CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Educator and author Bob Barnett will discuss his new book, Hillside Fields: A History of Sports in West Virginia, on Tuesday, Sept. 10, in the Archives and History Library at the Culture Center, State Capitol Complex in Charleston. The program will begin at 6 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

Barnett will discuss three events in West Virginia sports that were either historic firsts or among the first in the United States, including the nation’s first golf course at Oakhurst Links built in the 1880s in Greenbrier County. He also will provide insight into the first girls state high school basketball championship tournament played in Spencer in 1919, and the first state basketball tournament for black high schools held at West Virginia State College, now West Virginia State University, in 1925.

Other topics include the Charleston Charlies-era of minor league baseball and the golden age of college basketball in West Virginia, when George King led the nation in scoring for Morris Harvey College, West Virginia State College won two national black college championships, and Jerry West led East Bank High School and West Virginia University to championship seasons.

Bob Barnett grew up in Newell, W.Va., a small, unincorporated town at the top of the Northern Panhandle. He graduated from Marshall University and completed his Ph.D. in sports history at The Ohio State University. He taught at Marshall for 35 years and has authored more than 300 articles, book reviews, research abstracts and encyclopedia entries. In addition to Hillside Fields: A History of Sports in West Virginia (West Virginia University Press, 2013),Barnett wrote Growing Up in the Last Small Town, A West Virginia Memoir (Jesse Stuart Foundation, 2010.)

On Sept. 10, the library will close at 5 p.m. and reopen at 5:45 p.m. for participants only. For planning purposes, participants are encouraged to register for the lecture, but advance registration is not required. To register in advance, contact Bobby Taylor, library manager, at or at (304) 558-0230, ext. 163.

Participants interested in registering by e-mail should send their name, telephone number and the name and date of the session. For additional information, contact the Archives and History Library at (304) 558-0230.

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History is an agency within the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts with Kay Goodwin, Cabinet Secretary. The Division, led by Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith, brings together the past, present and future through programs and services focusing on archives and history, arts, historic preservation and museums. For more information about the Division’s programs, events and sites, visit The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

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