CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Gilbert Casto will present “History of the Kanawha Valley and Fort Lee” on Thursday, June 14, in the Archives and History Library at the Culture Center, State Capitol Complex in Charleston. The 6 p.m. program is free and open to the public.

Casto will discuss the settlement of the Kanawha Valley in the 18th century, including who came to the area and why they came. He will talk about the different forts in the valley like Fort Lee and make reference to some of the resources useful for researching the time period. Casto also will show the clothing, weapons, and accoutrements the settlers brought with them. An open discussion during the presentation is encouraged.

Fort Lee was built in 1788 and was located near the present-day corner of Brooks Street and Kanawha Boulevard in Charleston. The frontier outpost was used as a place to protect settlers from Native American raids.

A native West Virginian, Casto’s family has lived in the area since 1800. He is a graduate of West Virginia State University and is retired from Republic Container Co. of Nitro. He is a member of the board of the Fort Randolph Committee and a member of the Sons of the American Revolution, the Sons of the Confederacy, and the American Long Rifle Association.

For planning purposes, participants are encouraged to register for the program, but advance registration is not required to attend. To register in advance, contact Robert Taylor, library manager, by e-mail 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 Archives and History Library is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday through Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday. The library is closed on Sunday.

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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