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W.Va. jailhouse preservation leads to statewide recognition

December 12, 2009

The Preservation Alliance of West Virginia at its 2009 Awards Banquet in Huntington, W.Va., honored 14 West Virginia citizens for their preservation work - including two Jefferson County residents and a Berkeley County architect - for their success in saving the old Jefferson County Jailhouse in Charles Town, W.Va., from demolition.

Harpers Ferry, W.Va., resident Carol Gallant is president of the Jefferson County Preservation Alliance to Save our Heritage. She received a glass vase and a certificate for "Most Endangered Property Saved."

Jim Whipple, of Charles Town, and Kevin Sarring of Washington, D.C., also received certificates.

The alliance placed the jailhouse on its Most Endangered list in 2003. The organization also contacted the Jefferson County Commission directly in support of saving the building, and sent an architect to examine the building and provide a report to the County Commission.

Other alliance members recognized were Doug Estepp, a coal miners treason trials expert; Tom Michael, attorney for the group; and architect Matt Grove of Martinsburg, W.Va., who renovated the 1918 jailhouse and adapted it in 2008 for its present use as a judicial center.

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