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West Virginia Independence Hall Museum to host free B&O Railroad birthday party

11/14/02

The West Virginia Independence Hall Museum will sponsor an event on Saturday, Nov. 23, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the completion of the Baltimore and Ohio (B&O) Railroad from Baltimore to Wheeling. The program will begin at 10 a.m., and is free and open to the public. The hands-on activities are geared to children; however, visitors of all ages are invited to participate.

Steubenville historian Jeff Evans will lead activities focusing on 19th-century transportation methods. Visitors will learn about the history of the railroad and complete a railroad craft project. After the craft project, participants will walk across the street to West Virginia Northern Community College to see a large model train display sponsored by the Modular Train Club. Refreshments will be served at the end of the program.

The B&O Railroad was completed on Dec. 24, 1852, when the last spike was driven at Rosby’s Rock in Marshall County. The first railroad to cross the Appalachian Mountains, the B&O helped transform Wheeling into one of the most significant river ports in the country.

West Virginia Independence Hall Museum, built as a federal custom house in 1859, served as the home of the pro-Union state conventions of Virginia during 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. Now a National Historic Landmark, the building is recognized as the birthplace of West Virginia. It is 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 some holidays and is located on the corner of 16th and Market Streets in Wheeling.

For more information about Free Family Fun, call Gerry Reilly, director of the West Virginia Independence Hall Museum, at (304) 238-1300.

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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Ginny Painter
Director of Public Information
West Virginia Division of Culture and History
The Cultural Center
1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East
Charleston, WV 25305-0300
Phone (304) 558-0220
Fax (304) 558-2779
ginny.painter@wvculture.org