“History doesn’t have to be boring. History can be fun.”
Marion County Historical Society President Dora Grubb is about as big a fan of history as they come, and she thinks there’ll be something for everyone at the annual Mountain State History Expo coming up Saturday, April 6.
Organizer Diana George said the event will feature displays from all throughout West Virginia’s history.
“What interests me doesn’t always interest other people,” she said, so she and other organizers have made sure there’s a wide variety of exhibits ranging from the colonial period up through the 1950s and ’60s.
It’s “every period, every era, every type,” Grubb said. More than 30 exhibits will be on display.
The event gains new attractions every year, and one display that has many people excited will be hosted by Larry Dallison and Otis Anderson, who worked on Fairmont’s streetcars, or trolleys, back when the lines ran clear to Morgantown.
George said Anderson is “the oldest living trolley operator in the state,” and Dallison currently works at the Trolley Car Museum in Washington, Pa. Grubb said she was looking forward to meeting “the last Fairmont trolley conductor,” and George promises the men have many stories about the old streetcars.
Grubb said she’s also very excited to see a new display on the George Pinkney Morgan House, a pre-Civil War historic residence located in Rivesville.
As usual, JoAnn Lough will be conducting tours on the third floor of the Marion County Courthouse for people to see and learn the history behind the murals decorating the building. Grubb reminded visitors that, unlike last year, the courthouse elevator is working for people who have a hard time with the steps.
Considering the state was birthed out of in the throes of conflict, the Civil War will get its fair share of attention at the event as well. Grubb said people can come and learn to dance the Virginia Reel and other period dances.
Reenactors portraying Gov. Francis and Julia Pierpont, Fairmont natives instrumental in the birth of the state, and Sen. Matthew Neely and Mrs. John Carlile will also be attending the event.
On a more recent note, former Fairmont Mayor Nick Fantasia and County Commissioner Ernie VanGilder will be bringing classic cars to display in front of the courthouse, George said. And Jerry Vilar will be sharing information on the supper clubs and big bands throughout Fairmont in the 1950s and ’60s.
Musical entertainment will be heard throughout the day, with performances by the Kennedy Barn String Band from Fairmont State University’s Folklife Center, We Three and Almost A Song.
When people walk in, George said, “they just need to walk through there and see what it is that interests them.” They’re sure to find something.
“Where we are now is what happened in the past,” Grubb said, “and where we’re going to be in the future is what’s happening now.” History, she said, is always relevant.
It’s also a great way to see and remember all the things Marion County has provided to the state and nation over the years.
“So many things were originated in this area,” she said, and so many people have called to set up displays the society was forced to stop accepting new exhibits.
“We’re looking at broadening (the event),” she said, the demand has been so great.
The Mountain State History Expo will run from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, April 6. For more information about the specific schedule of events, please visit the Marion County Historical Society next door to the courthouse on Adams Street in Downtown Fairmont or call them at 304-367-5398.
Grubb said anyone interested in becoming a member of the Marion County Historical Society is more than welcome to join.
Email Jonathan Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @JWilliamsTWV.
“History doesn’t have to be boring. History can be fun.”
Morgantown revving up for MountainFest
Around 60,000 guests will flood into the Morgantown area July 23-27 for the 10th anniversary of MountainFest.
The motorcycle-themed event will offer live music from two stages, two stunt team demonstrations, a vintage car show, custom bike builders, and around 80 vendors that offer motorcycle memorabilia, clothing, crafts and 14 different food options.
Keaton clicks with Douglas, ‘And So It Goes’
Two old pros show the kids how chemistry works in a romantic comedy in “And So It Goes,” a love-the-last-time-around romp that’ll give its target audience the warm fuzzies.
Diane Keaton dons one stylishly kicky outfit after another — hats included — trills “La di dah,” or words to that effect, and all is well in this high-rent corner of Connecticut, where the perfectly-coiffed Michael Douglas plays her permanently grumpy Realtor neighbor.
Some ‘Abbey’ details to tide you over
American viewers are still a ways off from having the upstairs-downstairs bunch of “Downton Abbey” over as guests in their homes through the telly, but we have some crumpets of information to hold you over before then.
Executive producer Gareth Neame and cast members Michelle Dockery, Laura Carmichael, Allen Leech and Joanne Froggatt appeared before reporters as part of PBS’ session at the Television Critics Assn. press tour in Beverly Hills.
Kids Day is Saturday in Morgantown
On Saturday, a portion of High Street in Morgantown will be closed to traffic to make room for all the kids.
This year’s Kids Day will feature more than 100 activities, including an interactive butterfly exhibit, bounce houses, sand art stations, a model railroad display and much more.
‘The Strain’ offers more gore than story
At the same time “The Strain” was in development, a commercial in heavy rotation showed three catty middle-schoolers stalking a chubby guy on a diet. Whenever he contemplated a calorie-drenched monstrosity, they’d pipe in with a rapid-fire “Ew!” “Seriously?” “So gross ...”
Brooks’ Dublin concerts off; refunds begin
It’s crying time on the Emerald Isle: Country music superstar Garth Brooks issued a statement Monday confirming that his five planned concerts in Dublin next week are scrapped, and that ticket refunds for 400,000 ticket buyers will proceed.
Helping the United Way ... the musical way
Heston Farm Winery and the United Way of Marion County have teamed up for the third year for the Heston Arts and Music Festival.
While the HAM Festival has little to do with meat — although there will be a few ham-themed food options, including “hog wings” — it has a lot to do with the community.
Go ‘Red, White & Boom!’ July 4
Palatine Park will be full of people and patriotism Friday during Fairmont’s “Red, White & Boom!” celebration.
Gates open at 3:30 p.m. and festivities start at 4:15 p.m. with Mama Corn, a bluegrass band from Pennsylvania.
The Marshall Lowry Band, a country and bluegrass trio with members from Fairmont, will take the stage at 5:30 p.m., and country rock singer Katie Ohh will follow at 7 p.m.
The Father of Rock ’n’ Roll
Next weekend, musicians will come to Fairmont to pay tribute to a man considered the father of rock ’n’ roll piano.
The 13th annual Johnnie Johnson Blues & Jazz Festival will be held July 5-6 at Palatine Park.
A Fairmont native, Johnson taught himself to play piano, and his talent led him into a partnership with musician Chuck Berry — Johnson wrote the music for more than 60 Chuck Berry songs but did not receive writing credits.
Petting zoo offers ‘total freedom’
Wallabies, silky chickens and miniature ducks — oh my!
The Great American Petting Zoo will travel to the Clarksburg Shop ’n Save on June 25 and then to the Mannington Shop ’n Save on June 26 to warm the hearts of families in Marion and Harrison counties.
- More Ticket Headlines
- Morgantown revving up for MountainFest