June 11, 2010
The Museum in the Park at Chief Logan State Park will celebrate West Virginia Days with an outdoor encampment on Saturday, June 19, from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., and Sunday, June 20, 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, wood carving, flint knapping, wool spinning, making tools, making powder horns, storytelling, games and other recreational activities, and more. They also will conduct outdoor cooking demonstrations.
The West Virginia Humanities Council’s History Alive! program will sponsor a special presentation during the weekend. On Sunday, at 1 p.m., Patty Sue Cooper of Parkersburg will portray the 18th-century character, “Mad Anne Bailey. “ Bailey’s husband, Richard Trotter, was killed in 1774 in an encounter with Shawnee forces led by Cornstalk at the battle of Point Pleasant and she embarked on a new life as a border scout messenger. Bailey is renowned historically as a frontierswoman who broke all conventions by wearing buckskins and could handle a horse, a hatchet, or a long rifle as well as any man. In 1791, when Fort Lee, in what is now Charleston, was threatened by attack, Bailey rode alone on horseback through more than 100 miles of wilderness to Fort Savannah, in present day Lewisburg, and returned with desperately needed gunpowder. Her journey, called Anne Bailey’s ride, was commemorated in 1861 in an epic poem by Charles Robb.
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.
In addition, sutlers, the civilian merchants who sold provisions to the army, will offer period reproduction jewelry, furs, clothing and gift items for sale.
Craft classes for children aged four to 14 will be held on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday from 1 - 3 p.m. Kids will be able to try their hand at making corn-husk dolls and bead rattles and painting on coal.
This year’s festivities also include free birthday cake for visitors while supplies last on Saturday from noon - 3 p.m., and on Sunday from 1 - 3 p.m.
Visitors also are encouraged to tour the Museum and see the exhibits on display, including the newest, Pieces of Hope. This art installation was conceived by Betty Gay, Charleston artist and exhibits coordinator for the Division. The installation was created to memorialize the 29 men who lost their lives at the Upper Big Branch Mine at Montcoal, Raleigh County, on April 5.
Other exhibits include Practicing Medicine, which displays medical furnishings, equipment and supplies from the West Virginia State Museum’s collection; We Are Marshall, an exhibit with items produced as props for the movie production; and Dehue . . . A Special Place which examines aspects of coal camp life. There also are two quilts made by the late Katie Barnette of Logan and a collection of historic photos of Logan and the surrounding region.
The Thorney Lieberman: Honoring America’s Coal Miners exhibit is also on display, featuring life-size full-length photographs of coal miners by Thorney Lieberman of Charleston. The exhibit consists of 18 full-size portraits. He took between 30 to 40 photographs of each miner and put them in a grid, life-size, on eight-inch x 10-inch film covering the entire person. He then made contact prints from the negatives and assembled them to create a full-size person. Most of these portraits were developed in black and white and mounted on 16 gauge hot rolled steel sheets. The final images are almost seven-feet tall.
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.