The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Local News

November 27, 2012

Funds being sought for John Henry Park

With phase one completed this year, the steering committee for John Henry Historical Park is turning its attention to raising funds for the second phase.

Rick Moorefield, a community and economic development Extension agent with West Virginia University, explained that phase one included building a parking lot at the park site in Talcott, creating a park entrance and relocating the John Henry statue to the mouth of the Great Bend Tunnel.

Moorefield said the committee will now apply for a 2012 Transportation Alternatives grant through the West Virginia Department of Transportation and will need to raise $60,000 for its 20 percent match.

In all, the group hopes to gather the $300,000 in grant and matching funds to design and construct the access road from the parking lot down to the tunnel and John Henry Days festival area.

The grant, if awarded, would provide $240,000, or 80 percent, of the project total for phase two.

This project, nearly two decades in the making, needs community support, said Moorefield.

Donations of any size are welcome and can be make through the group’s website,

Also, the group will sell a second batch of 160 memorial bricks through the holidays.

Bricks, which will be used to create two symmetrical walls on each side of the tunnel, can be purchased for $100. Each brick can serve as a memorial or dedication with up to three lines of print, each 16 spaces or fewer.

Anyone wishing to purchase a brick can make a check payable to John Henry Historical Park, c/o Hinton Area Foundation, P.O. Box 217, Hinton, WV 25951.

Please write “John Henry brick” in the memo section of the check and be sure to include what you want inscribed on the brick.

All donations, personal or through businesses, are tax-deductible.

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