WHEELING, W.Va. – West Virginia Independence Hall (WVIH) in Wheeling will host “Traveling Trunk,” presented by Dr. John S. Mattox on Saturday, Feb. 17, from 10 a.m. to noon. The presentation will take place in the courtroom and is free and open to the public.

            Mattox, a historian, is the founder and curator of the Underground Railroad Museum in Flushing, Ohio. The museum was started when Mattox and his late wife, Rosalind, began combining and putting on display their extensive collection of publications, books, memorabilia and other artifacts related to the Underground Railroad.

            The “Traveling Trunk” is a mini museum and contains a variety of hands-on objects and materials from the Underground Railroad Museum collection. Mattox also will share his knowledge of the Underground Railroad and the thousands of slaves that escaped the brutal effects of slavery in the South.

            For more information about this event or WVIH, contact Debbie Jones, site manager, at (304) 238-1300 or

            West Virginia Independence Hall has been on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) since 1970. It was originally built as a federal custom house in 1859, served as the home of the pro-Union state conventions of Virginia during the spring and summer of 1861 and as the capitol of loyal Virginia from June 1861 to June 1863. It also was the site of the first constitutional convention for West Virginia. Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1988, the museum is maintained and operated by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, with the cooperation and assistance of the West Virginia Independence Hall Foundation. The museum is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, with the exception of major holidays. The museum is located on the corner of 16th and Market Streets in Wheeling.

            The West Virginia Division of Culture and History is an agency within the Office of Secretary of Education and the Arts with Gayle Manchin, 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.