Woman’s club makes a difference

To the editor:

Among the many local civic organizations that have existed in our local history, there is one that has been consistent in adding meaningful infrastructure to our community, and it should be recognized, applauded and commended.

Its contributions (only a few mentioned below) span 90 years. In 1923, it began by establishing the first public library for the Weir-Cove area. In 1956-57, it established a roadside park (at the site of the present-day Brooke-Hancock Veterans Memorial Park in southern Weirton) with a lavish outdoor stone fireplace and grill. In 1982, it sponsored Weirton’s first sculptured artwork and appropriately located it in front of the Mary H. Weir Public Library. In 1995, with $10,000 raised from its art festivals, they designed and sponsored Weirton’s first Forged by Steel welcome sign, which was dedicated near the St. Thomas Church and Three Springs Drive exit off U.S. Route 22. Then-mayor and newly elected state Sen. Edwin Bowman claimed this was his favorite site upon entering the city of Weirton.

In 1997, this same organization was responsible for installing a large bronze City of Weirton 50th Anniversary Commemorative Plaque in front of the Weirton Millsop Community Center. In 2002, this group placed another Forged by Steel sign at the southern end of Weirton, and it remains there today welcoming people coming into the city. Since that time, the 50th-anniversary plaque project in front of the community center was destroyed in an automobile accident, and it is unfortunate that its value was never reimbursed and the sign was never replaced. The Three Springs Drive sign also disappeared, when it was removed due to road construction, and it was never replaced. Recently it was discovered that this sign had survived, and it was being stored outside the city garage.

We thank the city for delivering the inserted graphic artwork portion of the sign to the Weirton Area Museum and Cultural Center, where it is now on display and will be preserved for future generations.

The group responsible for all the above is the Weirton Woman’s Club, GFWC. Its members make our community more beautiful, inviting and pleasant for those who wish to visit or live here, and now, in its 90th year, it deserves our thanks for its thoughtful departments and community-oriented contributions through the years.

Dennis Jones