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Speaker series kicks off Dec. 1

By Staff | Nov 25, 2011

The Historic Shepherdstown Commission will kick off a speaker series honoring Shepherdstown’s 250th anniversary with a Dec. 1 talk about the town’s early years.

The opening speaker will be Shenandoah University History Professor Warren Hofstra.

Hofstra’s talk, entitled “The Making of Mecklenburg and the Settlement of the Virginia Backcountry,” will take place in the auditorium of the Robert C. Byrd Center for Legislative Studies at 7 p.m. Refreshments will follow the lecture.

The Byrd Center is located on the Shepherd University campus at 213 King St., Shepherdstown. Parking is available behind the Byrd Center.

This first lecture in Historic Shepherdstown’s 250th Speaker Series is also sponsored by the Shepherdstown Community Club, formerly the men’s club, and the Jefferson County Historical Society.

Hofstra has written extensively on the topic of early backcountry Virginia, which includes Shepherdstown or Mecklenburg, as it was first called. He has written “The Planting of New Virginia: Settlement and Landscape in the Shenandoah Valley” and edited “The Great Valley Road of Virginia: Shenandoah Landscapes from Prehistory to the Present.”

The Historic Shepherdstown 250th Anniversary Speaker series will continue throughout the year of Shepherdstown’s anniversary celebration:

March 29, 2012: President of the Rumseian Society Nick Blanton – “Stubborn Advocates: How Shepherdstown Came to Carry a Torch for James Rumsey.” Entler Hotel, 7 p.m.

April 26, 2012: Coordinator of Shepherd University’s Historic Preservation Program Keith Alexander – “Town Run: Economic Heartbeat of Early Shepherdstown.” Entler Hotel, 7 p.m.

May 24, 2012: Shepherd University Research Assistant Professor Hannah Geffert and others – “Brown v. Board of Education and Integration in Shepherdstown.” A panel discussion. Entler Hotel, 7 p.m.

Sept. 5, 2012: Shepherd History Professor Emeritus Jerry Thomas – “Myths, ‘True Facts,’ and Surprising Tidbits of Shepherdstown History: A Brief Account of Some Twists and Turns along the Path of the Walking Tour.” Entler Hotel, 7 p.m.

Sept. 20, 2012: Shepherd graduate and Civil War Trust staffer, Nicholas Redding – “Like an Awful Dream: Shepherdstown at War, 1961-1865” – Robert C. Byrd Legislative Center Auditorium, Shepherd University, 7 p.m., reception to follow.

Oct. 25, 2012: Shepherd University Communications Department Chair Kevin Williams – “The Shepherdstown Train Station: An Oral History,” a film. Entler Hotel, 7 p.m.

Nov. 29, 2012: Shepherd Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History John Stealey III. “Shepherdstown’s History in Regional and National Context” (tentative title) – Robert C. Byrd Legislative Center Auditorium, Shepherd University, 7 p.m. Also sponsored by the Jefferson County Historical Society and the Shepherdstown Community Club. Robert C. Byrd Legislative Center Auditorium, 7 p.m., reception to follow.