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Earl Ray Tomblin, Governor
Frank Jezioro, Director

News Release: January 22, 2013

Facebook: WV Commerce - State Parks

Hoy Murphy, Public Information Officer (304) 957-9365 hoy.r.murphy@wv.gov


Pam Salisbury, Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park 304-420-4800 BlennerhassettIslandSP@wv.gov

“A Journey Through Time” history series at Blennerhassett Island State Park four Sundays in February

            PARKERSBURG, W.Va. – “A Journey Through Time” theme binds four Sunday afternoon history programs in February, creating the 2013 Winter Lecture Series at Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park. The programs feature two first-person interpreters and speakers on a variety of Ohio Valley and West Virginia topics. For four Sunday afternoons at 2 p.m., the Blennerhassett Museum of Regional History in Parkersburg invites the public to attend the programs free of charge; however, reservations are required to reserve a seat.

            “We are able to offer this Winter Lecture Series free of charge due to the resources available from the West Virginia Humanities Council’s History Alive program, the Blennerhassett Historical Foundation Inc., and the Friends of Blennerhassett,” Salisbury said.  

            Light refreshments will be served. Attendees should register  to confirm attendance by calling 304-420-4800 by February 1. Donations are accepted by the Friends of Blennerhassett to support programming costs. For more information, visit online at www.blennerhassettislandstatepark.com.

February 3, 2013
Behind Enemy Lines, Civil War (1820-1913)

            Harriet Tubman’s critical contribution to the northern war effort was significant. She served in Beaufort and Hilton Head, South Carolina under General Hunter and General Saxton, aka General Moses. She was active throughout the Civil War leading raids, acting as a nurse, a cook, and organizer, a spy, and a soldier. She was present at Fort Wagner when the Yankee troops advanced under Colonel Robert Gould Shaw. Generals sought out her expertise at guerilla warfare and subterfuge. She was never paid the regular wages of a soldier, even though her contribution was as significant. Ilene sings and soothes the suffering soldiers and sends word back home of their triumphs and their needs. The Harriet Tubman presentation is made possible in part by the WV History Alive Program through the WV Humanities Council.

February 10, 2013
Cherokee Leader (ca. 1703 – 1780)

            During the French and Indian War, Ostenaco was a leader of Cherokee warriors who allied with Virginia military leaders against northern tribes fighting with the French. His leadership provided a vital alliance for the British colonial settlements in much of present West Virginia. His influence contributed significantly to the expansion of English-speaking peoples into the Mountain State. Doug Wood honors his ancestors by telling the story of Mankiller Ostenaco’s efforts during the French and Indian War. Doug Wood’s presentation is made possible in part by the WV History Alive Program through the WV Humanities Council. Ostenaco is portrayed by Doug Wood, Nitro, WV                                                           

February 17, 2013
Louise Zimmer, Marietta, Ohio historian

            One of the most underappreciated and unsung chapters of Mid-Ohio Valley history is that of the eight Ohio River islands in Wood County, West Virginia. From prehistoric Indian days through the modern era, they have been the center of colorful and exciting events. Mrs. Zimmer’s new and fresh research brings this forgotten saga to light for the first time. Mrs. Zimmer is a long-time historian and well-known speaker.  She will delight you with her unique way of presenting information and historical setting.

February 24, 2013
THE APPALACHIAN EXPERIENCE: A Talk Embellished by Music and Interaction
Hank Arbaugh, Columbus, Ohio

            Strong-willed and hard-working people, primarily from the United Kingdom countries, brought great treasures upon their immigration to the new world. Not carried in duffels but in their memories were the old ballads and songs, dance tunes, old-world beliefs, and tales ---all having been passed down orally from communities to ancestors. 

            Hank Arbaugh has been studying this lore and performing this music for more than 50 years while studying for an MA. Hank will give a history about the ballads and songs with their origins, sources, musical style, old-world beliefs, and legendary figures in certain songs. Hank plays several string instruments and during his talk he invites the audience to participate in the Appalachian learning experience.