CHARLESTON, W. Va. - Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith of the West Virginia Division of Culture and History (WVDCH) announced today that Gregory R. Barton of Meadowwood Farms, Ellenboro, Ritchie County, has joined the West Virginia State Museum Board. Reid-Smith said, “Mr. Barton’s commitment to community service is exemplary. We are very fortunate to have his talent and enthusiasm on the museum board.”
Mr. Barton is general partner and co-owner of Bluestone Energy Partners in Ellenboro. The firm drills, operates and produces gas wells in the state of West Virginia. He holds a bachelor of science degree from West Virginia University in history and political science. Mr. Barton is a member of the Capitol Building Commission, Independent Oil & Gas Association, Scottish Society of West Virginia, Emmanuel United Methodist Church, A.F. & A.M. Friendship Lodge No. 56 in West Union and the West Virginia 4-H All Stars, a past member of the Doddridge County Park Board, Doddridge County Fair Association, and a charter member of the West Virginia Oil and Gas Museum.
The West Virginia State Museum Board was created in 1999. It functions in an advisory capacity to the Commissioner of the WVDCH and works to secure additional sources of funding from the private sector for the construction and maintenance of the new West Virginia State Museum.
The 32-year-old West Virginia State Museum, located in the lower level of the Cultural Center in the State Capitol Complex, is currently in the construction phase of renovation. The history of the state will be told in the new 23,000-square-foot museum through modern exhibits that will appeal to visitors of all ages. There will be a show path, which is a chronological journey of West Virginia history, using themed settings to highlight pivotal moments. Special effects, narration, first-person accounts, surround sound, and dynamic theater lighting will help visitors experience what it was like to be a West Virginian during the most important moments in the state’s history.
In addition, there will be discovery rooms to provide visitors with an opportunity to learn more about the history of West Virginia. The discovery rooms will feature artifacts, works of art, stories, music, and film clips. The connections rooms will allow visitors to dig deeper into West Virginia history and culture with computer stations, and provide facts about topics not covered in the show path and discovery rooms. The last scene as the visitor exits the museum will be a slide show of sites and tourist attractions in the state and a kiosk where they can access information about sites all around West Virginia. The new West Virginia State Museum is slated to open next year.
For more information, contact Jacqueline Proctor, deputy commissioner of the Division, at (304) 558-0220.
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 www.wvculture.org. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.
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