AmeriCorps Funding Awarded!

AFHA Awarded Funding for
2015 / 2016 AmeriCorps Program

Attendees to AFHA's annual Stakeholders Meeting 
listen to Stephen Smoot, Eastern Panhandle Director for Congressman Alex Mooney. May 13, 2015.
Photo by Scott Prouty.

New grants for AmeriCorps programs in West Virginia have been announced resulting in a total of 5 million being awarded in public/private partnerships. This includes $322,500 awarded to AFHA to fund our work in historic restoration, heritage tourism, conservation, and community development. In addition, it has been announced that West Virginia is ranked #5 in national service volunteers (including AmeriCorps recruitment) by Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS).

AFHA AmeriCorps is now accepting new member applications for 2015 - 2016 year, set to begin in September. For more information visit:

Michael & Carrie Kline Concert; Darden Mill concert series on break

Our next concert is Wednesday June 17th at 7:30pm featuring Michael & Carrie Kline at the Darden Mill in Elkins. For more info on the concert and the Klines: 

This will be the last concert for the summer; we are planning concerts for the Fall with one in September and the last in October before our "Homespun & Handmade Exhibit" exhibit closes. 

Michael & Carrie Kline. Photo by Heather Craig.

The Darden Mill is a 1902 building that has had many lives. In earlier years, it supplied the community with flour, cereals and animal feed. Today it is home to the Appalachian Forest Discovery Center museum as well as the West Virginia Railroad Museum, both of which opened new exhibits in the Spring. It stands as a tribute to Elkins’ industrial past as well as a new and hopeful enterprise in downtown Elkins. 

The Darden Mill is located at the corner of Railroad Ave and First St. 
2 Railroad Ave.
Elkins, WV 26241

There is limited evening parking at the Mill, but you can park nearby on-street in downtown Elkins. 

Call (304) 637-6182 or email for more info.

Serving with the Elkins Depot Welcome Center

By Megan Bischof
AFHA AmeriCorps Heritage Team Member
The Elkins Depot Welcome Center is located in the historic Western Maryland Depot in downtown Elkins. We provide information to visitors about what tourism opportunities there are to take advantage of in Elkins and the surrounding area. There are 40,000 visitors who pass through the our doors each year. We offer a wide range of brochures at the Depot regarding trains, outdoor recreation, local restaurants and shops, and museums in the area.
This year has been an exciting one for us so far. The Depot hosted its annual Ramps and Rail Festival, which takes place in the Town Square on the last Saturday of April. Each year the festival grows and there were around two thousand people in attendance this year. The festival has free live music and it accommodates over 40 vendors, who sell ramp-infused foods or crafts.

Ramps and Rails Festival, with the Elkins Depot in the background. Photo by Wayne Sheets.

In conjunction with the Ramps and Rail Festival I helped  the Depot plan and execute its first annual 5K run. We had eighteen runners signed up and I got local businesses to donate prizes. The run took place a little more than a week before the festival and was held at River Bend and Glendale City Parks. 

One of the major projects for my term was designing and printing a rack card, which was distributed at welcome centers across West Virginia and throughout the Potomac Highlands.  I am currently working on a promotional brochure for Elkins, highlighting the attractions that the city and surrounding area have to offer.
The Depot is run primarily by volunteers who come in for half days and welcome visitors to Elkins. These volunteers also stock brochures and make sure everything is running smoothly. If you are interested in being a volunteer greeter please contact the Depot. Volunteers can take as many shifts as they would like ranging from once a month to a couple times a week.
Elkins Depot Welcome Center
315 Railroad Avenue
Elkins, WV 26241
(304) 635-7803

JUNE 2015
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.
Deep Creek Lake State Park in Garrett County, Maryland includes the largest inland body of water in the state made up of 3,900 acres and 69 miles of shoreline. Originally constructed in the 1920s by the Youghiogheny Hydroeletric Company, the lake was purchased by the state of Maryland in 2000 with public access being provided by the park. Though the area was heavily logged around the turn of the century, 95% of the park's northern hardwood forest has returned. There is a boat launch and the fishing is good as the lake is stocked with trout, walleye, bass,and perch among others. There is also a discovery center with exhibits on Western Maryland's natural resources and interpretive programs are available.  
Established in 1933 by the U.S. government, Arthurdale is the nation's first New Deal Homestead Community. Created through President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal legislation, the community provided a new life for those suffering from the Great Depression. Today the National Historic District features 160 of the 165 original homesteads. The New Deal Festival will be held this year on Saturday July 11th. 
Allegheny Echoes is a week long workshop in West Virginia's traditional music which takes place every June in Pocahontas County. Featuring a majority of instructors from West Virginia, the workshop gives out generous scholarships to students from the state. Classes can be taken in traditional fiddle, banjo, guitar, bass, vocals and mandolin as well as the same instruments in bluegrass style. There is also a creative writing workshop, a square dance, instructor performances and opportunities for perform in a student concert and jam informally with instructors. 
The Woodbine Picnic Area of the Monongahela National Forest is located six miles from Richwood along Forest Service Road 76 and was originally known as Woodland Park. It was created in the 1930s by members of a CCC camp, Camp Woodbine,
which existed for nearly two years from 1933 to 1935. CCC member projects included road building, timber stand improvement, and fire fighting. The site is now a popular location for CCC reunions as well as family gatherings as there are two large group shelters on-site. Located long the Cranberry River, trout fishing is plentiful. 
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