CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- From the first golf course designed and built in America to the first commercial ski area to operate south of the Mason-Dixon Line, West Virginia has no shortage of historically significant visually attractive sports and recreation locales.
The State Historic Preservation Office highlights a baker's dozen of them in its recently released 2014 West Virginia Historic Preservation Calendar. The 13-month calendar (it includes January 2015) is available free of charge while supplies last.
All of the sites featured on the calendar are either listed, or eligible for listing, on the National Register of Historic Places. "But they are also places people can still enjoy," said Susan Pierce, deputy state historic preservation officer for the Division of Culture and History. "You can learn a little about history while enjoying being in the outdoors."
The calendar begins with a winter scene of modern-day skiers descending a slope at Weiss Knob in Canaan Valley, where Bob and Anita Barton established a ski resort in 1955, not far from a slope where the Washington, D.C., Ski Club had been operating a rope tow for several years.
"We went online and found an original brochure for the 1957 season at Weiss Knob," said Pierce. At that time, the resort had two rope tows and a T-bar lift in operation, along with a warming hut with a snack bar and indoor plumbing. "Lift tickets were just three bucks back then," said Pierce. "It's cool to learn about stuff like that."
Among other outdoor scenes displayed in the calendar is one of a group of kids seining for minnows in Warm Springs Run, the stream that flows through Berkeley Springs State Park. While the park in downtown Berkeley Springs, Morgan County, opened in 1930, George Washington was among those who visited the site in the 18th Century to "take the waters."
"My fever's a good bit abated," Washington wrote after a 1761 visit to the site, "tho my pains grow worse and my sleep (is) equally disturbed."
Another stream -- the New River -- illustrates April's calendar page. On it, rafters drift a stretch of calm water under the Fayette Station Bridge and the New River Gorge Bridge, which was listed on the National Register in August.
A golfer in 19th-Century sporting garb teeing off on a sand-mound tee at Greenbrier County's Oakhurst Links illustrates the calendar page for May.
Original owner Russell Montague built Oakhurst's first six holes in 1884, and the course was ready for match play in 1888. America's first golf course was recently purchased by the nearby Greenbrier resort, which operates it exclusively as an amenity for its registered guests.