WV: Celebration planned in honor of state historian born 160 years ago





There will be a celebration Saturday, July 12 at the historic Virgil Lewis home, located along Brown Street in Mason.

Beginning at noon, there will be country music entertainment, and a local choral group from the Bend Area will sing. The guest speaker, who has yet to be confirmed, will deliver the main address. Refreshments of ice cream and cake then will be served.

The celebration is being planned in commemoration of the life and times of Virgil A. Lewis, noted West Virginia historian, on what would have been his 160th birthday.

Born July 12, 1848, Lewis founded the West Virginia Historical Society and wrote the first comprehensive history book used in the state. He also wrote 12 historical books, including “Battle of Point Pleasant” and the saga of Anne Bailey, who was known as the “white squaw of the Kanawha.”

Lewis' birthday also is the same date the Virgil A. Lewis Society Inc. was granted its certificate of approval through the state. On July 12, 2005, a state charter was granted for the Virgil A. Lewis Society, which has spearheaded efforts to retain the historic structure in its current spot.

In 1895, Lewis purchased a home in the Town of Mason for his infant family, and he resided there until his death in 1912 at the age of 74. The old home property was purchased by citizens at the behest of the Mason Historical Society, which maintained the edifice for years until the members grew old. That's when the ancient home fell into neglect and needed repairs.



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