Historic Landmarks Commission Discusses Lease of Opera House to the Foundation

At the March 27th meeting of the Pocahontas County Historic Landmarks Commission, there was a discussion with the Pocahontas County Opera House Foundation’s Operations Manager, Brynn Kusic, about maintenance needs at the Opera House. The Landmarks Commission owns the Opera House while the Opera House Foundation operates it and schedules the performances there. There was a suggestion made that instead of having the Foundation come to the Landmarks Commission each time a minor repair or maintenance issue arises, perhaps the Landmarks commission should establish a maintenance fund which the Foundation can draw on to pay for those themselves. That discussion led the Landmark Commission members to conclude that perhaps there should be an official written lease between the Landmarks commission and the Opera House Foundation, and then a maintenance fund could be established. Although there was no official vote on this at the meeting, all of the members seemed to like the idea of a lease, as did Brynn Kusic.

Some of the maintenance issues at the Opera House which were mentioned included the repair or replacement of the exit signs, interior painting, and window treatments. The members also discussed the possibility of building of an office for the Foundation upstairs where the Landmarks Commission could also keep a filing cabinet or two for records storage.

Kusic announced that this year marks the twenty-five-year anniversary of the Opera House Foundation’s Performance Series at the Opera House.

In other matters, Brad Hertko volunteered to design an official letterhead for the Historic Landmarks Commission.

Landmark Chairman Jason Bauserman said that the Upper Pocahontas Community Coalition has been recording detailed interviews with former employees of the Howes Tannery in Frank. They hope to preserve those memories and stories for future generations.

Landmark’s member Tim Wade talked about the restoration of the Old County Clerk’s Office in Huntersville. He said the contractor, Frank Unger, has repaired the rafters, stabilized the brick exterior walls and has ordered additional historically accurate matching bricks. Wade said they are about 1/3 complete and hope to have the building fully restored in time for the celebration of West Virginia Day in June.

Bob Sheets displaying 18th Century Indian Trade Musket to Pocahontas County Historic Landmarks Commission members.

Member Bob Sheets talked about the event he is holding at the Revolutionary era Fort Warwick on June 22nd and 23rd. The event, which is open to the public, will feature an herbalist and an artist who does archaeological drawings, as well as tours of the fort’s archeological project. Sheets also brought a replica Native American Trade Musket, similar to those used from 1774 to 1783.  The metal plate on the gun was actually excavated from the site of Fort Warwick.

Story By

Tim Walker

Tim is the WVMR News Reporter. Tim is a native of Maryland who started coming to Pocahontas County in the 1970’s as a caver. He bought land on Droop Mountain off Jacox Road in 1976 and built a small house there in the early 80’s. While still working in Maryland, Tim spent much time at his place which is located on the Friars Hole Cave Preserve. Retiring in 2011 as a Lieutenant with the Anne Arundel County Police Department in Maryland, Tim finally took the plunge and moved from Maryland to his real home on Droop Mountain. He began working as the Pocahontas County Reporter for Allegheny Mountain Radio in January of 2015.

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