Weirton museum receives funds, honors volunteers
WEIRTON – The Weirton Area Museum and Cultural Center received several donations and recognized volunteers during December.
Carol Dulaney, former Heritage Place owner, was among those making donations to the museum, presenting a $5,000 check, which will assist in the renovation of the museum building’s front facade. Her name and that of Heritage Place will be added to the museum’s “Wall of Appreciation,” along with others who have donated to the building fund.
Bob Kelley donated $800 toward the purchase of a display case in memory of his grandparents, Mabel Brown Kelley and Saint Gettis Kelley, and Uncle Joseph Kelley. The case purchased with Kelley’s donation will house items and photos showcasing Dunbar School history, a display of which will be unveiled during the museum’s Black History Month celebration Feb. 2.
In addition to the display’s unveiling, Heather Cline, Grave Creek Mound Archeological Complex lead curator, will present “African-American Archeology in West Virginia and the Ohio Valley” at noon. Museum volunteers also will celebrate the life of Anthony John Major, Dunbar High School principal from 1932 until 1949, on what would have been his 114th birthday. Major, a nationally recognized figure in the education field, served as principal from the school’s inception until his death. Weirton schools were desegregated in 1955.
Museum Secretary Kim Salter will chair the celebration, and Corliss Brown is assisting with the displays.
When the Phoenix Society of West Virginia heard about Kelley’s donation, the group donated $1,600 toward the purchase of two display cases which will house items related to the history of Weirton’s volunteer fire departments.
“We hope this trend continues,” said Dennis Jones, museum president. “I looked long and hard to find a suitable and lockable display curio cabinet. After I located the ideal cabinet, we started purchasing them as we got the money. We now have about 12 of them in the museum – all identical with the oak trim. They all lock and light and look very nice – everyone who comes in comments how beautiful they are. We really hope that more and more groups will donate money to purchase these beautiful cabinets.”
The museum also held a dinner Dec. 17 at Mario’s Restaurant to recognize volunteers, including board members, museum members and volunteers.
In his speech, Jones thanked those volunteers who made contributions throughout the year. Jones recognized Paul B. Zuros as “Member of the Year” for his assistance with the museum renovation and his work as the museum’s treasurer. Jones recognized Bob and Lea Shirer as the “Volunteers of the Year,” noting their tireless efforts.
Zuros organized the dinner.