For decades during the 1900s, our state's birthplace, now known as West Virginia Independence Hall, was in private hands. At times it resembled anything but an architectural and historical treasure.
But in 1964, the state purchased the building on Market Street in Wheeling and leased it to the West Virginia Independence Hall Foundation. After extensive restoration work, which continues to this day, the structure was opened as a museum in 1979. Since then it has served as the home for artifacts from our state's history, collected and sometimes restored.
Today, it seems unthinkable there should be no West Virginia Independence Hall - but had hundreds of dedicated volunteers and donors not joined with the state to restore it, the building might be gone.
Contributions, such as those to restore Civil War battle flags carried by West Virginia units, continue. Our state's birthday is an appropriate time for a heartfelt "thank you" to those who helped save West Virginia Independence Hall.