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.

Linda Tanner/ Flckr

The Monroe County Landmarks Commission recently submitted a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC. The group opposes the latest proposed route for the Mountain Valley Pipeline, which cuts very close to a historic mineral springs hotel.

In this piece from The Atlantic, Anya Groner uses January's chemical spill of MCHM into the Elk River to set the stage to discuss the history and future of issues surrounding safe drinking water.

Allender Stewart

In southern West Virginia, Reed's Mill has been stone-grinding local cornmeal since 1791. It's one of the few gristmills that has been in continual operation in this country, and it grinds a local heirloom corn that has been passed down for generations.

Courtesy of the W.Va. State Archives, Bernidean Brown Collection

In Charleston, those who grew up during segregation remember a tight knit community in the downtown neighborhood known as The Block. During the 30's and 40's Barbara Hicks Lacy grew up in this neighborhood, and she's one of the remaining residents who vividly recalls The Block, which today has all but disappeared. The West Virginia Center for African-American Culture and Arts recently invited her to share her story at the West Virginia State Archives.

When she was a kid, Lacy's best friend, named Baby Sue, was white, and so they weren't allowed to attend the same school.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning,  an advocacy group takes over the House of Delegates chamber for its own mock legislative session and religious tolerance is the focus of a discussion in Morgantown. 

Charles Gordon Clark / creativecommons.org

There are many ways to research and learn about our past, but for one historian, studying gravestones and its cemeteries is one of the best ways to find out more about a town’s history.

courtesy of C.H. James III

The Block Historical District is a section of Charleston that was once the heart of the African American community. As part of a project to resurrect some of the history of this neighborhood, the West Virginia Center for African American Art and Culture has organized a series of lectures. About 60 people attended the second of these talks last week.  

Charles James III is the fourth generation in his family to own and operate one of the oldest family-owned businesses in the United States, the James company. James said that he remembers being invited to the local country club in the late 80's. But his father in an earlier generation was not asked to join until the 80's.

Glynis Board / WVPublic

The name Wheeling is a very old word. While there’s some dispute, it’s most commonly translated from the indigenous Delaware language to mean “Place of the Skull.” That’s the name and subject of a recently published book written by Ohio Valley resident Alan Fitzpatrick.