Here's a link to the Rowlesburg Revitalizaion Committee's Rowlesburg Historical Society page.


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The Rowlesburg Area Historical Society was founded in August 1995. During the first year of existence, 378 chater members joined.

In January of 1996 the I.O.O.F. Building was acquired with the assistance of the late George Rosier of Morgantown, WV. In September of 1997 this building became the home of the Genealogy Library and Museum.


The first elected officiers were:
President, Joycelyn A. Ayersman
Vice-President, Judy Likens
Secretary, Mary Ellen Wiles
Treasurer, Violet Britton Currator, Lucille Grimm

Unitl her death in 2006, Joycelyn Ayersman was the grant writer for the society

The present day officiers are; President, Robert Ayersman
Vice-President, Don Riggs
Secretary, P.L. Grimm
Treasurer, Helen Edmunds
Curator, Lucille Grimm

Since Joycelyn's death, Barbara Banister has been grant writer



Joycelyn Ayersman was our first president. She served as president and the driving force behind the historical society until her death in May of 2006. The group decided to form a scholarship in her memory. Each year we ask that if you wish a donation to the scholarship is greatly appreciated. These scholarships go to graduating High School Students that live in the Rowlesburg School Area. We have given scholarships every year except for one when no one applied.

To donate to TheJoycelyn A. Ayersman Memorial Scholarship Fund: Make your check payable to the Rowlesburg Area Historical Society. Annotate the memo section of your check "For the Joycelyn A.Ayersman Scholarship Fund," for your donation to be tax deductible. Contributions can also be made in the same manner and paid directly to, Your Community Foundation, 111 I-4h St, PO Box 409 Morgantown, WV 26507-0409. For those desiring to use a credit card, they will accept this type of transaction by phone 304-296-3431

To apply for the scholarship see your guidance counsilor or use the following link to fill out and print the application forms.

Scholarship Application (PDF)




The Library was the first of our endeavors. It contains many books about the history of the county and the municipality. We have books, pictures, postcards and cat's meow items that we have orginated for sale in the library,

  • "WORTH TO US AN ARMY"     $18.50
    A history of the Civil War action in and around Rowlesburg
    A collection of family histories as written by family members.
  • Cat's Meow--"ROUTE 50 COVERED BRIDGE", "TRAY RUN VIADUCT"     $18.50 EA

Order Blank (PDF)


In the second floor above the library and meeting room, we have our first museum. It contains articles from families that have lived in the area and donated to the museum.

The second museum is the "Railroad Depot Museum" that we acquired from the CSX when they closed it. It contains items from or pertaining to the railroad and it's history in the area. Including a replica of "Tray Run Viaduct" built by Jeff Verswijvel and given to the Historical Society in 2008.



We give tours upon request, when the weather, is fine to the Cannon Hill Civil War Site. Call Lucille Grimm 304-454-9218 for reservations.

Memorial Weekend in May we have a dinner celebrating Memorial Day. The dinner will be held on Saturday May 26th in the Socail room of the Christ United Methodist Church on West Main Street, Rowlesburg, from 5--7PM. Cost will be $8.00 per adult, $4 for child and children under 5 free. The menu will be Roast Turkey, Roast Beef, gravy, Mashed Potatoes, Italian Cabbage, Harvard Beets, Green Beens, Corn, Tossed salad, cole slaw rolls, desserts and drinks. Everyone welcome.

A short history of how Rowlesburg got it's name

In the year of 1775 Hezikiah Frazier came to this area nestled in the elbow of the Cheat River. Liking the place he settled his family here. They prospered and more settlers came to join them. The place grew and was known as “Vicksburg.” Although the river was not easily navigated more settlers. Including the families of Salathiel Goff, John Wheeler, David Loudon, David Wonderly and A.A. Perry.
In 1838 the Northwestern turnpike completed it’s destination, Parkersburg, Virginia. Organized in early 1827 the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad started it’s way westward. This triumph of American engineering was built in three sections. The first from Baltimore to Harpers Ferry, Virginia began in 1828 and ended in 1834. The second section took the line to Cumberland, Maryland by 1842 and the third to Wheeling, Virginia was completed in 1852. The third and last section went through Rowlesburg was a major feat. In 1847 James Rowles, Division Chief Engineer for the Baltimore and Ohio, established his office in what was then known as Vicksburg. Construction began in 1849. Mr. Rowles desiring to have mail delivered notified the United States Postal Service, they inadvertently changed the name of Vicksburg to Rowlesburg at that time.

Rowlesburg was chartered on February 27,1858 while it was still the state of Virginia. It grew to a busy railroad town until the flood of 1950. Since then it has slowly regressed. We of the Historical Society feel that we can build a good future by looking to what Rowlesburg has accomplished in the past.


Dear Friends and Members:

The State of West Virginia is celebrating its 150th birthday and the town of Rowlesburg is remembering its involvement during the Civil War, April 26, 1863. If you have time, come by and join in the observance. If you think about it, were not getting any younger.

With the weather now breaking we should soon be able to exploit some of our projects on Canon hll, expense will probably be our primary issue. Previous grant funding approvals have not had any expenditure authorized for use in over a year now and is very questionable if any will be released this year, due to the "Sequester, Economy, etc".

Due to another inevitable ageing process, we reluctantly had to address our societies significant decline in membership. To keep are heads above water, the decision was made to raise Yearly Membership Dues to $10.00 and lifetime memberships will remain at $100.00. Lets face it, we need to get the younger generation more involved. Please give it some thought, and our off springs could be a great place to start. Any other ideas and help you can provide will be greatly appreciated. As a reminder, yearly membership is coming due in July, 2013.

Hopefully you have not forgotten and will be planning to attend our annual Spring Buffet Dinner on May 25, 2013. It will be held in the social room of the Christ United Methodist Church, Main Street, Rowlesburg, WV. Come and enjoy a good meal with us and visit old friends. Lots of class reunions will be going on in the area at this time.

For those interested in reviewing the society's Memorial Scholarship, it can be reviewed on line, under the Rowlesburg Area Historical Society Web site or you may access it thru RAHS web site at www.rowlesburg

Remember this is a 501-3c organization. Your donations can be deducted from your Federal Income Tax. We encourage your involvement and continued support! If you have any questions, please call Robert Ayersman; President 304-454-9303, Donald Riggs; Vice President 304-454- 2445, PL. Grimm; Secretary 304-454 2434, Helen Edmunds; Treasury 304-568-2776, or Lucille Grimm; Curator 304-454-9218.

The RAHS would like to thank everyone who has made contributions and generous donations to the society. Without the continued support from our members and volunteers the society would not be the true success it is today. Thank you.

Robert A.Ayersman

Here's a link back.