The village of Middleway, W.Va., appears to be a moment frozen in time. The historic district of the village is home to buildings that date back to the late 18th and early 19th centuries, and was a battleground throughout the Civil War.
Nowadays, the streets are quiet, the cars are few, and the numerous buildings that line the streets are dark and uninviting. Moss and vines creep up the old War Hospital on Queen Street and residential properties are boarded up and left alone.
The abandoned buildings in Middleway have become drop-offs for refuse and tires, and places of shelter for squatters and drug abusers. President of the Middleway Conservancy Association, Peter Fricke, appreciates the neighborly characteristics of the village, but began to notice some people feel their village isn’t safe.
Fricke’s background of living on a farm in England allows him to appreciate the small-town feel of Middleway and gives him incentive to help the community restore itself back to its better days.
“In England, farms are in communities for generations and this is true here too,” Fricke said. “So when I moved here, coming from an English farm, and having been in all sorts of other things, it was in a way coming home.”
Technical Grant Awarded
The Brownfields, Abandoned, Dilapidated (BAD) Buildings Technical Assistance Program awarded the Middleway Conservancy Association a $10,000 technical assistance grant. The BAD Buildings Program helps communities in West Virginia identify and prioritize properties based on community need. The Middleway historic district was the only unincorporated community, and one of eight statewide, to receive the grant.