Our Location and Hours
Museum in the Park is a regional cultural center showcasing the best in West Virginia history and the arts. It features changing exhibits and displays of artwork and historical items from the collections of the West Virginia State Museum and the State Archives. One area of the museum is dedicated to local and regional history. It is operated and maintained by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History and is located four miles north of Logan on West Virginia Route 10 at Chief Logan State Park. The museum is open Wednesday through Saturday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. and Sunday 1 - 6 p.m.
The museum is located within the 4,400-acre Chief Logan State Park which features an $8.5 million conference and convention center, as well as a campground, outdoor amphitheater and wildlife center. The Division of Culture and History manages the museum under an agreement with the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, which operates the park.
The Land, People and Culture of the Southern Coalfields - Stories of the southern coalfields reveal a place rich in natural resources and wealthy in unique individuals. As far back as the prehistoric people and Native Americans that hunted throughout these old mountains, the resilient spirit has prevailed. Pioneers, confederate sympathizers, industrial magnets, immigrant workers, politicians, community leaders, artists and storytellers – each generation, each community – share the hardship, sadness and joy of growing up and living in the mountains of southern West Virginia.
Our story begins in the museum lobby with an exhibit of photographs of people at home, work and play in early to mid-twentieth century.
The Buffalo Creek Disaster
One of the museum’s permanent exhibits is The Buffalo Creek Disaster. The worst industrial disaster in the history of Logan County occurred on Saturday, February 26, 1972 when a series of coal waste dams collapsed releasing 132 million gallons of toxic waste water into Buffalo Creek. The exhibit includes a comprehensive video featuring archival news footage, interviews and photographs. The video provides insight into the 17 small towns along Buffalo Creek and the devastation that continued long after families and homes were destroyed and a way of life virtually disappeared.
Ron Moxley Collection
Logan County native Ron Moxley (1953-2002) taught in the public schools and enjoyed archaeology as a hobby. He was responsible for identifying at least two major pre-European Native village sites in the local area. The museum features an exhibit of many artifacts from Ron’s personal collection for the Logan and Man Village sites.
We Are Marshall
“We are Marshall” Movie Memorabilia. On November 14, 1970, 75 people including most of the Marshall University football team, cheerleaders and coaches and a number of supporters died in a plane crash when the aircraft clipped the tops of trees on approach to the landing field in Huntington, WV. In 2006, Warner Brothers Productions released “We Are Marshall” and told the world how Marshall rebuilt its football team over the next few seasons. This exhibit includes items, props and costumes that were created for the movie and presented to Marshall University Libraries Special Collections.
Fatal accidents and disasters – natural and manmade – cast a long shadow over surviving families, friends and neighbors. The museum features memorial exhibits of art and sculpture that commemorate these tragedies and provide a place for reflection.
Dehue….A Special Place
Dehue, in eastern Logan County was a vital community for most of the 20th century. Established by coal operators, Dehue typified many planned communities and included a grade school, theater, two churches, scout troops and a culturally diverse population. The community flourished as long as coal production ran high.
Railroads and Coal in Southern West Virginia
The two largest industries in southern West Virginia are railroading and coal mining. In the last decades of the 19th century, the rail systems in the region provided transportation for the timbering industry. Once the rail beds were laid and the deep hollows and steep mountainsides accessible, coal operators moved in and began underground mining.
In small rural towns, the general store was the only place to shop for food, clothing and household items. Always a place to meet friends and neighbors and to hear the latest news and gossip, the post office and barber shop were often integrated into the local general store.
West Virginia Quilts and Other Textiles
Quilts began as objects of necessity providing warmth on cold nights and have always been a creative outlet for the maker. Later, cottage industries such as quilting and weaving became mainstays for families to bring much needed cash or bartered goods into the homes.
Sue Browning Wildflower Hike - April 20th 2013
Southern West Virginia bursts into bloom in the early Spring with thousands of delicate wildflowers along the hillsides and hiking trails. Museum in the Park, Chief Logan State Park and the Hemlock Hills Garden Club jointly sponsor a wildflower experience unique to Chief Logan State Park with wildflower experts and enthusiasts leading groups along selected trails. The hikes are followed by lunch at the museum. Contact the museum or Chief Logan State Park for details.
West Virginia Day – each year Museum in the Park celebrates the anniversary of Statehood with a weekend of history and heritage. Re-enactors and lecturers give demonstrations and programs on the exploration of western Virginia, daily life of settlers in their small rural farmsteads and communities in the 19th century, and the Civil War conflict that gave birth to the State.
Aunt Jennie Music Festival - Virginia Myrtle “Aunt Jennie” Wilson was born in 1900 in the “Doc” Ellis hollow of what is now Chief Logan State Park. The daughter of Huey “Doc” and Cinderella Lockhard Ellis, she learned to play banjo clawhammer style at age 9. Her music, storytelling and mountain humor made her internationally known for her preservation of Appalachian culture. Wilson died in 1992; however her name lives in our annual Labor Day weekend festival of concerts by musicians and entertainers from throughout the region.
Each Fall Museum in the Park celebrates our frontier roots with a weekend of history and heritage. Re-enactors, teachers and lecturers give demonstrations and programs on daily life, occupations and recreations of the early explorers and settlers. With at least one week-day designated as “School Day”, this three to four day living history experience is typically scheduled for mid-October. Our Frontier Days weekend includes Thursday and Friday School Days with activities and presentations specifically for school field trips. Call the museum for more information.
Holiday Trees Exhibition is presented in conjunction with Chief Logan State Park’s Christmas in the Park display of holiday lights. Each year the museum invites local organizations to decorate trees the week of Thanksgiving. The colorful display of trees remains on exhibit through New Year’s Day.
Annual Christmas Open House
Museum in the Park hosts a special day of holiday-themed crafts and activities each year on the 2nd Saturday in December. Visitors who come to the museum during the day-long celebration can create a holiday craft; enjoy storytelling or musical concerts, and sometimes a visit with Santa along with free cookies and hot chocolate.
Children's Arts and Crafts:
Museum in the Park offers arts and crafts classes for children 7 years and older on Saturdays from 11am to 2pm. Craft projects include drawing, painting, beads and buttons, weaving, paper and fabric crafts and ideas inspired by nature and science. Special seasonal and holiday projects are also available throughout the year. All craft projects are free, unless specifically advertised in advance, and many can be completed and ready to take home in 60 to 90 minutes. A responsible parent or guardian must remain onsite while their child or children are in class.
Educational and public programs throughout the school year provide opportunities for extra credit and more hands-on experience for school students. These programs meet State Curriculum Standards and can be tailored to complement classroom studies.
West Virginia Journeys, an ongoing public program, can be useful as a class project. Teachers can kick off the multilayered challenge on their school visit. Students may continue the program throughout the museum’s calendar of public events with their families or youth organizations. Details on the West Virginia Journeys program are available on the museum’s website at http://www/wvculture.org/museum, or by calling the museum at 304-792-7229.
School Visits to Museum in the Park
Students visiting Museum in the Park are introduced to regional stories from pre-history to popular culture. Age appropriate interpretations and curriculum topic tours are available for all age and grade groups, including pre-K. This spectrum provides an opportunity to connect like objects and functions that create an appreciation of dramatic changes. The changing galleries will feature exhibitions of a variety of contemporary and historic topics. The museum’s website http://www/wvculture.org/museum features suggested activities that help teachers use the museum as an extension of the classroom.
Guided tours of the exhibitions at Museum in the Park are available for Adult and Special Interest groups by appointment during regular museum hours Wednesday through Friday.
We are located at Chief Logan State Park
Museum in the Park
376 Little Buffalo Creek Road * Logan, WV 25601
Check the local weather before your visit.