Gettysburg topic of historical program

What does the Battle of Gettysburg have to do with Randolph County? Come hear first-hand accounts about the connection as the Randolph County Historical Society presents its entertaining and informative fall program lecture.

Local historian Don Rice will present the results of his original research on the subject in “Randolph Countians at Gettysburg During and After the Battle.” The event will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the historic Darden Mill located at the corner of First and Railroad Avenue in Elkins.

Rice’s presentation will include a show-and-tell portion, as well as stories of veterans reunions of 1913 and 1938 remembering this most famous of Civil War battles.

“No one has ever written about this before,” said Rice, retired educator and longtime leader of the Randolph County Historical Society. “It’s compelling to see how involved Randolph County was in the Civil War beyond our local area.”

Troops from Randolph County played critical roles in the Battle of Gettysburg and fought with earnest dedication during those three days in July 1863, only one month after West Virginia gained statehood. A few of the local participants will be recognized during the presentation.

Darden Mill owner C-HOPE (Citizens for Historical Opportunity, Preservation and Education) has recently completed renovations to the first floor of the building. This event will provide an opportunity to see the building and the new exhibit by the Appalachian Forest Heritage Area, “Discovering the Appalachian Forest,” which is open this fall only for special events. It will open for regular hours in the spring, 2014, when the West Virginia Railroad Museum will join the Appalachian Forest exhibit.

Limited parking is available adjacent to the mill on Railroad Avenue but on-street parking is available nearby along First and Second Streets as well as other downtown streets.

Following the free public program, light refreshments will be served. The Society will also hold a very brief members meeting.

Active since 1924, the RCHS has worked for decades to protect and present the heritage of Randolph County. They own and operate the Randolph County Museum in the historic Blackman-Bosworth store building in Beverly, with a wide collection of Randolph County artifacts. For more information email or call 304-637-7424.