City Dedicates Park Memorials
Seven permanent memorials are now in place in the city of New Martinsville, thanks to the Parks and Recreation Department, Doolin Landscaping, New Martinsville’s Mayor Lucille Blum, and various donors.
Blum started the dedication on Aug. 18 behind the city building. At the first memorial, there is a small white shelter housing a red brick memorial with a window to look into. Here you can hand turn the scroll to see all the 135 names from the flags that were originally hung along state Route 2. Blum told those present she noticed right away they flags were not enduring the weather, so another idea was created to recognize these names in a permanent way.
“We have a very unique way and a unique design to display the names,” noted Blum, describing how each marker was done differently, and at the different locations in town.
She went on explaining to those present at the dedication that all the designs and appearances of the memorials are very nice. She added that all of the markers will withstand the weather.
Through a little rain in the beginning, Blum dedicated the first memorial. She recognized that none of the memorials could have been done without the help from Bev Gibb, director of the New Martinsville Park and Recreation and its commission. As Blum remarked, “When I ask Bev to help with something, it’s done, she is on the ball.” Gibb explained that Doolin Landscaping helped with landscaping of the memorial sites.
At Bruce Park, Blum dedicated a nice large red bench at the playground area with a memorial marker on one side for James E. Fauber.
This bench overlooks the playground, where many people can use it for years to come.
The next memorial is located in the turn area of the parking lot in Bruce Park. With family members present, a large planter was dedicated in memory of Faye Smith, past city recorder of New Martinsville.
With the rain tapering off at Snyder Field, Blum talked of former Mayor Richard Snyder, his wife, and children during the dedication of his memorial with his family looking on. This marker is beside the parking lot.
Further down the Hydro Drive road, at the Howard Jeffers Park, family members of former Mayor Howard Jeffers stood by during the dedication, with the Hydro Dam and the Ohio river in the background. Blum talked of Jeffers and his accomplishments for the city of New Martinsville.
The last stop of the memorials was at Lewis Park, where a waterfall near the pond with a marker was dedicated to Jess Cunningham. Blum noted of his love of physical fitness.
The last marker was dedicated to the memory of Bob Litman with Blum dedicating the pond’s weeping willow tree on the island in the pond to Litman. A marker is also present in memory of Litman, whose family members were present to mark the occasion.
At each memorial site that day, Blum gave a prayer and a little insight into what each person did or contributed to the city of New Martinsville. Afterwards a reception was held in the Lewis Wetzel Family Center for all of those attending the dedications. The open house also gave the attendees a chance to see the renovations that have taken place in the reception hall.