Preston County History Day
History is the pathway to seeing how others lived. It’s in more places than you’d think.
On July 17, Preston County History Day will be observed at Arthurdale Heritage, open 10 AM–3 PM; the Aurora Area Historical Society Museum, 1 PM–4 PM; the McGrew House in Kingwood, 1 PM-3 PM; the Szilagyi Center museums in Rowlesburg from 1 PM– 4 PM; the History House Museum in Terra Alta, 1-4 PM; and the Tunnelton Train Depot from 1 PM–3 PM.
Walk back in time and learn about the groundbreaking efforts of the nation’s first New Deal subsistence homestead project at Arthurdale, the first time the federal government would serve as a landlord for deserving families. The unique project also included health care, local schools, and new homes with electricity, indoor plumbing and refrigerators.
Open the door on appreciating why Aurora’s mountaintop air was once part of a summer resort town for wealthy city residents. Grand hotels, pools, and even a casino welcomed the summer people and their staffs. Based on the work of many volunteers, visitors will understand more about the special accomplishments of Kingwood businessman, James McGrew, who also helped West Virginia to become the 35th state. His home shows the lifestyle of the era. Additional exhibits of county life are included.
The History House’s Preston County genealogical archives in Terra Alta are open for tracing family lines and seeing more daily life objects from long ago. Many are amazed at the various exhibits connecting us to the past.
The Szilagyi Center in Rowlesburg provides amazing connections to World War II’s heroes, Preston County’s high school athletic history, and railroad bridges. Shortly before West Virginia was added to the Union in 1863, a confrontation between Union and Confederate troops happened in Rowlesburg, so check out the Cannon Hill sign in the park too.
The History House features extensive exhibits based on collections from county residents, including a bell and a model of a sailing ship, and various records of family histories and government records from earlier centuries.
The 109-year-old Tunnelton Train Depot museum illustrates railroad life and commerce that were a part of daily living during much of the 20th Century. The depot was used by the B&O Railroad for handling the U.S. mail, passengers, coal shipments, and freight. There are two historic tunnels nearby.
Also, there are three outdoor Civil War Trail sites near Aurora and Rowlesburg.
Many of these county sites will be open the third Sunday of each month through October 16.
Preston County, WV, USA