October 1September 19, 2012
History of the Visitor Center Building
The new Marion County Visitor Center, located off of exit 136 of I-79, has a rich history. The facade of the facility is covered with the original stone used to build the former Children’s Shelter.
Then . . . .
Prior to 1929, the Marion County Children’s Shelter was located on what is commonly known as the Poor Farm on Montana Road. In 1929, the Shelter moved to Country Club Road where it maintained three buildings.
The Shelter soon outgrew these facilities and a campaign for a new site began. In 1941, with a sponsor fee of $20,000 from the Courts, the new Marion County Children’s Shelter was built on 60 acres of property on State Street Extension. The labor for this project was provided by the Works Progress Administration (WPA). This was one of the last WPA projects in West Virginia.
And Now . . . . .
So in the spring of 2001, this historically significant structure stood in the path of the Gateway Connector. The original idea was to move the entire building to a suitable location. After review and consideration, this plan was determined to be technically unfeasible. A decision was made to dismantle the Children’s Shelter, stone by stone, store the material, then reassemble the stone on the exterior of the new Marion County Visitor Center.
The Marion County Visitor Center is owned by the Marion County Commission and contains the offices of the Convention & Visitors Bureau of Marion County and the Marion County Parks & Recreation Commission.
Within the historic structure, visitors can find a variety of brochures highlighting Marion County’s many attractions such as Civil War and Frontier Days sites, relaxing bike trails and beautiful parks, and great places to eat, drink and unwind.
Have you visited the new Center?