For more than forty years, the Clarksburg-Harrison Public Library's home was an elegant antebellum mansion called Waldomore. The house was built in 1842 by local businessman Waldo P. Goff and his wife, Harriet Moore, from which it derived the name "Waldomore."
Waldomore exemplifies and preserves items of historical and genealogical significance for Clarksburg, Harrison County, and North Central West Virginia. Waldomore maintains a space for events of civic, cultural or educational nature; and fosters opportunities for the community to interact with their history.
Today, Waldomore remains a part of the library campus. The ground floor offers a large public meeting space alongside rooms that display period furnishings. The second floor houses the Clarksburg-Harrison Public Library's local history, genealogy, and special collections.
History of Waldomore
Waldomore is a neoclassical two story brick mansion originally built with single story wings. It was constructed on four acres of land for Waldo Potter Goff (1796-1881) and his wife Harriet. Construction is believed to have begun in 1840 and the home was completed in 1842. Waldomore is one of only three remaining buildings in Clarksburg erected before 1850.
Waldo Potter Goff had an established career as a politician and business man, both as a merchant and later on in real estate. Together, Waldo and Harriet had nine children: four boys and five girls. Waldomore was the birthplace of Nathan Goff, Jr. (1843-1920), a U.S. Senator and Federal Judge who briefly served as Secretary of the Navy. Nathan Goff, Jr. was a principle figure in the development of Clarksburg as an industrial boom town.
After Waldo's death in 1881, the house passed to Waldo's eldest surviving daughter Mae. In the 1890s, Mae and her husband Richard Lowndes renovated the mansion enlarging and adding a second floor to the four wings of the house.
Mae Goff Lowndes died in 1930, gifting her home to the city of Clarksburg to be used as a library and museum. The name Waldomore was derived from Waldo and his wife Harriet's maiden name as a way for Mae to honor the memory of her parents.
To accommodate the library, the first and second floors of Waldomore were renovated to create large reading rooms and the central stairs were shifted into the old pantry. The library opened to patrons on June 1, 1931 and served as Clarksburg's library for more than forty years.
In 1975, a new library was constructed on an adjacent lot, on the former site of the Ritz Theatre. After the library moved into the new building, Waldomore was again renovated and continues to be a part of the Clarksburg-Harrison Public Library. Today the building houses a research collection with local history and genealogy materials, special collections and archives, and a meeting room used by the library and the community to hold educational and cultural programs and events.
Waldomore continues to provide opportunities for the community to interact with history. The library preserves items of historical and genealogical significance for Clarksburg, Harrison County, and North Central West Virginia and makes resources available for research in this very special and beloved setting.
Visitors and researchers are welcome to visit the Research Room on the second floor of Waldomore. Hours of operation are:
Tuesday - Friday 1:00 - 5:00 PM and Saturdays 10:00 - 2:00 PM
If you have a specific research need, we recommend calling ahead to make an appointment for a librarian to assist you.
Local History & Genealogy Collection
The second floor of Waldomore houses the library’s research collections. The most notable of these is the Local History and Genealogy Collection which features materials focused on the region of North Central West Virginia, Harrison County, and Clarksburg. The genealogical materials include records and information for the eastern panhandle, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.
The local history collection contains a variety of materials such as cookbooks, church histories, high school yearbooks, cemetery listings, obituaries, local authors, and much more. All of the materials in this collection can be found using the library catalog, just look for the call number beginning with the phrase WALDOMORE or ARCHIVES.
Many of the genealogical materials in this collection have been provided through the generous support of the Harrison County Genealogical Society.
Along with the Local History & Genealogy Collection, Waldomore is also home to the archives of the Clarksburg-Harrison Public Library. The Archives are composed of collections of rare and unique materials that have been gathered since 1931. They contain a variety of materials including photographs, portraits, diaries, letters, posters, maps, handouts, and artifacts highlighting the history and culture of North Central West Virginia. Due to fragile nature of the materials, access is limited to appointment only.
Gray Barker Collection
The most prominent collection in the Waldomore Archives is the Gray Barker (UFO) Collection. Gray Barker was a noted writer, hoaxer, and teller of tall tales . He was active in the UFO community from the early 1950’s until his death in 1984. Barker was born in Braxton County, but called Clarksburg home for much of his career. To learn more, please visit the Gray Barker UFO Collection page.
With the reopening of the Robinson Grand Theater in downtown Clarksburg, take a moment to enjoy this exhibit on the history of the building.
Click on the title above or the image to open the exhibit. Click on various elements to learn more or use the arrows located on the bottom of the screen to navigate through the exhibit.
Waldomore Meeting Room Community Use Policy
The library provides staff to open Waldomore to community groups holding programs and meetings of an educational, cultural or civic nature. The Library Meeting Room Policy applies to use of Waldomore and must be followed. In accordance with library policy, all meetings and events must be free and open to the general public.
Waldomore cannot be reserved by political organization/groups, groups soliciting business or actively selling items or services, or for sectarian religious meetings, or for events at which an entry fee will be charged.
The first floor meeting room in Waldomore is available during the library’s regular operating hours. No entry will be available prior to opening time and meetings must conclude (including clean-up) prior to closing time of the library.
The library will take reservations on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations must be made at least one month in advance and will be taken up to one year in advance.
Groups using the meeting room are required to follow current public health mandates and guidelines including requirements for use of masks, physical distancing, capacity limits, etc. The library reserves the right to deny or cancel reservations for groups that do not comply with health guidelines.
When making a reservation, groups will need to supply the following information:
- Name of Organization
- Contact Person for Organization (must be 18 or older)
- Contact Information including email and telephone number
- Description of Meeting or Event (must be educational, cultural or civic)
- Date and Time Requested (start and end time must include any preparation and clean-up)
- Number of People Expected to Attend
- Room configuration (number of chairs and tables and how they are to be set up)
- Confirmation that both the Waldomore Meeting Room Community Use Policy and the Library Meeting Room Policy have been reviewed and agreed to
- Confirmation that public health mandates and guidelines in effect at the time the meeting is held will be followed
Most meetings may be scheduled through the Library Manager and do not require applications, fees or deposits, except for the following:
- Food and drink are not permitted for most meetings and events. Groups wishing to have food and drink at Waldomore are required to submit an application form; a cleaning fee is required.
- For large events with over 50 people in attendance, the library requires a certificate of insurance from the organization’s insurer with the library named as additional insured.
Use of the Waldomore meeting room does not include use of other rooms in Waldomore, outdoor spaces or patio area.
Groups should be aware that the only accessible entrance to the library’s research room and special collections is via the elevator located in the meeting room. Visitors may come and go from the elevator during research room hours.
A staff person is required to be on the premises while the meeting room is in use. The staff person can assist with questions, directing people to restrooms, etc., but they are not available for assistance with meeting preparation or clean-up.
The set up for tables and chairs should be finalized at the time of reservation; any changes to set up will need to be communicated to the Library Manager prior to the day of the reservation.
Antique furniture cannot be moved or used for any purpose. Groups will be liable for any damage to the Waldomore building or contents as described in the Library Meeting Room Policy.
No open flames of any kind are permitted. This includes candles and Sterno heaters.
Use of confetti, glitter, table scatter, or tape is prohibited.
The library reserves the right to modify policy restrictions for reservations made by nonprofit community partners that have a longstanding relationship with the library for use of Waldomore for specific events.
(Approved by the CHPL Board of Trustees on September 16, 2021)
Policy for Use of Waldomore Grounds
The Clarksburg-Harrison Public Library may use the grounds at Waldomore for library programming and events at any time. Waldomore grounds will be considered unavailable if the scheduled use of Waldomore meeting areas conflicts in any way with concurrent use of outdoor space. Use of indoor meeting areas will be given priority in scheduling.
Any agreements for community use of Waldomore grounds must be pre-approved by the Clarksburg-Harrison Public Library at least one month in advance of scheduled use. Policies concerning the use of outdoor spaces including Waldomore grounds will be consistent with use of library meeting spaces and all meetings and events must be free and open to the public. Events at which donations are accepted will be permitted but inability to make a donation must not prohibit participation.
Use of Waldomore interior meeting areas are governed under a separate policy. Please see the Waldomore Meeting Room Community Use Policy and the Library Meeting Room Policy for information about use of those spaces.
The lawn turf has not been upgraded to withstand significant foot traffic and the frequency of use of the lawn will be limited in order to ensure proper maintenance of the grass. Opening the lawn for use is a pilot project and the Clarksburg-Harrison Public Library reserves the right to terminate use of Waldomore grounds if it is found that the lawn in its current state is not able to withstand the wear and tear of regular foot traffic.
Use of the Waldomore patio is currently prohibited due to its condition. When the patio is replaced, rules for use of the patio will be added to this policy.
Please note that the library is unable to supply items for use at outdoor events. It is the responsibility of each group using the Waldomore grounds to supply their own tables, tents, extension cords and other equipment.
Requirements and responsibilities for community use of Waldomore grounds:
- Only non-profits are permitted to use Waldomore grounds, this includes organizations and also ad hoc groups sponsoring art, music or other cultural activities open to the public and offered free of charge.
- Requests for use of grounds must be submitted using the Application for Use of Waldomore Grounds at least thirty (30) days in advance; forms must be complete in order for a request to be considered. The form is available on the library’s website.
- The organization using the Waldomore grounds is responsible for all clean up and disposal of trash.
- A security deposit in the amount of $100.00 will be held to ensure that all groups leave the Waldomore grounds in the same condition they found them. The security deposit will be returned if Waldomore grounds are undamaged, clean, and trash has been removed after the event. Notwithstanding the security deposit, the Clarksburg-Harrison Public Library reserves the right to charge any and all parties for damages in excess of security deposit when necessary. All security deposits or portions thereof which are released will be returned by mail within fifteen (15) days of the event.
- All fees including security deposit are due seven (7) days prior to the event.
- Organizations using the Waldomore grounds shall provide a certificate of insurance that indicates that the organization will maintain in full force and effect a comprehensive liability insurance policy with a minimum amount of $1,000,000 combined single limits of bodily injury and property damage liability, with a general aggregate limit of $2,000,000 for more than one occurrence or accident, covering liability that may arise during the term of use of the Waldomore grounds. A certificate of insurance must be provided naming the Clarksburg-Harrison Public Library and the City of Clarksburg as additional insured. A copy of the certificate must be submitted to the Clarksburg-Harrison Public Library at least seven (7) days prior to the event.
- Reservations will be made on a first come, first served basis. Reservations will be accepted up to twelve months in advance.
- There will be no charge for use of Waldomore grounds for events held during regular library operating hours and lasting three hours or less.
- Reservations for large events lasting more than four hours and for events held outside of regular library hours require a rental fee; requests for these events must be submitted at least six (6) weeks in advance to allow for scheduling of library staff and security.
- Waldomore grounds may not be available when meeting spaces inside Waldomore are in use.
- Reservations for use of Waldomore grounds does not include use of the Waldomore patio or access to Waldomore building.
- Use of Waldomore meeting spaces and grounds may be scheduled concurrently for the same event.
- A library staff member must be on site at all times during use of Waldomore grounds; requests for use outside of regular library hours will be considered but may not be possible.
- Waldomore grounds are not available for use by individuals or businesses.
- A signed statement of indemnification of the Clarksburg-Harrison Public Library and the City of Clarksburg is required and is included as part of the Application for Use of Waldomore Grounds.
- Groups using the Waldomore lawn must agree to provide no fewer than four volunteers who have responsibility for crowd control to ensure that rules are enforced and attendees remain safe. The library will supply reflective vests to identify volunteers.
- Exterior electrical outlets are available for use; the organization making the reservation is responsible for examining available electrical outlets to determine if they will be adequate for their needs and for providing extension cords needed for the event.
- There is no exterior access to water. Any water needed on site must be provided by the organization using Waldomore grounds.
- It is the responsibility of the organization using the Waldomore grounds to supply their own tables, chairs, tents and other equipment for the event.
- The following are prohibited: alcohol, bounce houses, fun houses/haunted houses, projected images/movies, events held over consecutive days, political events, discriminatory practices, fire or flames of any kind including candles, sports or games, creating holes in the lawn.
(Policy approved by the Clarksburg-Harrison Public Library Board of Trustees on September 19, 2019)