MASON COUNTY — What represents Mason County? It’s Revolutionary War past? The Bridge of Honor? Farming? The Ohio and Kanawha rivers?
That question is relative to who you ask, and the Mason County Commission is asking citizens for the answer. The commission is requesting residents use their creativity to come up with what will be the county’s seal. The winner will receive a $100 prize and be a part of the county’s history. Deadline for entry is 4 p.m., Feb. 21, and the winner will be announced at the commission meeting at 4 p.m., March 7.
The United States has a seal as does the State of West Virginia — Mason County does not. It’s unknown if the county ever had a seal, but it hasn’t had one in at least 30 years. The U.S. seal has a bald eagle, among other items, and West Virginia’s state seal has a drawing of a farmer and miner with “Montani Semper Liberi” as its motto.
When it comes to Mason County’s seal, it must have the county and state name, date of origination (1804), along with being in color and be no larger than 8.5 inches by 11 inches. The seal may contain the shape of the county, any symbols of the county’s past or present culture, history or geography, or anything related to Mason County. Residents are encouraged to be creative within these basic guidelines and design a seal that represents their Mason County.
The “Create a Mason County Seal” contest has a submission deadline of 4 p.m., Feb. 21, and entries can be submitted to any county commissioner, the Mason County Clerk’s Office or the Mason County Commission Office at the Mason County Courthouse. Entries can also be mailed to County Seal Contest, Mason County Commission, 200 6th St., Point Pleasant, WV, 25550.
Applicants should place their names on the back of the submission for the sake of fairness when being judged. Judges will include Commissioners Handley, Miles Epling and Tracy Doolittle, County Clerk Diana Cromley and County Administrator John Gerlach.
Handley recently made contact with art teachers in all three county high schools, as well as at the Mason County Career Center, with the hope of getting young people involved in the project. However, Handley stressed the contest is open to all residents of any age.
The winning seal will hang in the commission room and will be displayed at the next meeting of the West Virginia Association of Counties in March.
“This person will be a part of Mason County’s history,” Handley said of the artist whose work will be chosen.