Preston County History Day

July 21 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

August 18 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

September 15 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

October 20 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Various locations around Preston County

(304) 864-3959,

History is not just information in books. It’s all around us.

On July 21, Preston County History Day will be observed at Arthurdale Heritage, open 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; the Aurora Area Historical Society Museum, 1-4 p.m.; the McGrew House in Kingwood, 1-3 p.m.; the Head, Heart, Hands & Health Museum in Reedsville, 2-4 p.m.; the Szilagyi Center museums in Rowlesburg from 1-4 p.m.; the History House Museum in Terra Alta, 1-4 p.m.; and the Tunnelton Train Depot from 1-3 p.m.

Go back to the 1930s and learn about the pioneering efforts at Arthurdale, the nation’s first New Deal subsistence homestead project. A new exhibit, part of Arthurdale’s 90th anniversary celebration, features two historic red Co-op farm tractors affiliated with Arthurdale, along with hands-on information for all ages about subsistence homesteading.

Open the door on appreciating why Aurora’s mountaintop air was once part of a Victorian summer resort town for wealthy city residents. Going there by train or on Route 50, grand hotels, swimming pools, and even a casino welcomed the summer people and their staff.

Based on the efforts of many volunteers, visitors can appreciate the many special accomplishments of Kingwood businessman, James McGrew. He provided leadership for West Virginia’s entry into the Union as the 35th state during the Civil War. Additional county life exhibits of various eras are included.

Stop in at the 4-H museum in Reedsville along Rt. 7 near the four-way stop sign. See aspects of county history preserved to commemorate this nationwide youth development program operating since 1914. Generations of Preston’s youth have participated in these formative programs.

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 town park too.

Collections from county residents are on display in the History House, including a ship’s bell and model of a sailing ship, various family history and government records, and even lifestyle displays from earlier times. Many visitors are amazed at connections to both the recent and distant past.

The 111-year-old Tunnelton Train Depot museum illustrates 20th Century railroad transport and daily commerce on the B&O Railroad that were crucial to economic growth. A model train display, great for kids, has been set up in the depot. Handling the U.S. mail, passengers, coal shipments, and freight were daily requirements. There are two historic tunnels nearby.

Also, there are three outdoor Civil War Trail sites near Aurora and Rowlesburg and the Virginia Iron Furnace located along Rt. 26 near Albright. Iron was smelted using a waterwheel powered system.
All of these county sites will be open the third Sunday of each month through October 20.

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