common / Crossroads Weekend

How we got to be number 35

Museum presents series on statehood

   As “How we got to be a state” stories go, West Virginia’s turbulent beginning is unique. We’re the only state that came into statehood as a direct result of the Civil War, but the roots of the conflicts that led to statehood went back to 1776. It actually took the Supreme Court of the United States to decide our boundaries. That’s the theme of the exhibit and lecture series presented by the Museum of the Berkeley Springs during August.

   “Born of Rebellion: West Virginia Statehood” is the WV Humanities Council’s award-winning traveling exhibit about the creation of the state of West Virginia. It will be on display at the Museum of the Berkeley Springs from August 15 through September 2.

   The Humanities Council turned the design phase of the exhibit into an innovative educational project by asking 16 graphic design students at West Virginia University to design the exhibit, as well as the accompanying brochure.

   The exhibit features several QR (quick response) codes. Visitors with smart phones can scan these codes and read related articles in e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia at

   In addition to the exhibit, the Museum will host three Sunday afternoon lectures, each at 2 pm

   August 4, Bob Connor will speak on “Countdown to West Virginia Statehood,” 

Bob O'ConnorBob O'Connorwhich is also the title of his latest book.  Bob traces the roots of the conflict back to the state’s 1776 constitution.

   He is the author of numerous works set in the Civil War era, both fiction and non-fiction, and will have books on hand for sale after his talk. For more on Bob O’Connor, visit

   August 11, Berkeley Springs’ own Ed Steers discusses the special problem West Virginia statehood presented for President Lincoln in his talk entitled “West Virginia: Lincoln’s ‘Illegitimate Child.’”


Ed SteersEd Steers

Ed Steers is one of the foremost experts on Abraham Lincoln generally and the expert on Lincoln’s assassination specifically. Ed Steers has written numerous books, including several on Lincoln. His latest is Hoax: Hitler's Diaries, Lincoln's Assassins, and Other Famous Frauds. A full list of Steers’ titles is available at   


Tim RowlandTim Rowland

And on August 18, Tim Rowland, native of Berkeley Springs, speaks on “Why We Bombed Hancock.” He describes how the bombardment of Hancock uncannily predicted events to come in the Civil War.

   Tim is a Herald-Mail columnist, humorist and author of several books, including Strange and Obscure Stories of the Civil War. More information about his writings are featured at

   The story of how West Virginia became the 35th state is a fascinating one. Don’t miss these lectures and the exhibit to learn more. For more information, visit the Museum at

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