MARIETTA - Preservation of artifacts, photographs, documents and other items from the history of Williamstown and surrounding communities is the mission of the newly-formed Williamstown Area Historical Society.
The group held its organizational meeting in November and has been growing ever since, society Vice President Lloyd Roberts said.
"I've lived here for 20 years and have always been interested in local history," he said. "But many items of historical significance to this community are being lost-sold off through estate auctions or other means."
In an effort to prevent continued loss of the region's history and some of its historic artifacts, Roberts has joined with more than 20 fellow area residents to form the historical society, including Williamstown High School principal Pat Peters, who spearheaded formation of the group and is serving as its president.
"But we're not just from Williamstown. We have many members from surrounding communities like Waverly and Boaz. The histories of all these communities are linked, and everyone has a genuine interest in preserving that history," said Marty Seufer, a member of the society's board of directors.
A few of the group's objectives include compiling a written history of the area, collecting photographs and artifacts pertaining to the region's history, and researching the history of older buildings and historic trails.Fact Box
If You Go
* The next meeting of the Williamstown Area Historical Society is 6:30 p.m. Feb. 17 in the Williamstown High School library.
* Anyone of any age interested in becoming a member of the society is welcome. Members do not have to be Wood County or West Virginia residents.
* Annual dues are $20 per person, $30 per family, and $50 for businesses. Junior memberships (under 18) are $10 a year, and lifetime memberships are available for a one-time fee of $200.
* Membership applications are available at the society's monthly meetings.
In addition the society plans to interview and make video recordings of stories of the area from older residents so they can be preserved for future generations.
"We're also looking for someplace that we can use for a repository to store historical items, including copies of photos or documents that people might want to share," Seufer said.
Roberts said anyone interested in becoming a member of the historical society can do so by attending one of the monthly meetings, fill out an application and pay their annual dues.
The yearly dues are $10 for youths under 18, $20 per adult, or $30 for a family membership. Businesses may also join for $50 a year, and a lifetime membership can be purchased for $200.
Williamstown Mayor Jean Ford was especially pleased that the Williamstown Area Historical Society is up and running.
"I'm really thrilled that they've started this group," she said. "We have so much history here, and the community is supporting their effort to preserve that history. I think that's wonderful."