This week in West Virginia history



The following events occurred on these dates in West Virginia history. For more information, visit e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia at

July 25, 1864: A colony of eight Catholic nuns moved from Washington, DC, and Frederick, Maryland, to Parkersburg. The sisters, who established a monastery there and named it DeSales Heights, ran a boarding school for young women for 75 years.

July 26, 1942: Camp Washington-Carver is inaugurated and open to the public. The camp, located in Clifftop, Fayette County, was the country’s first 4-H camp for African Americans. The Camp’s Large Chestnut Lodge is the largest log structure in West Virginia.

July 27, 1896: Birth of Clark Kessinger near Charleston. He was one of the most prolific and influential fiddlers of the 20th century and one of West Virginia’s most important traditional musicians.

July 27, 1909: Coach ” Dyke ” Raese was born in Davis. He led the University of West Virginia to its first major national athletic championship, winning the 1942 national invitational tournament in basketball.

July 28, 1915: Frankie Yankovic was born in Davis, Tucker County. Yankovic has done more to popularize polka music than any other performer.

July 29, 1873: birth of Malcolm Malachi “Mack” Day. As McDowell County Sheriff, he claimed God called him to enforce Prohibition, even arresting an uncle and his own son.

July 29-31, 1915: Camp Good Luck, considered the world’s first 4-H club camp, is held in Elkwater, southern Randolph County.

July 29, 1918: Novelist Mary Lee Settle was born in Charleston. Its literary reputation is based on the “Beulah Quintet”, a sequence of five historical novels spanning four centuries.

July 30, 1973: The Frederick Hotel in downtown Huntington is closed to passing trade. After its construction in 1905, it was billed as the most elegant hotel between Pittsburgh and Cincinnati.

July 31, 1932: Actor Theodore Crawford ” Ted ” Cassidy was born in Pittsburgh but raised in Philippi. He was best known for his role as Lurch in “The Addams Family”.

e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia is a project of the West Virginia Humanities Council. For more information, contact the West Virginia Humanities Council, 1310 Kanawha Blvd. E., Charleston, WV 25301; (304) 346-8500; or visit e-WV at

July 26, 1942: Camp Washington-Carver, the country’s first 4-H camp for African Americans, is inaugurated and open to the public.

July 29, 1918: Novelist Mary Lee Settle was born in Charleston.



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