CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Three archives lectures, the Governor’s Mansion holiday ornament unveiling,  and the First Lady’s Festival of Songs at the Culture Center, and an  archaeology lecture at Grave Creek Mound in Moundsville are among the West Virginia Division of Culture and History’s lineup of special events in November.

Culture Center, Charleston

The Culture Center, located at the State Capitol Complex in Charleston, will present three archives lectures, the presentation of Governor’s Mansion’s holiday ornament and the First Lady’s Festival of Songs. 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.

“West Virginia Voices of War: Oral Histories from West Virginia War Veterans” lecture: At 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 6, in the Archives and History Library, author, journalist and documentarian Eric Douglas will discuss his documentary film, West Virginia Voices of War, which weaves together the thoughts of 46 West Virginia war veterans on leaving home to fight the war and struggling to return home alive afterward. The film includes veterans from World War II to the Afghanistan War. He will show excerpts from the film and discuss recording oral histories.

Douglas has a degree in journalism from Marshall University and a certificate in the documentary arts from Duke University. He spent 15 months interviewing West Virginia war veterans, collecting 50 hours of oral history material that he used in making West Virginia Voices of War. Douglas wrote Common Valor, a companion book to the documentary. He also has written adventure novels, children’s books and short stories.

“Governor’s Mansion’s Holiday Ornament Unveiling” reception: The Culture Center will host a reception for the unveiling of the Governor’s Mansion’s holiday ornament with First Lady Joanne Jaeger Tomblin on Thursday, Nov. 6, at 3 p.m. The limited-edition ornament was hand-painted by Logan native and Alum Creek resident Shelley Goodman. The ornament will be available in the West Virginia State Museum Gift Shop for $24, with a portion of the proceeds going toward the Governor’s Mansion preservation fund.

The First Lady’s Festival of Songs: On Saturday, Nov. 8, 16 middle- and high-school choirs from across the state will participate in the First Lady’s Festival of Songs. Each choir will have a 15-minute performance during the daylong event. The event is sponsored by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts and the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission. The program begins at 9:45 a.m. and runs through 2:45 p.m.

“The West Virginia Rosie the Riveter Program: A Model for America” lecture:  At 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 13, in the Archives and History Library, Anne Montague and three former Rosie the Riveters will discuss the West Virginia Rosie the Riveter Program, which was started by Thanks! Plain and Simple, Inc. The three former Rosies will tell their stories, and a photographic summary of all projects done in West Virginia will be available. Parts of the documentary We Pull Together, Rosie the Riveters Then and Now, which features 31 West Virginia Rosies, also will be shown.

During World War II, six million women worked on the homefront, but little was done to capture their stories. The Rosie Program is working to promote and share the stories through a variety of projects including creating parks, designing quilts and identifying West Virginia Rosies.

“Firearms throughout West Virginia’s Early History” lecture: At 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 20, in the Archives and History Library, Jim Mitchell will discuss firearms in West Virginia, beginning with early flintlocks and ending with some of the later cartridge rifles and shotguns. He will focus primarily on civilian muzzle loading percussion cap lock rifles that were made by hand either in West Virginia or made their way to the Mountain State later.

Mitchell is the curator of the West Virginia State Museum. As a professional decorative arts and technological history curator for 50 years, he has worked for the state museums in Wisconsin, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, as well as at The Bennington Museum in Vermont and the now-defunct Carborundum Museum of Ceramics in Niagara Falls, New York. Mitchell also is a woodworker and amateur musician.

Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex, Moundsville

Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex, located at 801 Jefferson Avenue in Moundsville, will celebrate national Native American Heritage Month with a lecture on researching Native American history in West Virginia. The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. The following program at the mound is free and open to the public.

“Native American History and Research in West Virginia, A.D. 1600-1800”  lecture: At 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 20, Greg B. Carroll will discuss how events such as warfare and the suppression of Native American identity contributed to the loss of their genealogical information as well as much of their cultural history. He will share various resources that he has found useful when researching Native American families and ancestry.

Carroll is a historian who recently retired from the Archives and History staff of the West Virginia Division of Culture and History.

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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