Author: M. Lynne Squires

Looking Back at the Mason College of Music & Fine Arts

West Virginia does not lack for musical talent. The Charleston and greater Kanawha Valley area boasts a good number of their own musical standouts. Country star Kathy Matea, jazz singer Ann Baker, Grand Ole Opry singer Red Sovine, and singer/actress Ann Magnuson are familiar names to many. Collectively they have amassed armloads of awards and honors. A little known name, yet with perhaps the most coveted award of all is George Crumb. He was the recipient of a 1968 Pulitzer Prize for Music for his orchestral work Echoes of Time and the River.  His Poem for Orchestra was given its premiere performance by the...

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Looking Back at Luna Park

Luna Park was possibly the largest recreational attraction in Charleston in the early 1900’s. Constructed in 1912, J. B. Crowley built Luna Park on the north bank of the Kanawha River in Charleston. Luna Park featured a swimming pool, Merry-Go-Round, a midway with games of skill and chance, rollercoaster, dance pavilion, zoo, and boxing ring. Special entertainment was offered occasionally, such as hot air balloon rides, free outdoor movies and trapeze artists. Admission to the park was fifteen cents and a ride on the Royal Giant Dips rollercoaster cost a dime. Families came from distances far and near for...

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Focal Point – Physicians Weight Loss Centers

January is named for Janus, the god of doorways, openings, and new beginnings in Roman mythology. In January, everyone equally is afforded the opportunity to start fresh, to begin again. Wiping one’s slate clean isn’t confined to the first month of each New Year, but more resolutions are made then than any other time. A recent poll indicates the top four New Year’s Resolutions involve losing weight, exercising more, eating a more healthy diet, and taking a more active approach to health.    If you have made a similar resolution, what is the number one, tried and true, cardinal...

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Looking Back at Fort Scammon

Mention Fort Scammon to just about anyone in Charleston and odds are good they won’t have any idea where the Civil War earthenworks battlement was located. The elusive fort, however, is rich with surprising, and little-known facts. Fort Scammon overlooks the heart of downtown Charleston, over 1000 feet above the Kanawha River. Two future Presidents of the United States served at Fort Scammon – Rutherford B. Hayes, and William McKinley. Fort Scammon is located on a prominence now known as “Fort Hill”, on Fort Circle Drive, and was listed as an archeological site on the National Register of Historic...

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Looking Back at the Yeager Airport

Once upon a time, the Charleston Airport wasn’t in Charleston at all, but rather six miles downriver. Located in Institute, Wertz Field was purchased by the City of Charleston in 1929. By 1930, Charleston didn’t have the funds to develop and operate the field, so a group of businessmen formed West Virginia Airways, Inc. They operated Wertz Field for twelve years. By 1937, bigger planes were being put into service by various airlines, and Wertz Field was beginning to show signs of being inadequate to handle the larger airplanes. When American Airlines notified the City of Charleston it was...

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Looking Back at the Sunrise Mansion

October is the month of ghosts and goblins, and things that go bump in the night. Sunrise, lesser known by its true moniker, the MacCorkle Mansion, is rumored to be haunted. The ghost of William A. MacCorkle is said to walk the halls of his former home, seen by both visitors and employees. It is rumored that his ashes are entombed in the base for the statue of his daughter, Isabelle. The statue was placed midway down the Sunrise Carriage Trail that leads from the mansion to the Kanawha River. The statue was said to have cried tears of...

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March 2018

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