The Museum in the Park at Chief Logan State Park will celebrate West Virginia Days with an outdoor encampment on Saturday, June 20, from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., and Sunday, June 21, from 1 - 6 p.m. All activities are free and the public is invited to attend.
Local and regional reenactors will live and work on the museum grounds wearing period clothing and demonstrate different techniques used by settlers and Native Americans to survive and be comfortable in early America. Visitors will be able to witness the life-style, living conditions, occupations and recreations of these early frontiersmen and women. The reenactors will demonstrate needle crafts, basket weaving, blacksmithing and gunsmithing, leather working, horn and wood carving, flint knapping, wool spinning, making tools and weapons, making and decorating powder horns, and more. They also will conduct outdoor cooking demonstrations, including the making of apple butter.
Thad McClung, a reenactor from Griffithsville, will build a reed loom and demonstrate the art of weaving large reed mats. Visitors are encouraged to try using the large loom themselves. McClung also will display items from his personal collection of reproduction firearms ranging from the fishtail flintlocks carried by early Jamestown settlers to the more sophisticated percussion guns used during the Civil War.
The West Virginia Humanities Council’s History Alive! program will sponsor two presentations during the weekend. On Saturday at 11a.m., William Hunt of Charleston will portray the 18th-century mediator and scout, Andrew Montour, who could speak French, English, and at least seven native tongues. The Sunday presentation features Dan Cutler of Milton as the famous Shawnee Chief Cornstalk at 2:15 p.m. History Alive! presenters have conducted thorough research on the characters they portray. The Chautauqua-style presentation has three parts: A monologue by the character, public participation in a discussion with the character and public discussion with the presenter.
On Saturday at noon, and again on Sunday at 1 p.m., the reenactors will stage a skirmish with a running battle along Little Buffalo Creek from the museum area to the Pioneer Cabin. Cannon firings will take place several times on both days, and sutlers, the civilian merchants who sold provisions to the army, will offer period reproduction jewelry, furs, clothing and gift items for sale.
Children’s craft classes will be held on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Kids will be able to try their hand at making corn-husk dolls, basket weaving, beading, and weaving on a reed loom.
In addition, at 4 p.m., on Saturday, visitors can join reenactor Henry Tucker as he recounts tales and stories of his ancestor William Tucker, an 18th-century frontier scout who fought at the Battle of Point Pleasant on Oct. 10, 1774.
Visitors also are encouraged to tour the Museum and see the exhibits on display, including a selection of medical equipment and early hospital furnishings from the West Virginia State Museum Collection. Another new exhibit developed by the West Virginia Humanities Council, John Henry: Steel Drivin’ Man, also is available for viewing. The exhibit was designed by West Virginia University students and gives people a better understanding of the legend of the famous steel driver who defeated a mechanized steam drill. The Humanities Council exhibit will remain on display through August 15.
For more information about West Virginia Days at Museum in the Park, contact Elizabeth Williams, site manager for the facility, 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 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. Museum hours are 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday, and 1 - 6 p.m. on Sunday.
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 Culture Center in the State Capitol Complex in Charleston, which also houses the state archives and state museum. The Culture 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 www.wvculture.org. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.
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