About JCHS

The historic Jefferson County Courthouse is located on the corner of George and Washington Streets in the heart of Charles Town and if you visit there, just outside the County Court meeting room you will find this plaque attached to the wall:

In this room on May 21, 1927 The Jefferson County Historical Society was organized. A. D. Kenamond, President Miss Ella May Turner,

“who was a member of the State Historical Society for Jefferson County,” chaired this first meeting and is credited as The Founder of The Society. About 25 people attended this first meeting, and they selected Alva Dane Kenamond, Dean of Students at Shepherd College, as the temporary chair, Louise C. Briscoe as the temporary secretary, and discussed and adopted a constitution. The next meeting was set for August 6, 1927.

Three months later, “at a largely attended meeting in Shepherdstown last Saturday afternoon, the Jefferson County Historical Society was launched under the most favorable circumstances.” The Society convened this meeting in the “Old College Building” [Reynolds Hall] in Shepherdstown and elected officers.

The Society got underway with ninety-nine Charter Members. Although the majority of Charter Members lived in Jefferson County, West Virginia was also represented by Berkeley and Ohio counties. Indicative of folks who left Jefferson but still had strong ties here, there were new members from California, Maryland, and South Carolina. Wishing to “show her interest and support” of The Society, Miss Jeanette Aglionby became the first Life Member. The last surviving Charter Member was Mrs. John Goulding.

Initially membership in The Society was by election, and the election of members continued for 30 years. In 1957 membership became “Open to all who have an interest in the history of Jefferson County.” In 1957 annual dues were $1. Dues were increased to $2 in 1965 and $3 in 1968. In 1977 it cost $5 to become a member and which remained unchanged until 2001 when annual dues became $10. Annual dues are currently $20.

Happy Retreat

Happy Retreat


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