Hello everyone, my name is Caitlin Hucik and I am serving with PreserveWV Americorps at Cockayne Farmstead in Glen Dale, WV. My family roots lie in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia and Western Pennsylvania. I am lucky enough to have been raised in two communities with rich history-Weirton, WV and Windber, PA. From a very early age, I have been exposed to history -the perks of being a teacher’s daughter I suppose. So, working in a museum seems like second nature to me.
I received a Bachelor’s degree in communication from the University of Pittsburgh and a Master’s degree in public history from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and also spent time studying abroad on Semester at Sea through the University of Virginia. Before moving to the Wheeling area, I worked at numerous museums in Johnstown and Somerset, PA. My passions in life are travel, women’s history, and saving historic places so when I learned about PAWV’s AmeriCorps position I did not hesitate to apply. Being able to return to my home state and share a piece of its history is a best-case scenario.
The Cockayne Farmstead, originally called Glendale Farm, is a circa 1850 farm house. The Cockayne family came to West Virginia in the 1790’s and built a prosperous sheep farm by the 1890’s. Their American Marino sheep where sold as far away as Australia and their wool won a bronze medal at the Philadelphia Exposition in 1876. The family was influential locally as well; the Cockayne women were talented musicians and artists while the Cockayne men ran for political office and contributed to the commerce of Marshall County. Their stories combine to create a colorful history, one which I am privileged to learn and share with others.
My goals for this year are to build the volunteer base at Cockayne, organize and repair over 12,000 primary documents, and create the first temporary exhibit focusing on the Cockayne women. I am thrilled to be serving at such an interesting site and I look forward to the rest of my year here.
This service initiative is administered by the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia, the statewide grassroots nonprofit dedicated to the support and promotion of historic preservation in the Mountain State. The PreserveWV AmeriCorps members develop and participate in a variety of community projects related to historic resource improvement, historic preservation, heritage tourism development, and nonprofit organizational capacity building. For more information, visit www.pawv.org. PreserveWV AmeriCorps is funded in part by Volunteer West Virginia, the state’s Commission for National and Community Service, and by the Commission for National and Community Service.