Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith of the West Virginia Division of Culture and History announced that he has named Travis Henline, a Harrison County native, as site manager of West Virginia Independence Hall in Wheeling, effective immediately. He replaces Melissa Brown who retired in June.
Henline previously served as an interpretive park ranger for the National Park Service at Fort Necessity National Battlefield in Farmington, Pa., site of the opening action of the French and Indian War in 1754. He also has worked as an interpretive historian at Pricketts Fort, the day-use historical and recreational park located just north of Fairmont in Marion County.
More recently, Henline was the manager of public history development for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in Virginia. Colonial Williamsburg is a town-sized reproduction of Virginia’s colonial capital, with a mission to preserve and interpret Virginia’s 18th-century past. While there, he managed programs for the Capitol Building, Public Gaol [sic], Courthouse and the Peyton Randolph House. He also coordinated the American Indian Initiative, a programmatic endeavor which takes a broad-base approach to include the histories of American Indians in 18th-century Williamsburg.
Henline has a bachelor’s degree in English and anthropology from West Virginia University (WVU), and is currently completing his master’s degree in history from WVU.
“Travis’ background with the National Park Service and Pricketts Fort and his management skills applied at Colonial Williamsburg will serve the Division of Culture and History and West Virginia Independence Hall well as he moves into his new role. I’m very excited to have him on our team,” said Reid-Smith.
For more information, contact Adam Hodges, director of museums for the Division, at (304) 558-0220, ext. 127.
West Virginia Independence Hall, originally built as a federal custom house in 1859, served as the home of the pro-Union state conventions of Virginia during the spring and summer of 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. Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1988, the museum is maintained and 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., Monday through Saturday, with the exception of major holidays. The museum is located on the corner of 16th and Market Streets in Wheeling.
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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