Bob Powell Published

Centennial Train Concludes Tour of State: Sept. 2, 1963

West Virginia Centennial Logo

On September 2, 1963, the Centennial exhibits train wrapped up its tour of West Virginia with a stop in South Charleston.

During the summer of 1963, the nine-car train had reached more West Virginians than any other part of our state’s Centennial celebration.

It was a collaboration among the Centennial Commission and leading railroads, including the Chesapeake & Ohio, Baltimore & Ohio, Norfolk & Western, New York Central, and the Pennsylvania.

Former baggage cars were outfitted with exhibits depicting West Virginia history, tourism, agriculture, resources, industry, arts and crafts, folklore, and education.

Starting at Washington on Memorial Day weekend, the train traveled to every region of West Virginia by Labor Day. More than 300,000 visitors took in the exhibits, with a one-day record of nearly 6,000 in Huntington.

The most famous—and controversial—piece of art on board was West Virginia Moon by WVU art professor Joe Moss. Made from weathered boards, an old screen door, and some leftover paint, Moss’s work won first prize for a painting by a West Virginia artist. You can now see West Virginia Moon on display in the West Virginia State Museum.