West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture & History

Step back in time: Dip candles, bend steel, weave cloth the way early West Virginia settlers did during Frontier Days Weekend set for Oct 14-16


Learn how to make a broom, dip candles, work leather, spin yarn or weave cloth the way the pioneers did during Frontier Days Weekend set for Oct. 14-16 at the Museum in the Park at Chief Logan State Park.

Visitors can also watch blacksmiths hammer, bend and cut steel, see gunsmiths break down and rebuild firearms, and observe re-enactors as they set off cannons and fire flintlock guns.

Frontier Days also offers visitors the chance to send a telegram and start a campfire using flint and steel, among other things.

Every fall as part of Frontier Days Weekend, local and regional re-enactors create an encampment on the museum’s grounds and demonstrate different techniques used by settlers to survive and be comfortable in early America.

This year, re-enactor Thad McClung of Griffithsville will display items from his personal collection of reproduction firearms, ranging from the fishtail flintlocks carried by the early Jamestown settlers to the more sophisticated percussion guns used during the Civil War.

Sutlers, who were civilian merchants who sold provisions to soldiers in the field, in camp or in quarters, also will be on hand with historic and traditional-themed goods for sale.

Friday has been designated as “School Day,” when area schoolchildren are invited to watch demonstrations of early chores, tasks, and diversions of the early settlers from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Because space is limited for some demonstrations teachers are encouraged to schedule field-trip times by calling the museum at (304) 792-7229.

Saturday and Sunday events are free and open to the public. Activities will run from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Saturday and from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

From 1-5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, children ages 5 and older are invited to make flowers using reeds and wood in the craft room with museum educator Libby Brooks.

Visitors also are invited to tour the current exhibits at the museum, including the newly installed railroad and coal exhibit with a model train; a general store common to southern West Virginia in the early to mid-20th century; and an exhibit of pottery shards, and early settler and Native American artifacts from the late Ron Moxley collection.

Other exhibits focus on Blenko Glass, the Buffalo Creek Disaster, a tribute to the 29 coal miners who died in the 2010 Upper Big Branch Mine Disaster, John F. Kennedy’s 1960 primary campaign through West Virginia, coal camp life, and props and costuming from the 2006 movie We Are Marshall.

For more information about Frontier Days Weekend, contact Elizabeth Williams, site manager at the Museum in the Park, at (304) 792-7229.

The Museum in the Park is a regional cultural center showcasing the best in West Virginia history and the arts. It features changing exhibits and displays of artwork and historical items from the collections of the West Virginia State Museum and the State Archives. One area of the museum is dedicated to local and regional history. It is operated and maintained by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History and is located four miles north of Logan on West Virginia Route 10 at Chief Logan State Park. The museum is open from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, brings together the state’s past, present and future through programs and services in the areas of archives and history, the arts, historic preservation and museums. Its administrative offices are located at the Culture Center in the State Capitol Complex in Charleston, which also houses the state archives and state museum. The Culture Center is West Virginia’s official showcase for the arts. The agency also operates a network of museums and historic sites across the state. For more information about the Division’s programs, visit www.wvculture.org. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.



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