KEYSER - “It's exciting,” said Dinah Courrier as visitors started arriving for the grand opening of the Mineral County Historical Society Museum Saturday.
By Ronda Wertman
KEYSER - “It’s exciting,” said Dinah Courrier as visitors started arriving for the grand opening of the Mineral County Historical Society Museum Saturday.
“I’m a history buff. I love history,” said Sen. Randy Smith as he walked through the doors of the museum at the corner of Lynmar Street and Carskadon Lane in the Courrier building.
“You came to the right place; they did an amazing job,” said Randy Crane, president of the Mineral County Chamber of Commerce.
“This is an exciting day for Mineral County,” said Cindy Pyles, president of the Mineral County Historical Society as members of the Courrier family were joined by Delegates John Paul Hott, Gary Howell and Ruth Rowan and Senator Randy Smith, along with county leaders and representatives of the historical society and other preservation groups for the ribbon cutting ceremony.
“We’re filling up the space pretty fast,” said Courrier of the museum that features many pictures and items that are educating even local historians with its unique details.
Those wishing to contribute to the museum can make a donation, or they can loan items for display.
“People keep donating and it’s fabulous,” said Pyles.
One true-to-life display is the first room, which thanks to donations from his family is a miniature version of the late Reno Calamine’s Patriotic Shoe Shop. From his apron and tools to the seats from the shop, which were shined up with a little lemon juice, this room is like stepping back in time and will be preserved for generations to come who may not have experienced stopping in the this piece of Keyser heritage.
“This is cool. Dinah worked so hard for this,” said Pyles as she tried out one the chairs in the shop recalling how that was never permitted when she was a child.
Courrier noted how each of the pictures from the shop had a tab sewn in it for hanging, demonstrating how meticulous Reno was. Also featured is the note he wrote telling friends and customers that it was “closed until further notice” and saying “Thank you.”
Walking around the main exhibit hall, each wall, each case is filled with memories showcasing the area and its people.
Many on hand didn’t know that there was once a tunnel going through the mountain in New Creek or that there was a first aid station near the bridge going up to the Cut Off Road due to the high number of accidents there.
A music corner features greats like Don Redman and Jack Rollins along with local legends Thunderhill.
There are displays for Nancy Hanks, Cliff Brooks and Aubrey Stewart, memorabilia from Keyser High School, features on Mineral County’s rich railroad history, including the B&O and the Twin Mountain and Potomac and more.
The museum is looking to be open on Saturdays with hours to be announced, but Courrier plans to have her number posted for those who may want to schedule a visit at other times.