In the 5th grade, Carol led a sit-down strike at the sand box because recess was shortened, which meant not everyone got a turn at bat, including her. She was co-editor of her high school paper, and her senior year she received the school’s Good Citizen Award. Such events foreshadowed the activism to come for someone with a passionate belief in justice, the power of the pen, and citizen involvement.
Her first job was at Peace Corps Hdqts. in Washington, D.C.; later, working for Members of Congress, she was a member of the first Capitol Hill National Organization of Women chapter. In the turbulent late '60's and early '70's, she lived in an economically-challenged area , tutored kids in her apartment building and worked with the Center for Creative Non-Violence on efforts to stop the Vietnam War and to feed the homeless.
Settled peacefully in an historic community (Jefferson County, WV), she still reacted to plans by the County Commission in 2000 to destroy an historically-designated structure in Charles Town in defiance of the Historic Preservation Act. Her active, grassroots organization of citizens (Jefferson County Preservation to Save Our Heritage--JCPASH) waged a successful six-year battle. Her efforts garnered a number of awards.
May 2005 - Charles Town Historic Landmarks Commission "Action Award" to Carol Gallant and JCPASH for group activity in the furtherance of the goals of local preservation.
September 2008 - Office of the Chief Executive Certificate of Recognition "for outstanding commitment to preserving the historical buildings in Jefferson County and working to promote awareness of the rich cultural heritage of the community."
September 2009 - The Preservation Alliance of West Virginia award for "Most Significant Building Saved."
The photo at the top of this page depicts the ribbon-cutting at the rededication of the old Jefferson County Jailhouse in Charles Town, WV. in Sept. 2008. Carol Gallant (center), president of the Jefferson County Preservation Alliance to Save Our Heritage (JCPASH), is next to the late Bill Blizzard, Jr., the son of Bill Blizzard, “the coal miner’s general” in the West Virginia Mine Wars. Blizzard, Sr. was tried for treason at the Jefferson County Courthouse and his acquittal at that 1922 trial was considered a turning point in American labor history.
The battle, to save the historically-designated 1918 building from demolition by the Jefferson County Commission, lasted over six years and took five trips to court, including the WV Supreme Court. JCPASH held rallies, press conferences, sold T-shirts and brought in experts to prove the stability and value of the structure. The jailhouse, noted on the National Register for its Georgian Revival architecture and association with the coal miners treason trials, is today a judicial center.
The adjoining Courthouse was also the site of another major treason trial. In 1859, abolitionist John Brown was found guilty of treason after his raid on Harpers Ferry and was hanged in Charles Town three days later.