The staff at the West Virginia Culture Center is putting the final touches on a new exhibit set to open Thursday focusing on West Virginia history, its people, places and event.

“West Virginia 150″ has been two years in the works. It coincides with the state Sesquicentennial which begins on June 20.

Charles Morris, the Director of Museums for the state, coordinated the project.

“In this exhibit, I think there’s something in it for everybody. Whether you want to talk about statehood, oil and gas, coal, lumbering, beautiful West Virginia glass or pottery, this exhibit has something for everybody,” according to Morris.

The 150 years are divided up into decades starting out in 1863 with Abraham Lincoln, the slave issue and the West Virginia seal. The exhibit weaves its way through the ground and second floors of the Culture Center with displays of Blenko and Fenton Glass, basketball legend Jerry West and the bobble heads from the movie ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ in which Beckley native Chris Sarandon voiced a character.

“We tried to cover some of the important events in West Virginia history,” says Morris. “But we also tried to cover some of the things that people wouldn’t know, curiosities, things you’d be unfamiliar with, people achieving national and international fame.”

Morris says they looked to West Virginia historians and those who have studied various aspects of the state to get an idea of what they should include in the exhibit. And they also listened to what you had to say.

“We started out with having people submit suggestions online. We looked at those and, in fact, this has been going on for two years,” explains Morris.

The official unveiling of “West Virginia 150″ takes place Thursday at 6pm. But if you don’t make it in the first week or even the first month, no worries. The exhibit will remain in place through January of 2014.


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