West Virginia Sequicentennial Events

Join the Greenbrier Historical Society, Greenbrier Valley Theatre, and Carnegie Hall for a series of special programming and events from June 16 to June 21, 2013!

150 Years of Stereotypes: Exploring West Virginia in Literature and History

Author Glenn Taylor

Author Glenn Taylor

The Greenbrier Historical Society and the Greenbrier Valley Theatre are co-hosting “150 Years of Stereotypes” on Tuesday June 18th at 7:30 PM. This free program, held at Greenbrier Valley Theatre, features writer Glenn Taylor and historian David Corbin and will explore how stereotypes play a role in how West Virginians are perceived and how we view ourselves, both historically and today.

Historian David Corbin

Historian David Corbin

Seating is limited, so please reserve your seats today. Tickets are available at Greenbrier Valley Theatre, located at 113 E. Washington Street, Monday-Friday 1pm to 5pm or at the Greenbrier Historical Society, located at 301 W. Washington Street, Monday-Saturday from 10am-4pm.

Learn about the Greenbrier Ghost and Greenbrier Martyr
If you’ve seen the Greenbrier Valley Theatre’s performances of The Greenbrier Ghost and The Greenbrier Martyr, stop by the Greenbrier Historical Society’s North House Museum through June to learn a little more about these historical figures and see artifacts associated with the stories. Among other items, GHS has a drawing completed by Edward “Trout” Shue while he was in prison for killing his wife Zona Heaster, and items found in the well where David Creigh disposed of the Union soldier’s body.  The Greenbrier Historical Society, located at 301 West Washington Street in Lewisburg, is open free to the public Monday-Saturday 10am to 4pm.

Civil War Artifacts On Display
As West Virginians, this year celebrates not only the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War, but also 150 years of statehood. The Greenbrier Historical Society will be hosting a traveling exhibit Born of the Rebellion: West Virginia Statehood from July 15th to August 9th. Until then, GHS will have a number of Civil War artifacts on-display in the North House Museum to celebrate the Greenbrier Valley’s role in the conflict that ultimately brought about statehood.

WV150poster.4

Archaeology at the North House

Wagon House

On Thursday, May 30th, the Greenbrier Historical Society will host an archaeological team from the West Virginia Division of Highways. The team, comprised of Archaeologist Jen Williamson, Archaeologist Amanda Payne, Archaeologist Karen Reed, and Environmental Resource Specialist Karen Ebert Allen, will conduct testing as part of a Transportation Alternatives Grant to repair the Greenbrier Historical Society’s Wagon House in Lewisburg.  As part of the Wagon House project, the Greenbrier Historical Society is planning on installing a handicap accessible walkway from the North House to the Wagon House. The archaeological team will conduct a phase I archaeological survey on the areas where the proposed sidewalk will be constructed – including both shovel testing and metal detector work. This testing will ensure that the construction will not disturb any artifacts that may linger beneath the surface. The public is invited to stop by the North House, located at 301 West Washington Street in Lewisburg, throughout the day to watch the archaeological team. For more information, contact GHS at 304.645.3398 or info@greenbrierhistorical.org

GHS Turns 50 This Year

The Greenbrier Historical Society is pleased to be celebrating its 50th Anniversary in 2013! In honor of this milestone, we will be writing several articles about the history of the organization as well as some of the memorable events and projects throughout the years.

The Greenbrier Historical Society officially began in 1963, but as early as 1941, a group of dedicated individuals began collecting artifacts and documents. The town of Lewisburg acquired and restored James Frazier’s 1834 law library, once used by the Supreme Court of Virginia. The building was dedicated as the Greenbrier County Library in 1941 and the city opened the Greenbrier County Museum on the second floor.

The Old Greenbrier County Library was the first location of the Greenbrier Historical Society

The Old Greenbrier County Library was the first location of the Greenbrier Historical Society

In 1963, the Greenbrier Historical Society was officially incorporated “to promote interest in the history of the Greenbrier Area, including its past and present inhabitants, and their interests, works, and aspirations.” They continued to operate the archives and museum in the second floor of the Greenbrier County Library until 1976 when the need for more space led them to lease the North House from the State of West Virginia.Among the 300 original members are many individuals who have been instrumental to the organization over the years – including the first officers: President James P. Baker, Vice President Norman Blake, Secretary C. Thomas Sydenstricker, Treasurer William M. Dickson, and Archivist Gladys C. Agsten.

GHS Volunteers from the 1970s

GHS Volunteers from the 1970s

The first President, Mr. James P. Baker, wrote in the 1963 Journal of the Greenbrier Historical Society that “history is more than records of great battles, than chronicles depicting the rise and fall of empires, than stories of famous or infamous men; it is the story of life…History has [also] never been contained by county or state lines, or by any other boundary lines.” As the society moves forward into the future, it will continue to embrace this definition of history—expanding its knowledge of local events and giving voice to individuals and communities from across the Greenbrier Valley.

Please join the Greenbrier Historical Society in celebrating our 50th Anniversary this year by sending us your photographs and historical society stories. Tell us about the great projects undertaken, the fun events hosted, and the amazing volunteers who have been dedicated to our organization over the years. We will be compiling all of our information to create a “Greenbrier Historical Society Remembers” exhibit in the Fall of 2013.