Lecture Series Honors Nutting’s Commitment to Historic Preservation in Wheeling

Photo by Scott McCloskey Betty Woods “Snookie” Nutting of Wheeling speaks Friday of her efforts to preserve 22 historic buildings in the city. A new lecture series at West Virginia Independence Hall is named in Nutting’s honor.

WHEELING — Betty Woods “Snookie” Nutting was applauded Friday for being a historic preservationist even before the National Historic Preservation Act was enacted 50 years ago.

Nutting was recognized at West Virginia Independence Hall, where a new lecture series named in her honor will be presented this fall.

Randall Reid-Smith, commissioner of the state Division of Culture and History, called Nutting “the lady who led the way” in preserving and restoring 22 historic buildings in Wheeling. He said, “Her buildings are just beautiful, and we cannot thank her enough.”

Nutting, a lifelong Wheeling resident, said she began redoing buildings in the city when her two sons were preschoolers. She preserved two buildings on 14th Street before turning her attention to 12th Street where several “fantastic” structures were slated for demolition.

“The city of Wheeling was planning to tear down all of these buildings,” she said. “They were magnificent buildings.”

In that project, she preserved five buildings on 12th Street and two structures on Eoff Street. She said, “It took a long time, but they’ve all turned out very nicely.”

Later, Nutting was involved in the preservation of many buildings in Center Wheeling and North Wheeling.

Three members of the state’s congressional delegation — Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.; Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., and Rep. Evan Jenkins, R-W.Va. — sent greetings to Nutting.

Hampton Cokeley, Capito’s regional field representative, said the senator cited Nutting’s hard work in preserving the community’s history and heritage. Capito stated that the Distinguished West Virginian honor “certainly describes Snookie Nutting.”

Manchin lauded the preservation of beautiful, historic structures in Wheeling. Jenkins predicted that the lecture series will raise awareness of preservation efforts throughout the state.

The first lecture in the free series will be presented at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 21 by Vic Greco,  principal architect of The Mills Group, who will focus on the history of Wheeling’s Woodsdale neighborhood. At 6:30 p.m. Oct. 5, Wheeling Mayor Glenn Elliott will discuss the city’s history from the 1890s to the 1920s.

Susan Pierce, director of the State Historic Preservation Office, said a lecture by Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., is being scheduled. She added, “There may be one or two other lectures in the works.”

Also during Friday’s event, Reid-Smith and Pierce unveiled a poster marking the National Historic Preservation Act’s 50th anniversary. The poster features photographs of historic sites from the state’s 55 counties.

The free poster is available at West Virginia Independence Hall. Copies also can be requested online at www.wvculture.org, or by calling John Adamik, education coordinator for the State Historic Preservation Office, at 304-558-0240.