Author Honored For Fort Henry Work

Just in time for next weekend’s observance of Fort Henry Days comes word that Gary Timmons of Wheeling has been honored for his Fort Henry-related research work.

The George Washington chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution and members of that organization, which serves the tri-state area, received several awards during the 121st annual SAR congress held in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Timmons was honored for his book, “Fort Henry Builders, Defenders & Occupants.” For that work, he was presented the Minnesota Society Stephen Taylor Award which, according to the organization, is given to the “compatriot, who by his research and writings, made a distinguished contribution to the preservation of the history of the American Revolution era and its patriots.”

In addition, chapter members Ronald Eisert of Washington, Pa., and Timmons received the National Society Periodicals Award for their work in compiling the “Revolutionary War Soldiers Buried in Washington County, Pa.” book.

The chapter also received honorable mention in competition for the President Gen. Robert B. Vance Award that is given to the chapter website that best represents and promotes the Sons of the American Revolution. The George Washington chapter’s website can be accessed online at

Timmons explained that as a historical, educational and patriotic organization, the Sons of the American Revolution seeks to maintain and expand the meaning of patriotism, respect for national symbols, the value of American citizenship and the unifying force of “e pluribus unum” that was created from the people of many nations to make “one nation and one people.”

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Congratulations are extended to the member of the Wheeling Arts and Cultural Commission for organizing the Wheeling Arts Fest last weekend and to the artists, writers and musicians who participated in the initial festival.

By all accounts, the one-day event was successful, setting the stage for future ventures and for perhaps expanding the scope and length of the festival.

The artists’ market on the College Square at West Virginia Northern Community College’s main Wheeling campus offering a vibrant, visually stimulating scene. It was good to see the College Square being put to good use as an outdoor gathering place.

Most of the time, the beautiful green space, with its award-winning design, seems to be underused. Perhaps the example of the Arts Fest will inspire college officials to make more creative use of the plaza.

We’re told that more than 200 people visited West Virginia Independence Hall during the Arts Fest to hear musical performances, to view special transportation-related exhibits and to see the museum’s permanent exhibits. The outdoor stage on 16th Street also attracted many people who came to listen to the bands and musical groups.

The Ohio County Public Library served as a mecca for writers and readers by presenting the festival’s literary component. Attendance at the library events could have, and should have, been greater, given the significance of the literary programs presented there, but at least the size of the audience grew as the day progressed.

For the first time, four prominent writers – all with Wheeling connections, either by birth or choice of residence – were brought together in one forum. For those who value the written and spoken word, it was exciting to see authors Marc Harshman, George Fetherling and Keith Maillard and playwright Sean O’Leary sharing the podium in the library’s auditorium.

Harshman, a Wheeling resident, has lived in West Virginia his entire adult life. Wheeling natives Fetherling and Maillard both now live in Vancouver, Canada. O’Leary, also a Wheeling native, now makes his home in Harpers Ferry.

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Sympathy is extended to the family and friends of Meagan Toothman, who lost her battle after being injured critically when the stage collapsed at the Indiana State Fair in Indianapolis Saturday, Aug. 13. Her maternal grandparents are Carole and Ed McCorkle of Bellaire.

Toothman, who had been in a coma since the horrific accident, died last Sunday, Aug. 21, in Indiana University Hospital. According to messages posted online by her family, her spirit will live on through organ donation. May light perpetual shine upon Meagan.

Linda Comins can be reached via e-mail at: