CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Two archives lectures at the Culture Center in Charleston; children’s activities, a “Fossil ID Day” and a film at Grave Creek Mound in Moundsville; and the 10th annual “Aunt Jennie Music Festival” at Museum in the Park in Logan are among the  West Virginia Division of Culture and History’s lineup of special events in August.

Culture Center, Charleston

The Culture Center, located at the State Capitol Complex in Charleston, will present two archives lectures. The building is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The museum is closed on Sundays and Mondays. The following programs at the Culture Center are free and open to the public.

“From Lost State to Mountain State: The State of Franklin and the Constitutionality of West Virginia Statehood” lecture: At 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 5, in the Archives and History Library,  Kevin Barksdale will present a talk about the political leaders of what later would become eastern Tennessee who initiated an effort to create America’s 14th state in 1784. Naming the new state Franklin after Benjamin Franklin, the leaders engaged in a four-year struggle to gain admission to the Union while battling the region’s Native American communities and a very determined internal opposition party. The leadership managed to erect a state government, judicial system and militia. The Franklinites also drafted a new state constitution and launched a campaign to win public and political support for their state. Despite these efforts, the state of Franklin collapsed in 1788, but not before leaving behind a constitutional legacy that would play a central role in the creation of the state of West Virginia in 1863.

Barksdale is an associate professor of history at Marshall University where he teaches courses on West Virginia, Appalachian, and 18th-century American history. He has published a book on the state of Franklin titled The Lost State of Franklin: America’s First Secession (University Press of Kentucky, 2008). He serves on the West Virginia Humanities Council and the West Virginia Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission.

“African American Life in Charleston: A Personal Perspective, Part III” lecture: The third program of the Block Speakers Series will take place at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 28, in the Archives and History Library. Barbara Hicks Lacy, a native of Charleston, spent the first six years of her life at her mother’s Shrewsbury Street boarding house, which was in the middle of “The Block.” She maintained close ties to the neighborhood working at her father’s restaurant, the Block Cafe, which was located on Washington Street across from the post office and later on the ground floor of the Ferguson Hotel.

Lacy graduated from Garnet High School and West Virginia State College. She holds a master’s degree in education administration from West Virginia University. She has worked as a social worker and social worker supervisor, instructor for Job Corps, program director for Multicap Headstart, a Civil Rights compliance officer and a minority business counselor, among other jobs. Lacy was a charter board member of the Community of Rand Association and has served on many other boards including the Kanawha Valley Mental Health Association, Children’s Home Society and YWCA.

Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex, Moundsville

Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex, located at 801 Jefferson Avenue in Moundsville, will present children’s activities, a “Fossil ID Day” and a Camera One film production. The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. The following programs at the mound are free and open to the public.

“The Grave Creek Mound Fan Club”: From now through Aug. 30, beat the summer heat when you make a fan at the museum’s discovery table. The fans will feature a picture of the Grave Creek Mound that can be colored and attached to wooden fan handles.

“Fossil ID Day”: From noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 9, visitors are invited to bring their fossils and meet Dr. Ron McDowell, senior research geologist and head of the Geoscience Section at the West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey in Morgantown. Hands-on activities include making fossil impressions in clay, an indoor fossil dig where visitors can find real fossils and a timeline project will be presented by members of the West Virginia Fossil Club and museum volunteers. The museum will have special exhibits on display.

“Cahokia Mounds: Ancient Metropolis” film: At 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 28, Grave Creek Mound will present this Camera One production. The one-hour film explores the history and archaeology of the Cahokia Mounds area using natural and cultural landscapes, archaeological excavations, artifacts, and discussions with researchers. An ancient metropolis, Woodhenge was an artistic, cultural and powerful center during the Mississippian period. Its inhabitants created the largest earthworks in America. Eight hundred years ago Woodhenge, like Stonehenge, was an astronomical observatory at the heart of a civilization that dominated almost half of Ancient America, and was located in what is now western Illinois. The film is the winner of five awards and is the official film for Cahokia Mounds State Park.

Museum in the Park at Chief Logan State Park, Logan

The Museum in the Park at Chief Logan State Park in Logan will present the 10th annual “Aunt Jennie Wilson Music Festival” on Saturday, Aug. 30  and Sunday, Aug. 31. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 1 – 6 p.m. on Sunday. It is located four miles north of Logan on W.Va. Route 10 in Chief Logan State Park.

The free Labor Day weekend concerts will feature the grandson of West Virginia folk legend “Aunt Jennie” Wilson, Roger Bryant, and other notable old-time musicians.

For more information about Culture Center events, contact Caryn Gresham, deputy commissioner of the division, at (304) 558-0220. For information about Grave Creek Mound events, contact Andrea Keller, cultural program coordinator at the mound, at (304) 843-4128.

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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