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Marshall Memo: ‘Honored Patriots of Marshall County’ Compiled by Local Historian

Local historian Thomas James recently donated three military reference books that he compiled and gave to the three Marshall County libraries–Moundsville, Cameron and Benwood-McMechen.

The book is titled “Honored Patriots of Marshall County, West Virginia.”

James undertook this research project at the invitation of the Marshall County Commission. His work details the military service of 464 county soldiers who died in the line of duty.

The scope of the project encompasses those who served in the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the Gulf Wars.

The names of these soldiers are engraved on five granite monuments in the Veterans Plaza on the Marshall County Courthouse.

In his research, James employed a wide range of primary sources to create a short biographical sketch of each of the soldiers.

He worked from a list of names provided by a five member committee, and hopes other researchers may encounter additional names.

“It is only fitting and proper that at this recent holy time of the year, we give pause to remember those brave souls who faced fear knowing full well the consequences and yet stayed at their post and offered up their lives in defense of all free people,” James said.

The Moundsville Skating Rink has been in the news recently with talks centering on its closing.

I went to a person who knows more about its history than anybody as he literally “grew up” at the Rink. That person is Tom Stiles.

As to the building, it was originally known as the Overland Garage.

At first its length was only about half its current size, but it would be extended from Ninth Street southward to 10th Street, at which time it would become 120-feet long north and south.

It was first opened in the early 1940s, but would be closed from 1942 until 1945 due to World War II.

It reopened on June 20, 1946 by Stiles’ two grandfathers and his father, and they leased it for a couple of years to the Moundsville Volunteer Fire Department. The MVFD operated skating and bingo in the structure.

The three owners would later take it over and began operating it as a skating rink.

It remained in the Stiles family, joined by two of Tom’s aunts, and his sister and brother in later years.

Tom assumed full ownership in 1993 and continued to own it until 2007 when he sold it to Calvin Landis.

Tom changed its name to Roller Derby, and had some members of the-then Wheeling Thunderbirds involved in hockey. In fact, Tom put new flooring down because of the hockey games.

There were several hockey teams in the area during his 13-year ownership.

Tom said the facility was utilized not only for roller skating and roller derby, but over the years numerous birthdays and other events were hosted there.

As to the future use of the building, it will become a warehouse for a local boutique.

The 25th annual BMAC Golf Classic will take place again this year at the Moundsville Country Club on July 15.

To register for the event, go to wvumac.com/events; registrants will be sent a link to log onto the Caravan.

BMAC president John S. Marshall states that this year head coaches of all sports will be in attendance.

Also, the BMAC/OV, a Mountaineer scholarship group, and the Mountaineer Athletic Club will hold a first ever Virtual WVU Coaches Caravan from 6-8 p.m. May 11.

The BMAC fundraiser benefiting the BMAC Upper Ohio Valley Endowed Athletic Scholarship will be two tickets to two home football games.

To register for the event, go to wvumac.com/event; registrants will be sent a link to log on for the Caravan.

Speaking of golf, the John Marshall High School Golf Team will be offering its fourth annual Marshall County Middle School Golf Clinic on May 19, 20, 24 and 26, hosted by Oglebay Resort and Brooke Hills Park.

The program is open to public and private middle school boys and girls currently enrolled in grades 6-8 in Marshall County.

The clinic plans are to offer instruction on the basics and fundamentals of golf from chipping and putting to driving and iron play. The clinic will also include instruction on the morals, values and ethics that are important in the sport of golf.

Plans for the event includes:

– May 10 and 24. Chipping and putting at the Crispin Center practice green from 5:45-7:30 p.m.;

– May 20 and 26, driving and iron play at the Oglebay driving range from 5:45-7:30 p.m. Participants may also have the opportunity to play on Oglebay’s Par 3 on those days.

– On May 28 the participants will travel to Brooke Hills Park for a day of driving range, golf and putt-putt.

Instruction for the clinic will be provided by the JMHS golf coaching staff with assistance from team members.

Application for the program, or if a person has questions, contact the JM coaching staff Dave Gaudino at David.gaudino54@gmail.com; Bridget Carnahan at bmjordan@k12.wv.us; or August Hanson at August.Hanson@k12.wv.us.

While one project at Four Seasons Pool is moving along, another is expected to get underway within the next three to four weeks.

The most recent undertaking at Four Seasons has been the painting of the walls of the restrooms, and the next upgrades will be new flooring and the installation of showerheads in the dressing rooms.

These pool upgrades will meet all ADA standards.

The second upgrade will be that of installing a Splash Pad, which will be located where the children’s swimming pool used to be located.

A couple of new additions at the playground itself have been seven benches adjacent to the playground, and the other being a box which holds magazines and/or books. Also, individuals who have magazines or books which they think might be something that kids or adults might want to read, can drop them off at the site.

In addition to the East End Playground, a similar magazine/book box is located at the Parkview playground.

These boxes were donated by Miranda Koyder.

By the way, two weeks ago there was a baseball tournament at the East End playground, sponsored by the Hitbillies League. The 12- and 13-year-olds drew a large crowd for this event, which was held over a six-day period.

There will be three COVID-19 testings this week in Marshall County. The first will be from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m, Tuesday at the Marshall County Health Department, with the second taking place from 3-7 p.m. Thursday, also at the MCHD. The other 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. Friday at the Benwood City Building.

Also, this week there will be a Mobile Food Bank from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. Thursday at the East End Playground in Moundsville sponsored by the Marshall County Family FRN and Mountaineer Food Bank.

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