Keep Up With C-Hope on FACEBOOK

Spring 2014

The Appalachian Forest Discovery Center  is fast approaching an opening in the former Darden Mill. (Details as soon as they break!) As part of this rebuild, C-HOPE now has a new phone number at the Mill: 304-637-6182. You can also still call the Elkins City Hall offices of Community Partners at 304-636-6182 if need be. (Note the 636- vs. 637- distinction between the two numbers.)

Fall 2013

First Ward School Saved

First Ward School Apartments is now open.

Fall 2010

Riverside School Project gets under way

The fate of the Historic Riverside School in Elkins has fallen into the hands of a group of energetic people determined to preserve it for the future. See more HERE

Summer 2010

New: Donate Directly to C-HOPE online

By clicking on the  link on our "Help C-Hope" page, you can support C-Hope nearly instantly.
For the link, go HERE

C-Hope Makes A Space On Facebook

In pursuit of fostering general support and developing business, artisan and organization partners for the Darden Mill redevelopment project, intern Kim McKee has created a C-Hope place on the FACEBOOK social networking site.  You can find her continually updated place at:

facebook logo small

Summer 2009

Raise A Cup To Historic Preservation...

This season, C-HOPE will be joining the Saturday morning Elkins Farmers Market with a booth to sell prepared coffee and tea as a fund raiser for C-HOPE'S projects. The Farmers Market will be each Saturday morning from 9am until Noon at the Elkins Town Square. (That's behind the train depot,  just west of downtown Elkins.)

Spring 2009

First Ward School Rescue Under Way!

C-Hope has recently gotten approval from the Randolph County School Board to work towards a new roof for Elkins' old First Ward School. This should stabilize the structure while further means are sought for its ultimate rehabilitation. For details, see more about the First Ward School in the  C-HOPE NEWSLETTER or go to the new First Ward
website PAGE

first ward school

October 2008 –

C-HOPE at the Elkins' Forest Festival.

Chope at forest festival 2008












September 2008 --

Grant Awarded for Darden Mill Restoration

Darden Mill 1906

(Above: Darden Mill in 1906 - count the floors!)

C-HOPE was recently awarded a USDA Rural Development Rural Business Enterprise Grant for $99,500, making the complete restoration of the Darden Mill feasible. While private donations for grant match are still needed, Phyllis Baxter, director of partner organization Appalachian Forest Heritage Area (AFHA) is relieved “to see the end of the tunnel financially.” With the help of the grant money, the 1902 mill will be adapted for modern use as a museum, an artisan workshop, and the AFHA headquarters over the next two years.

June 2007 --

 Rain Fails to Dampen The Celebration:

Darden Mill Open House Celebration!

An Open House to celebrate progress on the Darden Mill, and Fundraising Reception to raise matching funds for the next phase of work, was held on Sunday, June 3.

Elkins Mill Day

Elkins Mill Day 2

Elkins Mill Day 3

Elkins Mill Day 4

New Railroad Bridge is in place near Mill. (view from upper floor of Mill)

Elkins Mill Day 5

Near Mill, Train Depot and Hotels New and Old Prepare for Visitors.

Old News: Here are a few things that C-Hope has undertaken in the past...

• Received a $38,366 grant from the WV Division of Culture, State Historic Preservation Office to provide matching funds to replace the roof and windows
• Received a $72,620 grant from the WV Division of Culture & History for continuation of the roof & windows project and other exterior renovations.
• Nominated the Darden/Elkins Mill which was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005.
• Replaced the roof on the old Elkins/Darden Mill. The new roof will help protect the building for years to come while we work on the rest of it.
• Restored / replaced the wooden windows in the Mill building. Much of this work was done with the assistance of Mountain Partners in Community Development Preservation Trades Program and with the dedicated help of many C-HOPE volunteers. Volunteer time documented for our grant match was almost $9000.
• Raised a substantial portion of the cash match needed for these grants, but more than $20,000 is still needed!
• Strengthened our organization:
• Presented displays on Randolph industrial heritage at Ramp Festival, Augusta Festival, and Forest Festival. Raised over $1,000 at the Ramp Festival (mmm…Ramp egg rolls!) and raised $750 at the Augusta Festival.
• Received 501(c)3 status.
• Helped raise awareness of other historical issues in the community:
• Assisted with grant application for Wees Addition historic district
• Initiated issue of seeking adaptive reuse for First Ward School
• Represented Randolph County heritage with the Appalachian Forest Heritage Area, and assisted with the Resilient Forest exhibit at the Elkins Depot.