History Alive at Watoga State Park

History Alive is a program of the West Virginia Council of Humanities intended to explore history through interaction with historical figures. This is accomplished by presenters portraying key characters from the past. These are not plays or solo presentations – the  presenters have thoroughly researched their subjects, and engage in a dialogue with the audience, telling stories and answering questions. Watoga State Park will be hosting several of these encounters in the upcoming weeks.

On Saturday, June 20th at 8:00 PM, Ostenaco will be in attendance. 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.

On Tuesday, June 23rd, at 7:30 PM, David Strother, a.k.a Porte Crayon, will visit the park.  Strother was born in Martinsburg, and trained as an artist in Europe, gaining fame as a writer and illustrator for national magazines under the name Porte Crayon. From Charles Town he reported and illustrated John Brown’s capture, trial and execution for Harper’s Weekly in 1859. During the Civil War, Strother served as a Union officer and topographer who saw action in several major battles.

And on Friday, July 3rd at 7:30 PM, Sacagawea will be on hand to speak about her travels. She served as an interpreter for Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery expedition across the United States from 1804 to 1806. Aside from her value as an interpreter with knowledge of the landscape, her presence with the expedition also communicated to tribes along the way that the Corps had peaceful intentions.

All programs will be held in the Rec Hall, and admission is free.

Watoga State Park is located 14 miles south of Marlinton.  For more information, visit their website at www.watoga.com.

Story By

Scott Smith

Scott Smith is the General Manager for Allegheny Mountain Radio and Station Coordinator and News Reporter for WVLS. Scott’s family has deep roots in Highland County. While he did not grow up here, he spent as much time as possible on the family farm, and eventually moved to Highland to continue the tradition, which he still pursues with his cousin. Unfortunately, farming doesn’t pay all the bills, so he has previously taken other jobs to support his farming hobby, including pressman/writer for The Recorder, and Ag Projects Coordinator for The Highland Center. He lives in Hightown with wife Michelle and son Ethan. In his spare time, he wishes he had more spare time, especially to ride his prized Harley-Davidson motorcycle. scott@amrmail.org

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