December 2016 
AFHA Attend Disaster Corps Training
Alison Thornton 
AFHA Associate

AFHA AmeriCorps had the opportunity this December to join other programs across the state in Disaster Corps training. Members learned the different ways they could serve communities through Disaster Corps, were trained by the Red Cross in disaster services, and completed a service project set up by our state program, Volunteer West Virginia. Members in Disaster Corps can be called out for disaster response and relief, such as setting up shelters, donation distribution, and even mucking out buildings. AFHA is very proud of our members for taking this opportunity to further serve our communities.

(from the Disaster Corps website)
“WV Disaster Corps: Since 2014, West Virginia AmeriCorps & VISTA members have the opportunity to be trained and mobilized during local, regional and statewide disasters. By joining the WV Disaster Corps, national service members can help communities rebuild and recover from disasters. WV Disaster Corps is a National Service Partnership initiative unique to West Virginia. In addition to response and recovery missions, Senior Corps and AmeriCorps national service members help strengthen West Virginia’s emergency preparedness at the local level. They distribute preparedness kits to home-bound seniors, coordinate emergency response trainings, and design disaster-related service projects throughout the year.”

The Season of Giving

The 2016-2017 Team (unfortunately not terribly festive)

By Tyler Winstead
AFHA AmeriCorps Member

Perhaps filled with the spirit of the season, the 2016-2017 AFHA AmeriCorps team democratically elected to forgo their traditional secret Santa gift exchange in favor of charitable donation. In the past, AFHA service members have participated in secret Santa gift exchanges with a cash limit (five dollars), typically relying on creative crafting or joke-gifting. During the November team meeting, however, Cody Anderson suggested that the team pool their meager five dollar sums together and use it to assist disadvantaged families in giving their children a merrier Christmas than they otherwise would through cash donations to the Salvation Army.
While The Salvation Army, a protestant Christian church and charity headquartered in London, typically assists the homeless and economically challenged year-round through cash and material donations, the Forgotten Angel Tree fund specifically aims to “provide Christmas dinners, clothing, and toys for families in need, including families of prisoners.” Collectively, the AFHA raised $140 for the charity and was turned in Tuesday, December 20th at a location in Buckhannon.
Disclaimer: The Appalachian Forest Heritage Area is an equal opportunity program and is not religiously affiliated or professionally associated with the Salvation Army

Photos from Around the AFHA: Fidler's Mill

Fidler's Mill in Upshur County

Fidler’s Mill in Upshur County, constructed in 1821, was purchased and enlarged in 1849 by new owner William Fidler, who used slave labor to construct and operate the new mill. In addition to carding wool and grinding grain for flour or meal, local farmers socialized at the mill, which also hosted an annual Halloween dance on its wooden floors. The mill's power came from a dam upstream on the Little Kanawha River until 1942 when it flooded. Later, the mill was machine operated and was eventually sold in 1978. It is now the last fully operational historic gristmill in Upshur County.

The Mill is open to the public Saturday afternoons during the summer, offering visitors the opportunity to “step back in time to 1849” with its collection of artifacts and interpretative exhibits, and hosts an open house at least once year, calling back to the dances and celebrations of old. During the off-season, Fidler’s Mill is a beautiful spot for an impromptu picnic and photo session.

(if you have a photo of the AFHA region, please send it in and tell us why you think it's worth sharing!)

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Experience the heritage of your area! Sites of the Month spotlights events and locations within the region, based on AFHA's four themes: forestry, history, culture, and nature.

The Kumbrabow State Forest rests along the western edge of the Allegheny Highlands atop historic Rich Mountain. Ranging from 2,350 to 3,930 ft, Kumbrabow’s acreage forms the highest state forest in West Virginia. 

The Mollohan Mill is located on the site of two earlier log constructed mills that were
prior to the American Civil War. Both of these mills were completely destroyed in the great flood of April 1861. The Mollohan Mill was constructed in 1894 and was operated until 1953, when a major flood destroyed its dam and washed away one of the water wheels. With the exception of the dam and single water wheel, the original equipment of the Mollohan Mill is completely intact, the only such mill in Webster County.
Where can you learn about the Roman Empire, marvel over a collection of brilliantly colored butterflies from Peru, and get an up-close look at tools used by Native Americans? Open the glass doors to the beautiful Stirrup Gallery in Myles Center for the Arts where a world of days gone by awaits! In addition to regular hours, school groups and private tours are welcome to come for a special personalized visit, complete with hands-on activities.
Not for the faint of heart, the 6,030 acre Spice Run Wilderness Area is located south of Calvin Price State Forest and does not include any system trails. The area is about 2 miles in length and 3.5 miles wide and is found within portions of the Alvon, Anthony, Denmar, and Droop USGS quadrangle maps. The wilderness is filled with with oak, hickory, maple and some pockets of hemlock with an dense understory of rhododendron, grasses and ferns. Elevations range from 2,000 feet along the Greenbrier River to over 2,800 feet throughout interior portions of the area.
Do you have a suggestion for Sites of the Month? Email us at: and let us know your favorite sites throughout AFHA!
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Our mailing address is:
Appalachian Forest Heritage Area
P.O. Box 1206
Elkins, WV 26241