Celebrate the Labor Day weekend with the Museum in the Park at Chief Logan State Park. The celebration will include two outdoor concerts on Saturday, Aug. 30, from 4 - 10 p.m., and Sunday, Aug. 31, from 1 - 6 p.m. The musical events, “Aunt Jennie’s Festival,” are free and open to the public. The concerts will be held in the park’s Liz Spurlock Amphitheater, located about one-half mile from the museum.
Logan native Roger Bryant, a musician whose roots are in the old-time and folk music traditions, will serve as emcee. Bryant also will perform as part of the weekend’s festivities. He is the grandson of local folk legend Aunt Jennie Wilson, for whom the festival is named. His career has spanned 30 years and 30 states, and he has shared stages with Tom T. Hall, Tammy Wynette, Kathy Mattea and Kris Kristofferson. Bryant achieved national attention in the late 1970s with his song “Stop the Flow of Coal,” and has recorded four albums, the most recent of which is “On the Banks of the Old Guyan.”
Saturday’s concert will include Bryant, who will open the show; Cora Hairston, a performer from Omar who will sing original tunes and gospel songs; Tom Breiding, a folk singer who has been honing his singing, guitar playing and songwriting talents since the early 1980s, from his hometown of Wheeling, W.Va. to his current residence in McMurray, Pa.; John and Marvine Loving of Cross Lanes, noted for their folk- and ballad-singing; Glen Simpson, a folk musician from Hardy, Ky.; The Dick Taylor Band, a bluegrass group from Chapmanville; The Street Players, a rock band hailing from Logan; and 119 South, a country band from Logan.
The Sunday afternoon concert will feature another Breiding set; The Earl of Elkview, George Daugherty, a trial lawyer who has travelled the world singing and talking about West Virginia; Elaine Purkey, a traditional vocalist from Ranger; the Stewart Family, a gospel group from Clear Fork; Robert Shafer and the Pour House Crew, a country band based in the Charleston area; and Daddy Rabbit Band, a local pop band from the Logan area.
The concession stand outside the amphitheater will be open for refreshments. Alcoholic beverages are prohibited.
Visitors also are welcome to come to the Museum in the Park to see the current exhibits from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. on Saturday and 1 - 6 p.m. on Sunday. Ladies Fashion Dolls of the Nineteenth Century features 56 costumed dolls from the West Virginia State Museum collection made of papier mache. The dolls, created by West Virginia artist Pete Ballard of Peterstown, Monroe County, span the three basic periods that dominated ladies’ fashion in the 19th century including the revival of the Classical Period (1800 - 1820); the Romantic Period (1820 - 1840); and the Victorian Era (1840 - 1900). The We Are Marshall exhibit displays items produced as props for the movie production and actually used in the film of the same name, including a cheerleader’s megaphone and uniform; license plates from West Virginia and North Carolina and a Boone’s Restaurant menu, among others. Dehue . . . A Special Place examines aspects of coal camp life including business and social life; The Ron Moxley Collection: Native American Artifacts which includes a nutting stone found in Chief Logan State Park; and Black Diamonds, which takes a look at coal mining throughout West Virginia, with an emphasis on the southern part of the state, and showcases artifacts of tools, photographs and historical dialogue.
Other displays include Telecommunications, an exhibit featuring early 20th-century telephones and radios and Vandalia Award Winners, which has portraits of the winners of the annual Vandalia Gathering held at the Cultural Center and State Capitol Grounds in Charleston, including Aunt Jennie Wilson. In addition two quilts made by the late Katie Barnette of Logan are also on exhibit.
Virginia Myrtle “Aunt Jennie” Wilson was born in 1900 in the “Doc” Ellis hollow of what is now Chief Logan State Park. She was one of the first women in the region to learn to play the banjo, and her music and storytelling made her internationally known for her preservation of Appalachian culture. Wilson died in 1992.
For more information about the festival, contact Elizabeth Williams, site manager at the 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 Division of 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 Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. and Sunday from 1 - 6 p.m.
The West Virginia Division of Culture and History, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, 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. Its administrative offices are located at the Cultural Center in the State Capitol Complex in Charleston, which also houses the state archives and state museum. The Cultural Center is West Virginia’s official showcase for the arts. The agency also operates a network of museums and historic sites across the state. For more information about the Division’s programs, visit the web site at www.wvculture.org. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.