The Barbour County Health Department and the Barbour County Historical Museum are the Barbour County Chamber of Commerce Members of the Month for November.
Jennifer Burner, left, is the Interim Director of the Health Department. Ed Larry, center, is the Director of the Historical Museum with museum volunteer Wade Alexander at right. Not pictured is volunteer Marisa Terwilliger, who graduated from Philip Barbour High School and West Virginia University. Terwilliger taught English in China for three years, and has been an AmeriCorps worker since 2001, when she was assigned to the Barbour County Historical Museum, City of Philippi, and its Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Located in the restored railroad depot near the covered bridge in downtown Philippi, the museum survived two major floods and remains the only depository for the historical artifacts of Barbour County. In addition to its historical exhibits from the first land-battle of the Civil War fought in Barbour County and the artifacts generated by the Myers family of medical doctors, the museum’s volunteers conduct tours for its many visitors from around the nation and around the world. A unique educational opportunity, the facility has a souvenir shop and assists with historical research on request, Terwilliger says.
The Barbour County Historical Museum is charged with preserving and displaying the county’s history. Its unique holdings include the Philippi mummies, mummified by former Philippi gardener Graham Hamrick in the late 1800’s. The museum also houses a life-size statue of Lurch, a TV character from The Adams Family, made famous by Philippi native Ted Cassidy. Other items on display include historic farming and mining equipment plus a special room housing tributes to Barbour County’s veterans.
Director Ed Larry holds a Baccalaureate Degree from Fairmont State College and a Master’s Degree from West Virginia University. He was a teacher, principal, and county administrator in Barbour’s schools before retirement, and is currently President of the Barbour County Historical Society, Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce, Director of the Philippi Convention & Visitors Bureau, and a member of the Philippi Building Commission. Volunteer Wade Alexander was born in Washington, D. C., raised in Northern Virginia, and is the retired Facility Manager of the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D. C.
“The Barbour County Health Department is located at 109 Wabash Avenue in Philippi”, says Burner, “and monitors public health risks, coordinates Philippi agencies responding to public health threats such as the Covid 19 pandemic, and enforces West Virginia public health standards. As a Department of Public Health, or DPH, we work to prevent the spread of diseases and to promote healthy behaviors,” she says. “We provide mental health services, routine immunizations, harm-reduction services, and participate in West Virginia Family Planning and Breast and Cervical Cancer screening programs. We are open 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. weekdays.”
Burner hold s Baccalaureate Degree in Medical Science from Alderson-Broaddus College and a Master’s Degree in Health Administration from George Washington University’s Milken Institute of Public Health. She served as a Physicians’s Assistant for many years and is the Chief Medical Officer for the Barbour County Health Association. She has served on the Board of Directors of the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants and on the Physician’s Assistant Education Association Cross-Organizational Competencies Review Task Force. The Health Department may be reached at (304) 457-1670, at barbourhealthwv.com or on Facebook.