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Preston County History Day

August 18 @ 10:00 am 3:00 pm

On August 18, Preston County History Day will be observed at Arthurdale Heritage, open 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; the Aurora Area Historical Society Museum, 1-4 p.m.; the McGrew House in Kingwood, 1-3 p.m.; the Szilagyi Center museums in Rowlesburg from 1-4 p.m.; the History House Museum in Terra Alta, 1-4 p.m.; and the Tunnelton Train Depot from 1-3 p.m.

Learn why the groundbreaking efforts of the nation’s first New Deal subsistence homestead project at Arthurdale occurred. In the midst of the Great Depression. Eleanor Roosevelt, America’s first lady, was involved from 1933 forward to create the prototype settlement. Her annual visits to pass out diplomas at the high school commencements were important occasions.

Appreciate why Aurora, one of the first areas settled in the county, was once a summer resort town for wealthy city residents coming to “take the mountain air.” It was a stylish place in the late Victorian era with recreation and entertainment for the hot summer days.

Understand the unique legacy of Kingwood businessman, James C. McGrew, who also helped West Virginia to become our nation’s 35th state. Learn how Persis McGrew, his wife, also enhanced Preston County life in the mid- and late-1800s with instruction for young women about household service jobs.

The Szilagyi Center in Rowlesburg has multiple museums which give visitors extensive connections to World War II’s challenges and our local servicemen, Preston County’s own high school sports heroes, and railroad bridges.

The History House’s exhibits on antique weapons and armor, cameras, musical instruments, farm and carpentry tools will give young and old an opportunity to learn about life as it was lived many generations ago.

The Tunnelton Train Depot museum explains railroad life and commerce that continued late into the 20th Century with many authentic display items and a new kid-friendly working railroad exhibit. The 1913 brick depot was built by the B&O Railroad, where passengers paid 10 cents for a ticket to Grafton. There are two historic tunnels nearby.

Also, there are three outdoor Civil War Trail sites near Aurora and Rowlesburg and the 1854 Virginia Iron Furnace is located along Rt. 26 near Albright.

These county historical sites will be open the third Sunday of each month through October.


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