Document Repository

29 West Main Street
Buckhannon, WV 26201

(across from the courthouse)


Tuesday Evenings 6:00 to 8:00 PM

Upshur County Historical Society
P.O. Box 2082
Buckhannon, WV 26201
Document Repository
History Center


The Upshur County Historical Society’s Document Repository is open to the general public, year round, on Tuesday evenings from 6-8pm. Each week we welcome many individuals who are working on family research, have a local history question, need to purchase our various publications, or just stop in to donate some important historic document or artifact for the ever growing collection that we house there. If you’re coming from out of town and Tuesday evening isn’t convenient for you, let us know and we will set an afternoon appointment time for you at the Repository. This past year we have had a great many visitors both from the local area and some from other states. We try to meet the needs of all who have Upshur County related family or historical questions.

The Repository continues to acquire significant historic resources. We had several new collections in 2019 and many previously established collections were added to. Some of the interesting documents and artifacts have included a wonderful early 20th century bass drum from the Earl Opha and Minnie Leota Tenney estate that Opha played as a member of the Sand Run Band [we exhibited the drum in the Summer 2019 Exhibit]. We also received objects from the Matt Hymes collection of maps and interesting documents. In August John Gagnon and Noel W. Tenney picked up fifty-seven notebooks of genealogical and historical materials, along with historic photographs from the Lena Sneberger estate in Czar. We received a small, but very interesting, collection of CCC [Civilian Conservation Corp, 1930s] materials from the family of CCC member John Osburn. These are just a sampling of collections received during 2019. One collection from the Spies Family [Bekki Lewis Leigh Collection] was greatly added to this past summer and you will view some of this additional material used in this Journal issue concerning the lumbering efforts of the Spies family. We also worked with Dustin Zickefoose, Upshur County Assessor, to house a collection of maps and photographs at the Repository.

We are still working hard to catalogue all incoming collections so that they will be available for use by our visiting public.

We were pleased to host our annual “Children of the Strawberry Festival” display and a successful book sale during festival week in May. Amy W. Tenney and Noel W. Tenney hosted Brett Miller’s WV Wesleyan class in Public History this past fall when we shared from our general collections and spoke on our work at the Repository. We have had various individuals at the Repository researching family and local history. Paol Pederson, the author of the “Price Bottling Works” story in this Journal issue made several trips from Maryland to do exacting research.

We were very pleased to see and visit with our former AmeriCorps member, Julie Stoner, at Strawberry Festival time. Julie is one of our most remembered AmeriCorps individuals. After leaving us in the fall of 2013, she continued her master’s degree work in Washington, D. C. and is now at the Library of Congress in the map division. We were gifted a jump drive filled with historic local maps from the LOC collection and the gift was greatly appreciated and in constant use. Thanks, Julie Stone, you’re the best. Hope you come back real soon.

Julie Stoner

We are very pleased to welcome the efforts of Rebekah Graham, a WVWC student who is picking up the collections cataloguing in the absence of an AmeriCorps member this year. She has been working hard on cataloguing the new acquisitions into the electronic system [adding several hundred items already] to our more than 23,000 catalogued totals. We thank John Gagnon, 2018-2019 AmeriCorps member, who made great strides in reorganizing the cataloguing area, shelving and storage, and updating all of the user guides needed to make the Repository function well.

The UCHS Volunteers saying farewell to AmeriCorps member John Gagnon in late summer 2019

We are continuing to add items to our Upshur County History Digital Encyclopedia [A major project that will be ongoing for quite some time] where we will be digitally copying a vast range of research materials that we have put together at the Repository. This format will allow various types of materials to be combined in a format that will be much more user friendly. It will also connect to our digital collections cataloguing and storage system known as PastPerfect, and make working on this journal, the upcoming summer exhibit, and many other research projects much easier.

We have large amounts of uncatalogued original materials [called primary resources] in our holdings waiting to be entered into the system and we look forward to the time when our entire collection has been catalogued electronically. We’re not sure just when this will happen as the collection keeps growing. You will see in this Journal, published examples of many photographs, historic documents, newspaper scans, and content gleaned from these vast collections. We are very appreciative of all the donors that have shared their treasures with us over the years. We are now managing well over 500 individual collections, some small but some very large. We are also very appreciative of Daniel Green for generously sharing from the Howard Hiner photo collection.

There is always a great need at the Repository. Of course volunteer assistance is certainly at the top of the list. It is also very expensive to maintain the collection with correct archival processing and storage. Archival supplies are very costly since they must have the special qualities that protect the artifact and, at the same time, remain stable for many years. Acid free, ultraviolet protecting, materials are quite expensive and if you would like to make a donation, perhaps choosing one of the previously listed special gift items to allow us to maintain a constant stock of these supplies, please contact us. We are also very happy to assist the public with any needs in their personal family archival storage and preservation.

It does take an enormous amount of work to make the Repository a professionally operated research center, artifact and document collection, and center of the Society’s office operations. A small, but very dedicated, core of workers including Veneda Mills Gower [who records all memberships, sales, prepares membership correspondence, and much more], Amy W. Tenney [she is involved in every aspect of the UCHS and specifically is in charge with all operations of the French Creek building project], Linda Wygal [she researches and writes for the Journal], Michael Phillips [he is our resident Civil War expert and always willing to assist], Diane Orsburn Hanline [she has worked for months cataloguing and arranging our vast research book collection], Blaine Jack [he is a very efficient researcher and writes for the Journal], Jennifer Stout [Jennifer has been working hard to update the indexes to the Rare Books Collection, newspaper story index, and much more], Phil Ward (who contributes photos and research materials almost weekly to our collection ), Bo Wadell [he writes for the Journal], Don Henderson, Jr.[he advises on many occasions and assists with some of our retail sales. He also contributed to the “Price Bottling Works” story in this issue], Noel W. Tenney [serves as Director of Special Projects and secretary/treasurer, he usually attends to the day to day operations, answers emails, supervises volunteers, edits the Journal, and develops and curates the Summer Exhibit], and others as dedicated volunteers this year, all make up that team. We are also extremely pleased to have the continuing assistance of Karon King and Lemoyne Wentz, who add their contributions to our publication and research efforts. Their results are evident with ongoing additions to our publications list each year.

We would welcome your volunteer contribution to help with the many tasks of collection processing, research, and general repository duties. When you visit the Repository now, we want you to notice that the entire place has a much more “spic and span” look to it thanks to the weekly volunteer time of Karon King. Thanks Karon, and we appreciate her efforts on researching genealogical info for inquiries as well as providing the family information piece for this issue. We are also adding new shelving in the storage area and hope that the entire Repository will have a much more organized look in the near future.

We are always happy that those of you who use our resources see the fruit of your efforts. Many individuals have shared a copy of their publication with the Repository and we always love being remembered in that way. Some of these works are also featured on our publication sales list.

We are now in a position at the Repository to receive a wide variety of materials that relate to the rich history of Upshur County. PLEASE! DON’T THROW ANYTHING AWAY THAT MIGHT SPEAK TO SOME ASPECT OF OUR COUNTY HISTORY UNTIL YOU LET US HAVE A LOOK.

Remember, what you may consider valueless, we may consider priceless.




About Us


Copyright Notice
The Upshur County Historical Society is the county level private, not-for-profit organization that has as its mission the identification, preservation, and perpetuation of all things historical on the county level.