Letter to the Editor – Chris Hoke
For me, the ceremony of the opening of the time capsule from the Tyler County Home was a sad day. The Tyler County Home was the jewel of Tyler County and should never had been demolished. It was demolished due to the hidden agenda of the county commissioners – Vincent, Kelly, and Stender (at the time) and of the Fair Board President, Andy Weekley.
In 2009 and 2015, I was part of small groups to save the Home. The WV Preservation Alliance during those two times, sent a contractor that concluded the structure to be solid and worth renovating. The cost of the restoration would have been mostly paid for by grants. Also, the demolition crew commented that this structure was solid and could not understand why it was being demolished.
A few times, I went before the commissioners with ideas as to re-purpose the building. Classes for Northern Community College, transition housing for homeless veterans, museum, rental of office spaces for small businesses, day care, rental of spaces for weddings, events, meetings, etc. The architecture and history of the building, as well as some of the above ideas, would have brought tourists into Tyler County and boosted our economy. Tourists need food, lodging, gas. . . Peggy George and her group put a lot of time and effort to raise over $24,000 for renovations. The commissioners just strung her and her group along.
They did this again with a group who a year ago proposed a Memorial on the site. They approved the design, cost, and location of the Memorial. Now, they want the Memorial to be placed against a fence away from the original location. Therefore, there would not be space for the gardens and pathway. Apparently, they have their own plans for the site, but have not revealed them to the group or to the citizens of Tyler County. I believe whatever structure they put on the site of the Tyler County Home will not last 100 years or be architecturally beautiful.
To the citizens of Tyler County, you voted for these commissioners to improve the economy and living conditions of the county. So citizens of Tyler County, I ask you to call the commissioners about the location of the Memorial and question them about their plans for this site. Please take a more active role in the planning and decisions for Tyler County. Attend commissioner meetings. Daytime meetings are not convenient? Petition that one meeting a month be held in the evening. Call them about their plans and actions. Why would small businesses or young families want to move to Tyler County? What does the county have to offer?
Sincerely, Chris Hoke
Tyler County Resident