Born of the Rebellion

WV statehood

The Greenbrier Historical Society & North House Museum is pleased to host the West Virginia Humanities Council’s award winning traveling exhibit Born of Rebellion: West Virginia Statehood. The exhibit will be open Monday July 15th through Friday August 9th from10am to 4pm  (closed on Sundays).

As West Virginia celebrates its 150th birthday this year, it is interesting to look at the unique way in which we became a state on June 20, 1863. Although tensions over representation plagued western Virginia before the outbreak of the Civil War, wartime politics provided an opportunity for the formation of a new government.  At the time and in the years since, many questioned the constitutionality of the process and whether the new state should be dissolved once Virginia was restored to the Union.

Although Greenbrier County was not represented at the two Wheeling Conventions, there were those who were in favor of session from Virginia and many more who were not. Visitors will be given the opportunity to cast their vote on the constitutionality of West Virginia.

In conjunction with Born of the Rebellion, the Greenbrier Historical Society will continue to host their own mini-exhibit The Civil War in Greenbrier County which discusses the local impact of the Civil War and features artifacts used locally or owned by Greenbrier Valley soldiers.

The Greenbrier Historical Society, located at 301 West Washington Street, is open free of charge Monday – Saturday from 10am to 4pm. Donations are always welcome. For more information, contact 304.645.3398 or info@greenbrierhistorical.org. Or like us on Facebook!

Civil War Display at North House

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Did you know that the Greenbrier Valley was a strategic military location during the Civil War? Or that Greenbrier County was a major supplier of Salt Peter which is used in the manufacture of gunpowder? In honor of the Sesquicentennial, the Greenbrier Historical Society created a display discussing the Civil War in Greenbrier County, featuring a sabre used at the Battle of Lewisburg, a chair from a civil war encampment, and personal items from local men who fought for the Confederate army.

We invite everyone to visit the Greenbrier Historical Society’s North House Museum, located at 301 W. Washington Street, Monday – Saturday from 10am to 4pm. For more information, contact 304.645.3398 or info@greenbrierhistorical.org.

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Greenbrier Artist Show – “Images of the North House”

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The Greenbrier Historical Society & North House Museum is pleased to host local artwork painted by the very talented Greenbrier Artists. The show, titled “Images of the North House,” is a collection of 28 paintings and sketches completed during their Plein Air Weekend, and will run from Friday June 22 to Monday July 8, 2013.

The Greenbrier Artists are a group of working artists who have been painting in Greenbrier County since 1974. With approximately 90 members, the Greenbrier Artists paint regularly at Carnegie Hall. Anyone is welcome to join.

Don’t forget to stop by the North House Monday-Saturday from 10am to 4pm to see this great show before it ends on July 8th!

“Bunkhouses Could Be Cold…”: A History of the Greenbrier Wood Hicks

The Greenbrier Historical Society opened a new exhibit on Friday May 3rd. “Bunkhouses Could Be Cold:” A History of the Greenbrier Wood Hicks discusses the rise of the lumber industry in the Greenbrier Valley and the life in the lumber camps, and includes a great collection of photographs from various timber operations. David Perkins, a member of the Historical Society, contributed stories about his family who were involved in the lumber industry. The lumber industry served as a vital part of the Greenbrier Valley for many years, and it is interesting to hear stories or see photos of the men who made it possible.

The great Appalachian timber industry boom began in the 1870s and lasted until its decline in the 1940s. It required men who could work in the woods, and none were better suited for the rough-and-tumble life of a wood hick than the native born mountaineers. “Wood hick” was a term used to describe the men who found employment with the lumber companies. They lived in temporary camps built in the mountains and would travel from one timber site to the next. With each member assigned specific tasks, the team would quickly and efficiently cut and haul away acres of timber with only hand tools and horses. The men worked hard and enjoyed playing cards, swapping stories, and playing music – some of which have become treasured parts of West Virginia folklore.

Before the railroads came to the mountains, men would haul the logs to the Greenbrier River and float them downstream during the spring floods to nearby mills. They dangerously rode in boats and “arks” along with the timber to break up any possible log jams. The largest early mill was the Saint Lawrence Boom and Manufacturing Company located in Ronceverte. It sawed 433 million board feet of white pine within a 24 year period. In 1906, the Meadow River Lumber Company in Rainelle was founded. It would become the largest manufacture of hardwood lumber in the world and was for years an innovative leader in the field.

The exhibit will on display from May 3rd to June 10th at the Greenbrier Historical Society’s North House Museum, located at 301 West Washington Street in Lewisburg. GHS is open free of charge Monday through Saturday from 10am to 4pm or by appointment. For more information, contact us at 304.645.3398 or info@greenbrierhistorical.org. Or like us on Facebook.

Display by Lanny Howe