The Way We Worked Smithsonian Exhibit Holds Grand Opening Ceremony In Marlinton
Marlinton, WV – As charming ladies and gents dressed in period costumes sashayed around the room, others in more modern dress took in the pictures that comprise the Smithsonian Institution’s The Way We Worked exhibit, now on display upstairs in the Municipal building in Marlinton. It was a celebration of Marlinton as the first stop on the traveling exhibits’ six stop tour through West Virginia. Marlinton Mayor Joe Smith welcomed the assembled guests.
“I’m very pleased and the town government is very pleased for all the work that was done getting this here,” says Smith. “Most of this work was done prior to my even taking office; I’d like to thank Dennis Driscoll and his administration who did a lot of the leg work going into this. And everybody’s welcome, it’s a very nice exhibit. I kept away from it for a whole week because I wanted to see it when it was totally set up.”
Allen Johnson, Director of the Pocahontas County Free Libraries, says they first heard about the exhibit in an email sent out by the West Virginia Humanities Council.
“Several of us kicked that around; why not try for it,” he says. “I know we’re little Pocahontas County, we don’t have a lot of people, but yet, we have, many of us a can-do spirit, so we put this application together, and a few months later we got the announcement that we had been selected.”
Johnson says there is a long list of people to thank for making the exhibit possible, from businesses to non-profits to the many volunteers who put in many hours setting up the exhibit.
** Please click on the above link to hear the list of sponsors included in this expanded web audio version.
Mark Payne, Program Director for the West Virginia Humanities Council explains why the Pocahontas application caught their eye.
“We were impressed at the diversity of organizations that were going to participate in this here,” he says. “So that was one of the strengths of the proposal for sure. And I think the fact that Marlinton has such a rich history related to more than one field or industry was important too.”
He says West Virginia is one of five states that will get this particular traveling exhibit. In addition to the Smithsonian exhibit, there is also a companion exhibit about Pocahontas County’s history of logging and railroads. Payne says he’s equally impressed with this exhibit.
“Your companion exhibits and displays, they are striking,” he says. “You’re fortunate maybe more so than lucky that you have a active historical society here, and again these photographs are amazing. I would ask that each of you get kids here; I don’t care if they’re your children, your grandchildren, your nieces or nephews, get some kids in here. This exhibit tells an important story.”
The Way We Worked will be on display in Marlinton until October 22nd. From there it will travel to Weirton, Morgantown, Point Pleasant, Elkins and Lewisburg. Like Marlinton, each town will have a companion exhibit showcasing the work history particular to that region. Films, teas, concerts and other special events will also be held while the exhibit is on display. You can find a listing of these events at www.pocahontashistorical.org.
Pocahontas County Commission President David Fleming also awarded Certificates of Appreciation to several area businesses that have been around for 50 or more years.
Beckwith Lumber – 50 years
McCoys Market – 51 years
CJ Richardsons – 110 years
Burns Motor Freight – 62 years
National Radio Astronomy Observatory – 55 years
Van Reenans Funeral Home – 106 years
Sharp’s Country Store – 127 years
Trents – 61 years
Pocahontas Memorial Hospital – 106 years
Richard A. Jordan Logging – 50 years
Pocahontas Country Club – 55 years
F&F Services – 61 years
Boyer Station – 53 years
Pocahontas Times newspaper – 128 years
Southern States – 52 years
Pocahontas Producers Coop – 65 years
Nationwide Insurance – 55 years
Hermitage Exxon – 51 years
Sheets GMC – 88 years