CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Division of Culture and History will open a new exhibit to document early transportation and the construction of roads throughout West Virginia. The opening and small reception will take place Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Culture Center, State Capitol Complex in Charleston. The program is free and open to the public.

The exhibit will feature 48 photographs and an October 1935 road map from the collections of the West Virginia State Archives. Included are images of the early turnpike system predating the formation of West Virginia, early road construction, construction of Kanawha Boulevard, West Virginia Turnpike construction and New River Gorge Bridge construction. Other images include the condition of early roads throughout the state and the equipment and people that endeavored to improve these conditions. Many of the early road construction photos are from the 1920s and 30s depicting the conditions early motorists faced.

Artifacts from the collection of the West Virginia State Museum and items loaned from the Department of Highways also will be on display and will feature a large replica of the New River Gorge Bridge. The display will discuss the James River and Kanawha Canal Company, the National Road, early development of the highway system after the invention of the automobile along with the construction of the West Virginia Turnpike, interstates and corridors.

In addition to observing the history of transportation in the Mountain State and the governor’s highway economic development program, this exhibit will mark the 40th anniversary of the opening of the New River Gorge Bridge and the 50th anniversary of the collapse of the Silver Bridge. The exhibit will be on display through December and is located along the state museum exit gallery in the Great Hall of the Culture Center.

For more information about the exhibit, contact Caryn Gresham, deputy commissioner for the division, at (304) 558-0220 or

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History is proud to be able to present its programs at no charge to the public but without a solution to the state’s budget situation, this could be the last year that programs of this type could be offered. The division, led by Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith, is an agency within the Office of Secretary of Education and the Arts with Gayle Manchin, cabinet secretary. It 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.


More Info…