park. She is a member of the Morgan County Historical Society and Ye Olde Town of Bath Daughters of the American Revolution. Harmison generously shares her extensive local archives, and is working on a book about Park View Inn.

She was nominated for the award by Museum of the Berkeley Springs.

The 11th History Day was a joint effort of the West Virginia Archives and History Commission, Friends of West Virginia Culture and History, Mining Your History Foundation, Preservation Alliance of West Virginia, Inc., West Virginia Humanities Council, West Virginia Association of Museums, West Virginia Historical Association, West Virginia Historical Society and West Virginia Division of Culture and History.

A complete list of this year's recipients, along with a brief explanation of their contributions, is enclosed. Photos of the winners are available at

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