About Us

Our Commissioners

The Jefferson County Historic Landmarks Commission consists of five appointed members. These commissioners have expertise and knowledge in the areas of architecture, historic architecture, archaeology, historic preservation, and local history. The JCHLC is charged with aiding the county government and its citizens in the protection and preservation of our local historic resources. The JCHLC meets at 7:00pm on the second Wednesday of every other month. Meetings are held in the Jefferson County Commission room in the basement of the Charles Town Library.

Martin Burke


Martin Burke is an objects conservator. He holds degrees from University of Michigan, Shepherd University, and pursued graduate studies at George Washington University. For seventeen years he was an objects conservator at the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution and for thirteen years Head Conservator at Harpers Ferry Center, National Park Service. He is a Fellow of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC).

Term Expires: 3/31/27

Jim King


Jim King is a registered architect, LEED Accredited Professional, and recognized as a historic architect per 36 CFR 61 through the West Virginia Department of Culture and History. Upon graduation with a Masters of Architecture degree from Virginia Tech, he began working for Paul D. Marshall Associates, then the state’s foremost firm in historic preservation. Projects were scattered throughout West Virginia and included the Phillipi Covered Bridge, Blennerhassett Mansion, Carnegie Hall in Lewisburg, and the West Virginia State Capitol building. After relocating to the area, and with the wealth of historic properties and opportunities to preserve this region’s past, he continues to work in preservation and is eager to serve as a commissioner.

Term Expires: 3/31/25

Raymond Benzinger


Ray is a graduate of Carnegie-Mellon University and moved to the D.C. area to work at the National Geographic Society as a color quality control specialist for the Magazine. While working for the National Geographic, he attended law school at night and earned Juris Doctor and Master of Law Degrees at Georgetown University School of Law. He served as a law clerk for a Federal Judge, was a trial attorney at the United States Department of Justice in the Court of Claims Section, was Associate Professor of Law at George Mason University School of Law, now the Antonin Scalia School of Law, and also taught at the Catholic University School of Law. Ray was a trial Attorney representing private citizens for over twenty-five years before retiring to his home in the West Virginia Blue Ridge. Ray was active in the Virginia State Bar, served on the Budget Committee, and was appointed by the Virginia Supreme Court to serve two terms on the Continuing Legal Education Board. He was a frequent lecturer in Continuing Legal Education Seminars. Ray and his wife currently serve on the Blue Ridge Community and Technical College Foundation Board.

Term Expires: 3/31/25

David Carroll


David Carroll is a professional archeologist and historian who has spent his 26-year career working in the Mid-Atlantic region, primarily in northern Virginia. He received his undergraduate degree in history from Shepherd College and received his Master of Arts in historical archeology from the University of Leicester. He has excavated and researched a wide variety of cultural resources including dwellings, taverns/ordinaries, mills, ironworks, cemeteries, and Native American villages. Mr. Carroll has also documented and analyzed numerous historic buildings and structures. He is a lifelong resident of the Eastern Panhandle, growing up in the Bolivar/Harpers Ferry area and now residing in Shepherdstown.

Term Expires: 3/31/27

Addison Reese


Addison Reese works at the Shepherdstown Public Library where she has conducted genealogy and local history research workshops. Addison has written historical articles for the Shepherdstown Observer. She specializes in cemetery restoration and is the caretaker/site manager for the Kearneysville Methodist/Boyd Carter Memorial Cemetery as well as an assistant superintendent for Fairview-Gibsontown Cemetery. 

Term Expires: 3/31/27

Jacob Blackall

Commission Assistant

Jacob Blackall is an AmeriCorps member with the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia, and a long time resident of the Eastern Panhandle. He studied history at Shepherd University and plans to pursue a master’s degree in historic preservation after finishing his service with the JCHLC.

Term of Service Ends: 8/30/24