Humanities Council begins anniversary week with West Virginia Day open house

By Matthew Young, RealWV

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Humanities Council kicked off its 50th Anniversary week celebration, on Thursday, with a “West Virginia Day” open house at the historic MacFarland-Hubbard House. A landmark along Charleston’s Kanawha Boulevard since its construction in 1836, the MacFarland-Hubbard House has served as home to the Humanities Council for more than 25 years.

Constructed on spec by Charleston builder Norris Stanley Whittaker, the house was first purchased by merchant Henry Devol MacFarland, who passed away in 1845. The House played a small but pivotal role in the Battle of Charleston during the Civil War, when a cannonball believed to have been fired from what would now be the University of Charleston struck the dwelling. The house also served as a hospital for wounded soldiers during the war.

The Hubbard family purchased the house in 1941, making them the home’s fourth owner. At the time of her death in 1997, Elizabeth Hubbard had no heirs, and chose to leave the house and it’s contents to the First Presbyterian Church of Charleston. The West Virginia Humanities Council purchased the house from the church the following year, and has since completed a full restoration of the property.

The open house featured tours of the historic home, a “History Alive” performance of Dunmore’s war veteran Thomas Ingles, and a musical performance by Kim Johnson and Bobby Taylor.

The week-long celebration of the West Virginia Humanities Council’s 50th Anniversary continues tonight, with the appearance of author Jasper Waugh-Quasebarth and State Folklorist Jennie Williams at Taylor Books on Capitol Street to discuss Waugh-Quasebarth’s new book, “Finding the Singing Spruce.” The discussion begins at 5:30 p.m.

Watch Kim Johnson and Bobby Taylor perform at the historic MacFarland-Hubbard House during the West Virginia Humanities Council’s open house on The RealWV’s YouTube channel.

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