Tubman program concludes lecture series

PARKERSBURG — The 2020 Winter Lecture Series at the Blennerhassett Museum of Regional History completed its four-week run Sunday with a program about former slave Harriet Tubman, who played an important role in the Underground Railroad and the Civil War.

Ilene Evans, part of the West Virginia Humanities Council’s History Alive program, portrayed Tubman, who was born into slavery in Maryland, but escaped through the Underground Railroad in 1849. She then became the most famous leader of that network, aiding slaves in their escape to the free-states and Canada.

When the Civil War erupted, her underground experiences and knowledge of covert operations made her a valuable resource to federal officers. She served as a spy, nurse, scout and guide for Union troops.

Previous lectures this year looked at the frontier, nature and the archaeology of Blennerhassett Island. Series organizer Scott Cain was pleased with the continued interest in the series shown by this year’s attendees. Over 100 people attended each week’s lectures.

In addition to providing information to those attending, Cain said the series has played an important role each year since its creation by raising awareness of the Blennerhassett Museum and its programs and highlighting the fact that it is open year-round, even with the Blennerhassett Island park is closed for the winter.

“The whole purpose of the lecture series is to draw people in and let them know the museum is open,” he said.

In March, the museum will feature the 16th annual Mid-Ohio Valley Heritage Quilt Show from March 7-15.

This year’s theme is “Basket Case.” The museum quilt show will feature hand and machine pieced quilts and wall hangings made by area quilters. Categories for the quilts include: Bed quilts (three categories), baby quilts, miniature quilts, wall hangings, art quilts, antique quilts, and themed quilts. Visitors viewing the quilts will be able to participate in casting votes for the “People’s Choice” award which will be announced on the last day of the show.

The Blennerhassett Museum is open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. daily and the admission to the museum is $4 for adults and $2 for children ages 3-12.

As part of the quilt show, at 1 p.m. March 14, Doug Kreinik, owner of Kreinik Mfg. Company located in Parkersburg, will give a presentation discussing the use of the metallic threads manufactured by his company in many needle art crafts including quilting.