Elkins is rich in history. Its beginnings reflect the rapid rise of railroads and extractive industries in West Virginia and the transformation of the area economy from agrarian to industrial. The city’s founders, Henry Gassaway Davis and Stephen Benton Elkins, owned those railroads and they brought their wealth and their famous friends to their summer mountain homes here – Graceland and Halliehurst mansions. They also created organizations and services that made Elkins a bustling and prosperous metropolis.
The city grew quickly and attracted many renowned visitors, including Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter and other aspiring and sitting presidents. Elkins’ rapid growth in the early 20th century is reflected in the wealth of outstanding architecture created during that time. Sadly, many of the city’s early buildings have been lost. But today, Elkins is experiencing a renewed interest in preserving its heritage and the historic buildings that house its business, industry and residents.
The Elkins Historic Landmarks Commission plays a crucial role in identifying and preserving that heritage. We’re here to help you and your city government keep our “city beautiful” alive.
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Expertise and educational resources on Historic Preservation
Technical assistance for preservation grants
Information and technical assistance with tax incentives for preservation efforts in National Historic Districts
Community meeting space in the Darden House
A forum for preservation issues
Direct representation to State Historic Preservation Office
Home to the Preservation Resource Center - a collection of books, magazines, and trade catalogues focused on historic preservation and sensitive restoration projects