The Elkins Landmarks Commission includes five volunteer members appointed by the Mayor and approved by the City Council.
Carol Schuler, President
Carol Schuler grew up in a Victorian Italianate home which is part of a national register historic district in Lafayette, Indiana. Since then, she has always been drawn to the architecture, craftsmanship, light and landscape of historic buildings. She came to Elkins from Colorado in 1989, moving into a neo-colonial home in what is now the Wees Historic District. In 2001, she and her husband, Tom, purchased the Cyrus Scott Kump house on High Street, which they have rehabilitated and continue to renovate and restore today. Schuler helped create the Wees Historic District, placing more than 280 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, and she co-wrote the Wees District Neighborhood Plan, which was sponsored by the Randolph County Development Authority and approved by Elkins City Council. She currently serves on the Wees District Board and on the City of Elkins Action 2010 History Committee. Schuler conducted early research for the restoration of Graceland Inn and Conference Center, studying the impact of heritage tourism on Berea, KY, and Berkeley Springs, WV. She also helped start the Randolph County Schools ArtsBank program. She was a founding member of the Randolph County Community Arts Center and has continually sought to enhance the quality of life for families in Randolph County. She holds an MS from the University of Illinois and a BA from Purdue University. She works as Director of Communications and Marketing at Davis & Elkins College.
Schuler's goal for EHLC: "To preserve and enhance the city's historic areas in the interest of sustsainable urban lifestyles that connect people, neighbors, and community."
Ellen Spears, Secretary
Ellen Spears lived abroad as the wife of a military officer and diplomat for more than 20 years, acting as a liaison for the United States in Slovakia, Germany, Luxembourg, and France before returning to Elkins with her family in 2000. She lived in Elkins as a teenager and later earned a BA in American Studies at Queens College in Charlotte, NC. As a student, she pursued an early interest in historic preservation through coursework and internships focused on historic renovation and inner-city redevelopment. She worked for two years as an aid to U.S. Senator Robert C. Byrd, and has also worked with numerous other Congressional leaders throughout her career. She and her husband, Jim, live in Pinecrest, the historic Elkins home built for U.S. Ambassador Richard Kerens in 1892. They are restoring this national landmark, which was Jim's childhood home. Spears serves as the Executive Director of the Elkins-Randolph County Chamber of Commerce where she is responsible for coordinating programs, public relations, fundraising and member services. She actively participated in the City of Elkins Vision 2010 project and is now working toward the city's acceptance to the West Virginia Development Office's "On Track" program, a precursor to Main Street.
Spears' goal for EHLC: "To someday see a fully restored historic downtown."
J. Logan Smith, Treasurer
Logan Smith was born and raised in Elkins. As a 7th generation Randolph County citizen and a 3rd generation Elkins resident, Smith has always beeen enmeshed in the history and culture of this area. Watching the migration of his forbears throughout the region has informed his understanding of the Potomac Highlands -- its history, people, traditions and architecture. Smith graduated from Shepherd College in Political Science, with a strong emphasis in History, and later from West Virginia University with an MS in Education. He spent many years in the hospitality industry, helping to manage his family's restaurant at Snowshoe Mountain, and developing a sound understanding of West Virginia's growing tourism industry. Recently, he returned to Elkins with the goal of rehabilitating his family's historic home, "Scott Hill," built in 1898. He has overseen the initial restoration of the property, which includes seven historic structures, and is working to transform it into a lively venue for tourism and special events. In addition, Smith is active with several local organizations involved in historic preservation, conservation, and tourism development, including Citizens for Historic Opportunity, Preservation, and Education and the Appalachian Forest Heritage Area.
Smith's goal for EHLC:
To help embroil the old with the new in a way that promotes not only economic prosperity, but also cultural and civic growth in our community."
Phyllis Baxter, Vice President
Phyllis Baxter is a public historian with a history degree from Oklahoma City University, an MA in American History from University of Texas at Austin and a Certificate in Public History from West Virginia University. A resident of Randolph County since 1979, she began her preservation career as a founding member of Rich Mountain Battlefield Foundation in 1991. She is executive director and AmeriCorps program director for the regional heritage tourism initiative Appalachian Forest Heritage Area. Phyllis is President of Historic Beverly Preservation and the Beverly Historic Landmark Commission, working to develop Randolph County’s original county seat as a tourism destination, and was instrumental in the designation of the Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike National Scenic Byway recognizing this historic route across the width of West Virginia. She is an active member of C-HOPE in Randolph County preservation non-profit and of the Randolph County Historical Society. She is past president and current treasurer of the statewide Preservation Alliance of West Virginia and has worked to develop a statewide cultural heritage development program. She is co-author with Donald L. Rice of “Historic Beverly, A Guidebook”, and has served as interpretive team member in developing the Rich Mountain interpretive signs, the Beverly Heritage Center exhibits, and the Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike driving guidebook. She lives in a historic house on Summit Street in Elkins with her husband Peter, and has two grown children.
Baxter's goal for EHLC: “to work together with the City of Elkins and community partners in raising awareness, preserving our historic assets, and embracing our heritage as a vital component in community growth, sustainability and prosperity.”
Dr. David Turner
Professor of History at Davis & Elkins College, Dr. Turner is well versed in area history and Elkins lore.