The Museum in the Park at Chief Logan State Park has unveiled a new exhibition entitled Riding the Rails: Railroads Connecting West Virginia. The exhibit is free and the public is invited to attend.
The Riding the Rails exhibition has text panels detailing railroad development in West Virginia. As early as 1830, western Virginia had several companies proposing the construction of various types of transportation including railroads, but the Virginia General Assembly opposed all the plans fearing that westward development would draw business from eastern Virginia cities such as Norfolk and Richmond. Once West Virginia became a state, all that changed and railroads and river transportation became the primary means to move large and heavy products.
The exhibit also contains artifacts from the West Virginia State Museum collection including tongs for holding odd-shaped pieces of iron forged on the anvil; side shears used to cut hot, soft iron; nippers used to trim horses’ hooves while shoeing them; claw hammers; a coal drill sharpener stake used to place in an anvil to sharpen coal drills; rail spike pullers; a coal shovel; a C&O Adlake Kero Lantern; a C&O Yellow Dog Lamp which burned on waste oil; and a B&O Railroad compartment plate, cup and saucer for use in the dining car, among others. The display also has a photograph display courtesy of the museum collection, Del. Lynwood “Woody” Ireland’s (R-Ritchie) Collection, and the West Virginia State Archives Photograph collection.
Visitors also are invited to tour the current exhibits at the Museum. Ladies Fashion Dolls of the Nineteenth Century features 56 costumed dolls from the West Virginia State Museum collection made of papier mache. The dolls, created by West Virginia artist Pete Ballard of Peterstown, Monroe County, span the three periods that dominated ladies’ fashion in the 19th century including the revival of the Classical Period (1800 - 1820); the Romantic Period (1820 - 1840); and the Victorian Era (1840 - 1900). The We Are Marshall exhibit displays items produced as props for the movie production and actually used in the film of the same name, including a cheerleader’s megaphone and uniform; license plates from West Virginia and North Carolina and a Boone’s Restaurant menu, among others. Dehue . . . A Special Place examines aspects of coal camp life including business and social life; The Ron Moxley Collection: Native American Artifacts which includes a nutting stone found in Chief Logan State Park; and Black Diamonds, which takes a look at coal mining throughout West Virginia, with an emphasis on the southern part of the state, and showcases artifacts of tools, photographs and historical dialogue.
Other displays include two quilts made by the late Katie Barnette of Logan and award winners from the 2007 West Virginia Juried Exhibition are also on exhibit.
For more information about the Riding the Rails: Railroads Connecting West Virginia exhibit or Museum in the Park, contact Elizabeth Williams, site manager at the Museum in the Park, at (304) 792-7229.
The 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 Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. and Sunday from 1 - 6 p.m.
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. Its administrative offices are located at the Cultural Center in the State Capitol Complex in Charleston, which also houses the state archives and state museum. The Cultural Center is West Virginia’s official showcase for the arts. The agency also operates a network of museums and historic sites across the state. For more information about the Division’s programs, visit the web site at www.wvculture.org. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.