History

Harpers Ferry, Harpers Ferry Fire, Fire
Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Harpers Ferry is moving right-along in its rebuilding process since a fire devastated four historic buildings last July.

We last heard on the status of the Harpers Ferry rebuilding process back in December. Now, as we begin approaching summer and the one year mark since the fire, the town is getting closer and closer to being restored.

Roger May

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the publication of a series of novels called The Beulah Quintet.  The novels are by the late Mary Lee Settle, a writer who set out to capture moments in West Virginia history when a revolutionary change was at stake. Today's economic uncertainty here in Appalachia has many people wondering whether we are also living in the midst of a transition.

Roger May

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the publication of a series of novels called The Beulah Quintet.  The novels are by the late Mary Lee Settle, a writer who set out to capture moments in West Virginia history when a revolutionary change was at stake. Today's economic uncertainty here in Appalachia has many people wondering whether we are also living in the midst of a transition. 

Courtesy of Dale Payne

Not many Americans know the story of the Mine Wars that were fought between workers, labor unions and mine company guards during the early 1900s. In this show, Jessica Lilly talks with filmmaker Randy MacLowry, whose new PBS documentary The Mine Wars focuses on these armed uprisings by labor organizers in the coalfields of southern West Virginia. 

Doug Estepp / Coal Country Tours

West Virginia is expected to be in the national spotlight on January 26 in an episode of the PBS documentary series, American Experience.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Every year, dozens of people in Harpers Ferry go back in time. In the shops and at the national park, it's 1864 all over again. It's fun for locals and visitors to see how people in Victorian-era West Virginia celebrated Christmas. But it's also a reminder of how bittersweet it can be for people to try to find a bit of good cheer in the midst of a long and terrible war.

 

Andrew Carroll / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A team of researchers at West Virginia University is creating a unique portrait of the Mountain State. The Historic Timbers Project is unveiling West Virginia’s human and environmental history one dusty old barn at a time.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, researchers at West Virginia University want to know what the state’s old forests used to be like.  But since the trees are gone, they look to old structures that were built with those logs.  The story  on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.

Doug Estepp / Coal Country Tours

The West Virginia Mine Wars is a period of our state’s history that until around the 1980s was often censored or left out in classrooms across the state. But a new class through Shepherd University's Lifelong Learning Program will offer tools for history teachers in West Virginia and beyond.

Brian M. Powell / Wikimedia Commons

$560,000 could have bought you the historic Sweet Springs Resort Thursday morning. The property, built in 1791, was auctioned off to a new owner, Ashby Berkley, along with equipment and facilities to bottle the famous Sweet Springs mineral water.

October 16, 1942: Devastating Flood Strikes Harpers Ferry

Oct 16, 2015
Harpers Ferry nestles between two rivers
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia / Roger Spencer

  A devastating flood struck Harpers Ferry on October 16, 1942. Ironically, it occurred on the 83rd anniversary of John Brown’s raid—the event that forever put Harpers Ferry in the history books.

Courtesy of Fret and Fiddle

This week on Inside Appalachia we pay tribute to fiddler Joe Dobbs, who passed away September 21st at the age of 81. For 25 years he hosted a radio show, called Music From the Mountains, on West Virginia Public Broadcasting.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

It’s been 59 years since the Curtis Freewill Baptist Church in Harpers Ferry has been open with a regular congregation. This historical African-American church was the main building of worship during the days of Storer College, a predominantly black school that first began as a place to teach former slaves and eventually grew into a full-fledged degree-granting institution.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The 23rd Annual African American Heritage and Culture Festival took place in Jefferson County over the weekend. From a parade to live music, and a memorial walk to the original site of John Brown’s Fort – the festival offered a variety of events for visitors.

Harpers Ferry was the site of the US Armory, and played a vital role before and during the Civil War.
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / Harpers Ferry, John Brown, US Armory, Robert E. Lee, Civil War

The 23rd Annual Jefferson County African American Heritage Festival begins Friday, August 14 in Charles Town.

Whipple company store
wikimedia / Wikimedia Commons

A museum and store in Fayette County has created a room where coal miners' relatives can research their family histories.

The Whipple Company Store and Appalachian Heritage Museum in Scarbro converted the old store's butcher shop into a room for genealogical research.

Roxy Todd

The 1930s, 40s, and 50s in Charleston- before the decline in mining jobs caused many African Americans to leave Kanawha County- those years were electric with music that could be found throughout the city on almost any night of the week. That’s what Hubert "Rabbit" Jones remembers.

Farm Security Administration

This weekend, the Tygart Valley Homestead School celebrated the 75th anniversary of the first graduating class.


Farm Security Administration

The Tygart Valley Homestead Community in Randolph County is celebrating its 75th anniversary this weekend. The Roosevelt Administration built the town of Dailey during the Great Depression to give out-of-work West Virginians a second chance. But the community is now struggling to hold on to that history and to their school building.

Credit Courtesy Of WV State Archives (WVSA), Coal Life Collection

This past weekend, over 500 people visited Matewan, West Virginia to catch a glimpse of a new museum that tells the story of a dark and bloody time in West Virginia’s labor history.

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