This is the third article in our series on Foundation endowments that benefit the region.
The Foundation manages eleven funds that support historic preservation; several of which provide perpetual funding for the maintenance, repair and restoration of cemeteries that are governed by a board of trustees.
The Bright’s Chapel Cemetery Fund was established in 2001for upkeep of the cemetery
located on Rt. 72 North West of Red Creek. The fund was created by the late Kensel E. Stephens of Chesapeake, VA following the death of his wife, Ethel Bright Stephens, a great-great-granddaughter of the first minister of Bright’s Chapel Church. The church has a fascinating history. To read more visit www.tuckerfoundation.net/grants.
The Buena Chapel Cemetery Fund was established in 2004 by Ronald and Juanita Leone Linkous in memory and honor of her parents, Martha and Dale Ault, lifelong residents of Tucker County. This fund provides for the upkeep of the Canaan Valley cemetery located at the entrance to Freeland Road.
The Leadmine Cemetery, located in Tucker County, benefits from the Leadmine Cemetery Fund, created in 1993 by the Miriam A. Miller estate and other private donations.
The McNeeley Cemetery Fund was established in 1991 for the preservation and maintenance of the cemetery bordering the Tucker County communities of Hambleton and Hendricks. Initial funding was provided by families who have loved ones buried there, via Tucker County Historical Society.
The Davis Cemetery Fund was established in 2007 for upkeep of the cemetery located on Blackwater Falls Road in Davis. The fund provides an annual grant to the Town of Davis Cemetery Committee for maintenance, historic preservation, and beautification. Margaret Fortini Siembieda established the fund in memory of her parents, Joseph and Alice Moore Fortini, and her brother, Michael Fortini. Former classmates and alumni of Davis High School support the fund and a large bequest from the estate of Paul A. Meyer has been added to the fund. Meyer, a lifelong resident of Davis who took care of many family graves in the cemetery, was adamant that no machinery be used on or around the graves. His wish that his own grave be dug by hand was carried out.
The Holly Meadows-Long Family Cemetery Fund was established in 2008 by David E. Long and his family in memory of James E. and Harriet Parsons Long, his great-grandparents. The cemetery is located in Holly Meadows 1.5 miles north of Parsons, WV. The cemetery is the final resting place for 45 or more members of the Long family and their relatives whose presence in Holly Meadows dates to the early1800s. The land upon which the cemetery is located was part of the Long Family farm from 1816 until 2006.
The Mt. Hebron Cemetery Fund was established in 2014 with a donation from the Trustees of Mt. Hebron Cemetery: L. Carl Harr, David Lesher, Richard Allman, and Thomas Allman. The cemetery, also known as Cortland Cemetery, is located in the heart of Canaan Valley off of Cortland Road on an acre of land donated by Henry and Mary Rudolph Cooper in 1897. It is the resting place for some of Canaan Valley’s pioneer families, their descendants and others who were laid to rest there as recently as last year.
The Harsh Cemetery Fund was created by the family of Leeorr Rosier and once established, it will provide support for the cemetery that is located four miles past the Union Chapel Church on Clover Run Road. Prior to her death in 2015, Leeorr lived in Clover Run where she and her husband Stearl owned and operated the Rosier’s Polled Hereford Farm. A homemaker and former employee of the City of Parsons, her family members describe Leeorr as “a strong woman before the term strong woman was popular. She was a child living in Baltimore during the Great Depression where she knew what it was like to do without, to share the little that she had, and to find usefulness in all things. While her husband was away in World War II, she cared for their family. As a farmer, her hard work and knowledge of farming matched that of her husband.”
The Utterback Fund supports the restoration of Cottrill’s Opera House in Thomas. Established by Harry K. and Phyllis H. Utterback, the fund memorializes the Utterback family who were residents of Coketon, WV near the turn of the century.
The Tucker County Veterans Memorial Fund for the maintenance and upkeep of the All Veterans’ Memorial located in Parsons was started in 2005 by Carmen Holmes of Hendricks and continues to build with donor support.
The Mindy Pierce Historical Preservation Fund was established in 2013 to honor the memory of General Carleton C. Pierce, Sr., Mary Buckner Pierce, and Carleton C. Pierce, Jr. The fund provides funding for “bricks and mortar” work performed on historic Preston County Buildings owned, leased, or otherwise controlled in whole or in part by the Preston County Historical Society, the Society of Preservation of the McGrew House, and the Old Hemlock Foundation.
For more information how to endow a fund, contact the Foundation Development Office at 259-5008. Visit www.tuckerfoundation.net for more information about Tucker Community Foundation.