The Paden City Public Library is currently host to the award-winning exhibit, Born of Rebellion: West Virginia Statehood. The issues involved in the state's birth continue to engage people, even those beyond its borders.
The exhibit, which opened on Jan. 14 and will remain there through Jan. 25, features three kiosks dedicated to the still-ongoing debate over the process in which West Virginia became a state. The information is set up to allow visitors to take in the facts and cast their own vote in a mock Supreme Court Trial to determine if West Virginia's secession from Virginia was constitutionally valid.
A section of their pamphlet reads: "As you view the exhibit, please take time to consider the issues that fueled the statehood movement, the efforts and challenges of the individuals involved, and the gravity of the times in which these events took place. Then come to your own conclusion."
Joanna Casto, director of the Paden City Public Library, said she is willing to extend regular library hours to accommodate students, clubs, and other groups and organizations who would like to view the display.
Current library hours are as follows: Monday, Tuesday, and
Thursday, 1-8 p.m.; Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday, 1-5 p.m.; and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The display presents facts and figures leading up to the mounting conflict.
"Peaceably if we can, forcibly if we must," stated one Wheeling newspaper writer in 1830, calling for separation from Virginia. The quote is boldly featured on the center kiosk.
Also on the center kiosk is a copy of West Virginia's 1860 census outlining slave population per county: Tyler County, 0.3 percent; Wetzel County, 0.7 percent.
The West Virginia Humanities Council designed Born of Rebellion in honor of West Virginia's 150th birthday.
The exhibit started touring in 2006 and had been touring for two years when it received a Leadership in History Award from the American Association for State and Local History.
The design process was educational as well, with the Humanities Council working alongside graphic design students at West Virginia University. The exhibit and accompanying brochure were designed by 16 students divided into four teams.
Born of Rebellion is available for loan at no charge to historical groups, museums, cultural organizations, and other interested venues for a minimal display period of two weeks. It is currently booked through October.
For more information call the Paden City Public Library at 304-337-9333, or call the West Virginia Humanities Council at 304-346-8500 for information on how to bring Born of Rebellion to your community.
"I encourage people to stop in at their convenience and view the display," said Casto.
"It's a unique opportunity to have it so close and to commemorate the 150th anniversary of our state."