West Virginian Preserves Wheeling’s Buildings

Betty Woods “Snookie” Nutting

Betty Woods “Snookie” Nutting

Betty Woods “Snookie” Nutting ’56 fell in love with Victorian architecture when a Mary Washington professor assigned her class to draw some of Fredericksburg’s historic buildings.

Sixty years later, the Wheeling, W.Va., resident is still hooked on stained glass, fretwork, and all the flourishes of the 19th century.

Nutting’s efforts to preserve and restore Victorian buildings are nationally known. And, for them, West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin bestowed on her the Distinguished West Virginian Award this spring.

An art major at Mary Washington, Nutting studied biology at Wheaton College in Massachusetts. But architecture called. In the past several decades, Nutting has overseen the refurbishment of more than 20 Wheeling structures, including the John List House and other historic-district buildings. She’s also worked to restore the Wheeling Suspension Bridge; participated in an “Operation Look-Up” newspaper series showcasing unaltered upper stories of historic facades; and helped launch Wheeling’s annual Victorian Show-Off! tour.

Nutting, vice chair of the Vandalia Heritage Foundation’s board of directors, was the first president of Preservation Action in West Virginia and a founding member of Friends of Wheeling.

She was president of the Victorian Wheeling Landmarks Foundation, was on the West Virginia Archives and History Commission, and spent nine years as West Virginia’s adviser to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, for which she remains adviser emerita.