Preserving History

BELMONT COUNTY is home to many historic and picturesque buildings. Some of those stately structures need help to avoid extinction.

The Black Horse Inn falls into that category. The Morristown landmark is on the National Register of Historic Places and in the National Register of Historic Districts. More funding, however, is needed to ensure Black Horse Inn maintains its place in history. The Belmont County Tourism Council stepped to the plate last week to help the cause.

The Tourism Council delivered an additional $30,000 to the Morristown Historic Preservation Association in the group’s quest to purchase and preserve the historic Black Horse Inn. The Tourism Council gains its funding from lodging tax receipts.

The move is a generous and noble one by the Tourism Council, reinforcing the need to preserve our history. Razing historic buildings is doing a disservice to Belmont County’s past.

Pamela McCort, vice president of the Morristown Historic Preservation Association, notes the benefit to tourism such renovations provide. “A restored Black Horse Inn becomes part of the National Road experience here in Belmont County,” she said, pointing out other historic sites along the National Road. “It is heritage touring at its finest.”

We agree with those sentiments. You cannot replicate history. Once historic buildings are demolished, a part of our history is also destroyed.

An architect’s report last year found the building structurally sound and worth saving. That being the case, the Tourism Council’s generosity is an effective way to jump start a worthwhile project.

Should the Black Horse Inn restoration project become a reality, it could spawn economic development in and around Morristown. The inn would house many business possibilities.

The Morristown Historic Preservation Association should be commended for its efforts to save such a grandiose building. The Tourism Council also should be lauded for its part in making it happen.