Traveling exhibit on display at city building

PARKERSBURG – More than 100 photos of West Virginia counties are on display at the Parkersburg Municipal City Building as part of the state’s sesquicentennial celebration.

“Snapshots in Time: A Photographic History of West Virginia” is provided by the West Virginia State Museum and the West Virginia Division of Culture and History. The display features two photos from each of the state’s 55 counties. The black and white photos are from different time periods, with some reaching back to the early 1900s.

Barbara Sullivan, a member of the Parkersburg Woman’s Club and chairman of the club’s sesquicentennial celebration committee, said the traveling display was located online by a member.

“We reserved the display and traveled to Charleston to pick it up,” she said. “We are very lucky to have this opportunity.”

Abby Hayhurst, director of the Parkersburg Art Center, helped sort and hang the collection Tuesday on the second floor of the municipal building. Six volunteers – three from the Art Center and three from the city – also helped with the process.

Hayhurst said it was challenging to arrange the photos because there was no information on how the display should be assembled.

“We didn’t know until we opened the boxes what we were going to find,” she said.

It took volunteers about four hours Tuesday to unpack and hang the photographs, she said.

“We couldn’t have done this without the help of the Parkersburg Art Center,” said Mayor Bob Newell

Two of the photos display part of Wood County’s history, including a picture of the “Women Aviators” from Parkersburg dated April 15, 1945.

Another photo, though listed as “location unknown,” shows Arthur Boreman, first governor of West Virginia. Boreman practiced law in and was buried in Parkersburg.

The Civil War-era Fort Boreman was located on Fort Boreman Hill in Parkersburg. Originally called Mount Logan, it was renamed after Arthur Boreman of Parkersburg, the first governor of West Virginia, after the state’s creation.

Newell said the display likely will remain at the city building through August.

“We were told we could keep them up through Parkersburg Homecoming,” he said. “We’d like to keep them forever. They’re very nice.”