Association Meeting Minutes – July 17, 2009

DBWTA Meeting

July 17, 2009

Cove Ridge Center

Present Chris Edwards, James Stallard, Wayne McConnell, Wanda Mcconnell, Margaret Crouch, Jean Brown, Wes Chavis, Bob McConnell, John Stafford, Michael Beard, David Oakes, Bill Smith, Mary Jane Erwin, Barbara Reed, Benny Reed, Joe Fuller, Megan France, Joan Short, Charlie Allen, Billy Heck, John Tustin, Lisa McConnell, Craig Seaver, Marci Holland, Joe Brown, Lita Brown


President Bob McConnell opened the meeting at 12:12. He introduced visitor John Tustin, Park Manager at WRSP.

Secretary Sally Kelly asked if all had received and read the minutes of the May meeting. There were no additions or corrections. Benny Reed made a motion to approve the minutes as read, it was seconded by Charlie Allen, and approved.

Treasurer Joe Fuller read the report for the period May-July, including expenses. The current balance in checking is $$7,152.72. The expenses for the period were $2,845.23. The complete report is included in the minute book. .A motion was made to approve the report by Benny Reed, seconded by David Oakes, and approved. Harold Jerrell moved to approve the expenses for the period, Lisa McConnell seconded the motion, and it was approved. Bob referred to the expenses Joe mentioned earlier this month for a luncheon with folks from Wilderness Road Virginia’s Heritage Migration Route. This event invited the President of WRVHMR to see what all is available in southwest Virginia to support that tourism effort. He and others visited the Blockhouse, WRSP, and CGNHP. These efforts really impressed the WRVHMR folks.. Their meeting in Botetourt County featured a lot to say about their visit to SW Virginia. They commented that they didn’t realize what all we had down here. Our efforts are going a long way to let folks know what we have going on in our area.

Events Committee

Committee Chair Sally Kelly reported regarding the success of this May’s Siege at the Wilderness Road Blockhouse. It was well attended and is now at an optimum size and scope. Further more, it generated enough income to pay for about half what we spend each year. This is great progress. She asked the Association for funds to pay for our Native American Day on Saturday, September 19: $600 for Mark and Sherry Finchum, Indian Creek Productions, and $600 to the Kentucky Humanities Council Incorporated for the appearance of Robert Rambo. Benny Reed so moved, Mary Erwin seconded the motion, and it was approved. President McConnell thanked Billy for the contribution he and his colleagues from WRSP made to Siege 2009. He also thanked Harold Jerrell for the new slide show, featuring Siege 2009.. The Association will use it to replace the current slide show in the Interpretive Center. He expressed his thanks to all who contributed.

Bob reported that Ron Short is working with feedback we’ve had from the Siege. Specifically, the ability of the audience to hear our dialog. The Events Committee is looking into the cost to purchase sound equipment. Bob has also spoken with folks at WRSP. Their suggestions were to move the audience closer and to encourage the reenactors to use theater tactics. The cost of equipment would be about $1600. Joan reported that another suggestion Ron had would be a written dialog to be handed out to the audience, and to move the Sunday trial outdoors. Events will deal with this issue.


Jean Brown reported that all dates are filled for volunteers at the Blockhouse for weekends through October. She would be happy to have others volunteer to be back up Wanda McConnell reported that volunteers are also lined up for the Interpretive Center. In May and June we took in $783.72 there and at the Blockhouse. We have purchased some more books. Books, and the bookmarks Mary makes, are our best sellers. Jean brought some more copies of Pusey’s Wilderness Road book and they are available to Association members for $15.

Natural Tunnel State Park

Manager Craig Seaver also expressed thanks to Billy and Wilderness Road State Park; and thanks to SAR Overmountain Men Chapter for funding the lighting of the flag. He stated that state budget cuts are coming, and it is not known yet just how it may effect the Park. It could mean operational cuts, staffing cuts. The cabins likely will open when ready, as they will be a good source of revenue.

He announced that Marci Holland, who has been Director at Cove Ridge, has taken a position as Assistant Park Manager at Grayson Highlands Best wishes to Marci and we hate to see her go. Local leadership, said Bob McConnell, was largely responsible for the creation of the position of Cove Ridge Director. Now that position may be in jeopardy; and a groundswell of requests is needed to keep that position. Bob will write on behalf of the Association, and he asks members to also mail supportive letters for replacing Marci.

Mr Joe Elton, Director

Virginia Division of State Parks

203 Governor Street Richmond, Va 23219

Megan France reported that the Park is offering a history workshop for teachers on July 29-30. Participants will receive a booklet that will credit the Association and Stafford Communications for funding. Twenty teachers have signed on. The two day offering begins at Netherland Inn on the 29th, then on to Natural Tunnel Park and the Blockhouse. The 30th includes WRSP and CGNHP. A park bus will provide transportation. Joan Short will be including journaling activities at each site for the participants. Megan discussed the SOL topics that will be addressed by way of letting schools borrow materials, such as a Virginia map with stick-on cards that identify areas, resources, surrounding states. Each participant receives a DVD of the 2008 Siege.

Craig expressed Parks appreciation to the Association and Stafford Communications for getting this educational outreach effort underway. Megan thanks, too, Netherland Inn, WRSP, CGNP, for their participation.


Chris Edwards had nothing to report


Michael Beard met with Dale Carter regarding Overmountain Victory Trail’s information regarding early trails in this area, and the route of the Overmountain Men. Beard’s committee visited roads identified by National Park Service. Carter stated his opinion that many are based on folklore and are not correct. The Old Watuaga Road, as identified by Dale Carter, is based on research in land records of the late 18th century.. Where no records existed, Dale used topography to speculate a route. Dale is also willing to locate the connections of Reedy Creek Road, Wilderness Road and Watuaga Road using those sources. Michael will be able, eventually, to create such a map. It was noted that such a map would be a later period than the route marked by Daniel Boone.


Barbara Reed reported that the Dough board used during Siege 2009 was recently donated. The Association approved $450 for the purchase of a rope bed to be handcrafted by Robert Reeves.


Sally had no report.


Harold Jerrell has been working with Michael regarding creating a map of Wilderness Road, Kentucky Road, Hunters Trace. for the purpose of updating the Association’s Driving tour.


Joan reporting for Ron Short. Ron was not able to be present as he was in the studio, working on our CD. When that work is done, he hopes to have a CD for us by Fall. The Mountain Music School has been invited to the White House this coming Monday. They are creating a basket to bring along as a gift. It will contain items representative of the area. Bob will choose some things from the Interpretive Center to include. Bob expressed congratulations to the Mountain Music School for their invite to the White House.


Billy Heck reported that WRSP has been having really good attendance. He thanks the Association for inviting his Park’s participation in Siege. They had a wonderful time and believe that Siege is a really great event. He reported that Capt Bob McConnell and Capt Bill Smith have been coming out to participate at WRSP. He mentioned some upcoming events: Community Appreciation Day/Open House, Sept 12 , featuring an evening battle, and their annual October event is in planning. All are posted on the park’s web site. Heck mentioned that if we let him have facts and he will get us an article about Siege 2009 into Smoke and Fire.



The meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully submitted

Sally Kelly, Secretary