Charleston

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A group of 30 organizations across West Virginia is calling on the Capitol Building Commission and Gov. Jim Justice to take down a statue of Stonewall Jackson from the state Capitol grounds.

On this West Virginia Morning, Gov. Jim Justice has ordered the wearing of face masks inside public buildings in West Virginia. Also, in this show, a middle school on Charleston’s west side will change its name after the Kanawha County Board of Education voted unanimously to remove an association with Confederate General Stonewall Jackson, and we hear a story about modern dance from our Appalachia Folkways Project.

Eric Douglas/ WVPB

The City of Charleston quietly removed part of a Confederate memorial Monday, joining other cities and states across the country who are taking a closer look at structures honoring Confederate soldiers and generals.


e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

On June 30, 1904, the Kelly Axe and Tool Company acquired 53 acres of land along the Kanawha River on the West End of Charleston. It eventually became home to the world’s largest axe factory.

The company was founded in 1874 by William C. Kelly, who established his first factory in Kentucky before relocating to Indiana and then West Virginia. Kelly was attracted to the Kanawha Valley by the availability of abundant natural gas and good access to river and rail transportation.

On this West Virginia Morning, protests against police brutality and racism continue across West Virginia; we bring you reports from Charleston and Bluefield this weekend. We also bring you a report about an online action group called Black Birder’s Week, and we hear from black faith leaders from across West Virginia who attended a virtual listening session with U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin.

Emily Allen/ WVPB

A protest that had been planned Sunday at the West Virginia Capitol was postponed by organizers due to safety concerns following threats, according to event organizers.

The event was expected to attract thousands of people, protesting police brutality against African Americans. A small crowd still gathered at the capitol grounds Sunday afternoon for a peaceful event.

Brian Blauser/ Mountain Stage

When country superstar Chris Stapleton stopped by a special FestivALL Charleston edition of Mountain Stage on June 28, 2015, he brought songs from arguably one of country music’s greatest debut albums in recent memory.

May 20, 1922: Artist Della Brown Taylor Hardman Born in Charleston

May 20, 2020
Dr. Della Brown Taylor Hardman
e-WV Encyclopedia

Artist Della Brown Taylor Hardman was born in Charleston on May 20, 1922. After graduating from Charleston’s segregated Garnet High School, she attended West Virginia State College (now University) at Institute and Boston University. For 30 years, she was an art professor at West Virginia State.

On this West Virginia Morning, we visit a cultural hotspot on Charleston’s West Side. We also bring you a conversation on the “what you need to know” for the upcoming Primary Election, and we hear a report on how to stop the spread of COVID-19 in jails and prisons in the Ohio Valley.

May 5, 1923: Fire Destroys Luna Park in Charleston

May 5, 2020
Luna-Park
e-WV Encyclopedia

On May 5, 1923, an accidental fire started by welders destroyed most of Luna Park on Charleston’s West Side. The seven-acre amusement park had been built in 1912 on a former three-hole golf course.

Brian Blauser/ Mountain Stage

This week on Mountain Stage we look back to another classic episode from 2010, this time featuring live performances from Cake, Hayes Carll, Old 97s and Hot Club of Cowtown. Tune in on one of these public radio stations starting this Friday, May 1.

April 29, 1999: Labor Leader Dan Maroney Dies in Charleston

Apr 29, 2020
e-WV Encyclopedia / West Virginia & Regional History Collection

Labor leader Dan Maroney died in Charleston on April 29, 1999, at age 77. A native of Cabin Creek in Kanawha County, he attended East Bank High School; Beckley College, which later became Mountain State University; and Morris Harvey College, which is now the University of Charleston.

April 24, 2001: Civil Rights Leader Leon Sullivan Dies at 78

Apr 24, 2020
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

Civil rights leader Leon Sullivan died on April 24, 2001, at age 78. The Charleston native graduated from Garnet High School and West Virginia State College before being trained in the ministry at Union Theological Seminary and Columbia University. In 1950, he became minister of Philadelphia’s Zion Baptist Church. During his 38 years at Zion Baptist, the church grew into one of the nation’s largest congregations.

Brian Blauser/ Mountain Stage

This week we're looking back to a 2010 episode we recorded at the Clay Center as voted on by our listeners.

WV State Archives

In the mid-20th century, Charleston, West Virginia, was a major stop for black musicians traveling to Baltimore and D.C. on what was known as the “Chitlin' Circuit.” Improv jazz masters like James Brown, Cab Calloway and others are said to have stopped in Charleston’s historic Triangle neighborhood to play informal gigs late into the night, or have a drink of moonshine in some of the illegal bars and brothels that operated in the neighborhood. 


Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A Charleston hospital has become West Virginia's first COVID-19 surge hospital ahead of the state's projected peak of coronavirus cases.

Saint Francis Hospital was ready to receive virus patients as of Friday, The Charleston Gazette Mail reported.

April 1, 1788: The Clendenins Start Their Journey to Kanawha Valley

Apr 1, 2020
e-WV Encyclopedia / The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America

On April 1, 1788, George Clendenin, along with family members and about 30 Greenbrier County Rangers, departed from present Lewisburg to make a new home for themselves in the Kanawha Valley. The previous year, Clendenin had purchased about 1000 acres of unsettled land, which would eventually become the heart of Charleston.

Upon their arrival, Clendenin’s group built a two-story fort and sturdy cabins to protect against Indian attacks. The stockade, originally called Clendenin’s Fort, was later renamed Fort Lee to honor Virginia Governor Henry Lee.

March 10, 1915: The First Rotary International Club Established in W.Va.

Mar 10, 2020
Rotary Wheel
e-WV Encyclopedia

The first Rotary International Club in West Virginia was established in Wheeling on March 10, 1915. Rotary clubs were formed in Huntington and Charleston later that year.

Ian Burgess

UPDATE: March 6 at 11:00a.m. EST

Advance tickets for our May 17 Mountain Stage at the Clay Center sold out in just under one-hour. Thank you for the support. This show will hit airwaves later this year via NPR Music.

ALYSSE GAFKJEN

Mountain Stage is adding two new shows to an already extensive live event schedule. Be sure to sign up for our e-mail newsletter for updates and follow along on social media for more artist announcements.

January 16, 1989: Gaston Caperton Sworn in as Governor

Jan 16, 2020
Gaston Caperton
E-WV/The Humanities Council

Gaston Caperton—our state’s 31st governor—was sworn into office on January 16, 1989. He was born in Charleston in 1940 and eventually worked at his father’s insurance company, where he rose to president.

By the late 1980s, the McDonough-Caperton Insurance Group was one of the nation’s largest privately owned insurance companies.

January 7, 1924: Ground Broken on New West Virginia Capitol Building

Jan 7, 2020
Capitol
davidwilson1949 / wikimedia Commons

On January 7, 1924, ground was broken for West Virginia’s new state capitol building in Charleston’s East End. The previous capitol, located in downtown Charleston, had been destroyed by fire three years before.

The new capitol was designed by architect Cass Gilbert, who’d previously designed the Woolworth Building in New York and state capitols for Arkansas and Minnesota. He’d later design the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington.

Shredded Elements Photography

Mountain Stage returns to Morgantown on January 19.
Tickets for all three Charleston shows are available online to Mountain Stage Members first.

Emily Allen / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A decades-old policy regarding the Charleston Police Department’s permitted use of force was under fire Tuesday night as city leaders and their constituents gathered to discuss a recent and controversial incident involving two local officers. 

Emily Allen / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

This story was updated on Tuesday, Oct. 8, to include more recent information on the estimated cost of the 2019 West Virginia Book Festival, and what organizers estimate they spent on speakers.

A long-anticipated speech from a controversial author at the West Virginia Book Festival this weekend left some participants wanting to find ways to make the event more inclusive. 

City of Charleston

The mayor of West Virginia’s capital city has canceled her upcoming appearance at the West Virginia Book Festival over a presentation by an author with homophobic views.

Emily Allen / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

When civil rights attorney-turned-filmmaker Jon Matthews agreed to start a film festival with his friend Tim Ward, Matthews said the title alone was the selling point. 

“He's like, ‘It's Appalachian Queer Film Festival,’” Matthews said. “I'm, like, ‘Done. You've got me. Sold.’ ... I never heard anything like those two words in the same sentence before, ‘Appalachian and queer.’”

Mountain Stage continues its production schedule this Sunday with episode #955 at the Culture Center Theater on the state capitol grounds in Charleston, W.Va. Tickets are still available online and at Taylor Books at 226 Capitol St. in downtown, Charleston.

September 24, 1930: Governor William MacCorkle Dies

Sep 24, 2019
William MacCorkle
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

Governor William MacCorkle died on September 24, 1930, at age 73. He was the last of six Democrats to serve as governor over 26 consecutive years. This was the longest period of domination of the governorship by one party in our state’s history.

e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

On August 11, 1958, the Congress of Racial Equality—or CORE—launched a sit-in movement at several Charleston lunch counters. Prior to this time, African-Americans in Charleston could order takeout food at many white-owned diners but were not allowed to sit down and eat.

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