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Museum in the Park at Chief Logan State Park to present lecture on the development of firearms

The Museum in the Park at Chief Logan State Park will present a lecture, “Early History of Firearms in West Virginia,” on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2006 at noon. The event will feature James Mitchell, West Virginia State Museum curator for the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History. The talk, which is planned to coincide with “Civil War Days” activities in the park, is free and open to the public.

Mitchell will discuss the development of firearms from revolutionary times of the 1770s to the Civil War. The talk will focus on military and civilian flintlock and percussion-lock rifles, fowling pieces and muskets. The State Museum currently has a display of firearms at Museum in the Park, including such items as a frontier half-stock rifle made by Robert Dobler of Wheeling in the 1860s, a Civil War Musket, an 1828 musket and a Civil War carbine Beaumont Vitale bolt action rifle.

Mitchell has a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Wisconsin, a master of arts in early American culture from the University of Delaware and a master of science in public administration from Shippenburg University of Pennsylvania. He has been curator of industry and technology for the State Museum of Pennsylvania, where he also served as director and chief curator for the Carborundum Museum of Ceramics, and curator of decorative arts for the New Jersey State Museum, among others.

For more information about the lecture, contact Adam Hodges, site manager for Museum in the Park at (304) 792-7229.

The Museum in the Park is a regional cultural center showcasing the best in West Virginia history and the arts. It features changing exhibits and displays of artwork and historical items from the collections of the West Virginia State Museum and the State Archives. One area of the museum is dedicated to local and regional history. It is operated and maintained by the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History and is located four miles north of Logan on West Virginia Route 10 at Chief Logan State Park. The Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 1 - 6 p.m. on Sunday.

The West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History, brings together the state’s past, present and future through programs and services in the areas of archives and history, the arts, historic preservation and museums. Visit the Division’s website at for more information about programs of the Division. The Department of Arts, Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

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