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West Virginia Independence Hall Museum to celebrate the holiday season on Dec. 5

11/29/04

The historic West Virginia Independence Hall Museum in Wheeling will ring in the holiday season with a family-oriented open house and concert on Sunday, Dec. 5, from 2 - 4 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

The afternoon’s activities include a Civil War-era concert in the gas-lit courtroom by Home Front, a group of western Pennsylvania musicians. The band consists of Chuck Krepley, violin and guitar, Tom Crytzer, guitar and vocals, and Nancy Egan, vocals. They will play a wide selection of holiday, martial, sentimental and patriotic tunes from both sides of the Civil War conflict. Dressed in authentic costumes of the 1860s, Home Front gets its name from those who served the war effort from home. Music was an important factor and was played in parlors and concert halls to encourage patriotic fervor, soothe the pain of separation of families from soldiers, and entertain the troops.

Reenactors in uniform from the 15th Ohio Volunteers, Co. E, will stand guard in the courtroom throughout the afternoon. Punch and cookies will be served by members of the West Virginia Independence Hall Foundation.

Rounding out the day’s activities, children will receive a small gift from a Civil War-era Santa and they can make a reindeer ornament to take home.

For more information about the holiday open house, call Gerry Reilly, site manager at the museum, at (304) 238-1300.

West Virginia Independence Hall, originally built as a federal custom house in 1859, served as the home of the pro-Union state conventions of Virginia during the spring and summer of 1861 and as the capitol of loyal Virginia from June 1861 to June 1863. It also was the site of the first constitutional convention for West Virginia. Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1988, the museum is maintained and operated by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, with the cooperation and assistance of the West Virginia Independence Hall Foundation. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with the exception of major holidays, and is located on the corner of 16th and Market Streets in Wheeling. The facility is closed on Sundays in January and February.

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, brings together the state’s past, present and future through programs and services in the areas of archives and history, the arts, historic preservation and museums. Visit the Division’s website at www.wvculture.org for more information about programs of the Division. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.
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