CHARLESTON – Though West Virginia’s 150th birthday doesn’t happen until June, state officials are already getting the celebration underway with a new exhibit here as well as a 2013 calendar highlighting the Mountain State’s road to statehood.
[cleeng_content id="t1" price="0.15" description="Read it now!"]The West Virginia State Museum’s special sesquicentennial exhibit opens Thursday at the Culture Center on the Capitol complex in Charleston’s East End.
The exhibit, entitled “West Virginia 150,’’ focuses on 150 key West Virginians, sites and events to unfold since the state entered the Union on June 20, 1863.
Museum Director Charles Morris said the exhibit’s artifacts showcase the state’s steel, coal, glass, timber and railroad industries as well as notable state residents including “The Good Earth” author Pearl S. Buck, born in Pocahontas County in 1892; Guiseppe Argiro, the Italian-born baker who invented the pepperoni roll in north-central West Virginia during the Great Depression; and the late Cyrus Vance, a native of Clarksburg who served as Secretary of State during the Carter Administration.
Officials with the State Historic Preservation Office put together the “Land, People and Statehood” calendar.
Landmarks in Jefferson County are among those featured in the 13-month calendar, including the Strider Farm, the Harpers Ferry-area site where several battles raged during the Civil War, and the Gibson-Todd House, built on the Charles Town site where abolitionist John Brown was hanged for treason in 1859.
Other bits of state history highlighted in the calendar include West Virginia Independence Hall in Ohio County, considered the birthplace of the state; James Hoge of Putnam County, a delegate at the Virginia State Convention in Richmond who voted against secession; the Carskadon Mansion in Mineral County, home of Thomas R. Carskadon, the youngest member of the Constitutional Convention; and “Graceland” in Randolph County, the 1893 summer mansion belonging to U.S. Sen. Henry Gassaway Davis.
State officials credit the National Park Service and the U.S. Department of the Interior for providing part of the funding for the calendar.
To request a free copy, anyone may write to West Virginia Division of Culture and History, c/o 2013 Calendar, The Culture Center, 1900 Kanawha Blvd., E., Charleston 25305.
More information is available by contacting Conni McMorris (304-558-0240 or firstname.lastname@example.org).[/cleeng_content]