Civil War Buffs: Concord Prof to Publish Tour Book of Historical Landmarks in New River Valley
Athens, W.Va. - Concord College Professor of History David Bard has a fascination with the Civil War. He has taught history at the College for 35 years and taught Civil War History for the past 30 years.
“During my research,” stated Bard, “I gained an understanding of the impact the Civil War had on the New River Valley. There are a lot of people in this region who have an interest in the Civil War, so I decided to create ‘driving tours.’ I began working on the project in 1995 with funding for research and development provided by the West Virginia Humanities Council. The scope of the original project was limited to a brochure format, however, that format was too limiting for the detailed information that made the driving tours more interesting. I now have three driving tours, complete with full color tour maps, that are in the process of being printed in a book format.”
Publication Funded by Parkway Authority
“All the tours begin and end at Tamarack,” stated Dr. Joseph Marsh, a member of the West Virginia Parkways, Economic Development and Tourism Authority. “This project will showcase West Virginia’s natural beauty in an historical context. There are restaurants and other businesses along the tour routes that will benefit from those who are interested in Civil War History. Because of the potential economic impact to West Virginia, the Parkway Authority is funding publication of the project with a $10,000 grant.”
Marsh noted that this type of support does not come from tolls or taxes. The funding comes from a commission placed on gas and food vendors at the Turnpike Plazas. The professionally produced book is “one-hundred percent West Virginia” with narrative by Dr. Bard, full-color illustrations by Concord College Temporary Instructor of Art Fernando Porras and printing by Central Printing in Beckley.
“Vice President for Development J. Douglas Machesney was key in helping me finalize the project,” noted Bard. “I couldn’t have completed the project without his help. In addition to the Parkway Authority and the West Virginia Humanities Council, the Concord College Foundation helped with funding.”
“Dr. Bard has made a significant contribution to preserving the history of our area,” stated Concord President Jerry Beasley. “I enjoyed test-driving several of the tours for Dr. Bard and highly recommend them to anyone interested in learning more about West Virginia or the Civil War.”
The tour book, The Civil War in the New River Valley (1861-1865) - Three One-Day Driving Tours, will be available for sale late this summer at Tamarack. Each driving tour takes a day to complete.
For more information, call Dr. David Bard, 1-304-384-5232 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo: (Front) Joseph F. Marsh, David Bard, (Back) J. Douglas Machesney, Jerry L. Beasley Dr. Marsh presents a check for $10,000 from the Parkway Authority to Dr. Bard who displays a manuscript of the tour book with project enthusiasts, Dr. Machesney and Dr. Beasley.