June 13, 2012
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- As West Virginia prepares for its sesquicentennial next year, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin will join the West Virginia Division of Culture and History in celebrating the state’s 149th birthday on Wednesday, June 20, 2012.
“West Virginia Day is a wonderful opportunity to highlight the rich heritage and cultural traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation. After 149 years of statehood, there are countless West Virginians who deserve to be honored for their contributions to the Mountain State,” said Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin. “On this day, I encourage all West Virginians celebrate all that makes our state great.”
Celebrations in Charleston, Logan, Moundsville and Wheeling include four new exhibits, special tours, historic speeches and characters, and birthday cake.
Tomblin will cut the birthday cake at 12:15 p.m. at the Culture Center in Charleston while the Division hosts the grand opening of the exhibits “Seeds of Sectionalism: West Virginia’s Struggle for Statehood 1775-1863” and “The West Virginia State Capitol 80th Anniversary.”
From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., historical characters will share stories with visitors to the West Virginia State Museum, while a West Virginia film festival will be featured in the Education Media Room. Visitors can participate in the West Virginia Journeys’ program, add to the tape collection of “What West Virginia Means to Me,” and take guided tours of the state Capitol.
At 11:30 a.m., a lecture on the construction of the state Capitol will be conducted in the Great Hall. At 12:15 p.m., there will be a West Virginia birthday cake, musical concert and distribution of commemorative tokens of the Capitol. A presentation of West Virginia Journeys’ awards also will be offered.
From 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Wheeling, historic characters at West Virginia Independence Hall (WVIH) will offer special 30-minute tours of the site of West Virginia’s first constitutional convention. Civil War re-enactors will be on hand throughout the day.
At 2 p.m., re-enactors will deliver the historic June 20, 1863, speeches given by Francis Pierpont, the father of West Virginia and governor of the Restored State of Virginia, and Arthur Boreman, who was elected West Virginia's first governor in 1863. At 3 p.m. WVIH will host the grand opening of “Restoring the Glory: WV Independence Hall” and “Uncommon Vernacular,” an exhibit showcasing the beauty of Jefferson County’s historic homes as they relate to the history of the Shenandoah Valley. At 3:30 p.m. WVIH will serve birthday cake and other refreshments.
Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex in Moundsville will celebrate the state’s birthday with family activities throughout the day. Children can create West Virginia necklaces in blue and gold in the Delf Norona Museum. The museum will show the documentary West Virginia: A Film History, courtesy of the West Virginia Humanities Council from 11 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Outside, visitors can walk to the top of the mound and check on the progress of the Interpretive Garden, which showcases plants similar to those grown by Native Americans who once lived in the Northern Panhandle. The observation window of the West Virginia Archaeological Research and Curation Facility contains a new exhibit featuring artifacts from various West Virginia archaeological sites from an agricultural perspective.
In Logan, the public is invited to meet with experts in tracing family roots at the Museum in the Park at Chief Logan State Park. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., members of the Logan County Genealogical Society will be on hand to explain how to research family history, where to find documents, and how to fill out and read a multigenerational chart. They also will provide lists of available online and published resources.
The museum will celebrate West Virginia Day with an outdoor encampment from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, June 23, and Sunday, June 24. Local and regional re-enactors will live and work on the museum grounds wearing period clothing and demonstrating different techniques used by settlers and Native Americans. Visitors will witness the lifestyle, living conditions, occupations and recreations of these early frontiersmen and women.
For more information about these events, contact the West Virginia Division of Culture and History at (304) 558-0220, West Virginia Independence Hall at (304) 238-1300, Grave Creek Mound at (304) 843-4128, or Museum in the Park at (304) 792-7229.
The West Virginia Division of Culture and History is an agency within the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts with Kay Goodwin, Cabinet Secretary. The Division, led by Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith, brings together the past, present and future through programs and services focusing on archives and history, arts, historic preservation and museums. For more information about the Division’s programs, events and sites, visit www.wvculture.org. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.
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