Library announces upcoming activities

WHEELING – The Ohio County Public Library has announced upcoming programs.

They include:

Noon Tuesday, “Lunch With Books: The B&O Railroad During the Civil War.”

Dan Toomey, “The War Came by Train: The B&O Railroad During the Civil War” author, will explore the concept that the “first front” of the war was neither a political nor a geographical boundary, but the main line of the B&O.

When the Civil War began, railroads in the North were poised to support the Union war effort by moving men and material in volumes and speed never before seen in the history of warfare.

One of the leading railroads in the nation, the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, was located in the South, but economically tied to the North and West.

Immediately after the firing on Fort Sumter, the Baltimore and Ohio became the first military objective of the war.

Union soldiers arrived at Camden Station on April 19, 1861, following the first land battle of the war that was fought on the streets of Baltimore. The same day Virginia state troops occupied Harpers Ferry where a 1,000-foot bridge carried trains over the Potomac River.

A month later, a Union regiment commanded by a former B&O employee left the western terminus at Wheeling to drive off Confederate forces near Grafton.

Toomey is a graduate of the University of Maryland and the author of several books including “The Civil War in Maryland,” “Marylanders at Gettysburg” and “The Maryland Line Confederate Soldiers’ Home.” He is also co-author of “Baltimore During the Civil War” and “Marylanders in Blue,” all of which were published by Toomey Press.

Toomey has lectured for a number of historical organizations as well as the National Park Service and the Smithsonian Institution.

He is a member of the Surratt Society, and the Maryland Arms Collectors Association, and the Company of Military Historians.

He serves on the Maryland Military Monuments Commission and was project historian for the Maryland Memorial erected at Gettysburg in 1994.

Toomey has won numerous awards for his historical research and exhibits including the Gettysburg National Battlefield Award in 1985 and was the 2001 recipient of the Peterkin Award given by the National Park Service at Fort McHenry for his contributions in the field of research and preservation.

Toomey is currently the Guest Curator at the B&O Railroad Museum for the five year exhibit, “The War Came By Train,” commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.

Lunch With Books programs are free and open to the public.

Patrons are invited to bring a bag lunch and free beverages are served.

7 p.m. Tuesday, “People’s University, American History III: The Jazz Age, Part I.”

In a nation weary of war, women exercised their newly found freedom and Harlem night clubs thrived, featuring jazz musicians like Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington.

Joe Laker instructs.

Noon Aug. 5, “Lunch With Books, Receiving the Spiritual Bread: The Presbyterian Church in Wheeling.”

Jeanne Finstein of Friends of Wheeling will present. The growth, strength and decline of the Presbyterian church parallel the growth, economic strength and population decline of Wheeling. Finstein will show how the city’s history and the history of the local Presbyterian denomination parallel each other.

Lunch With Books programs are free and open to the public. Patrons are invited to bring a bag lunch and free beverages are served.

7 p.m. Aug. 5, “People’s University, American History III; The Jazz Age, Part II.”

Hal Gorby instructs.

Noon Aug. 12, “Lunch With Books: Visiting South Africa.”

Chad Felt, a Linsly School English teacher, will share his experiences from his travels in South Africa and books and readings connected to the experience.

Lunch With Books programs are free and open to the public. Patrons are invited to bring a bag lunch and free beverages are served.

7 p.m. Aug. 12, “Meet Some Residents of Greenwood Cemetery.”

Those who missed the recent on-site tour of the cemetery can meet some of the “residents.” Actors will appear in costume to discuss their lives.

The program is free and open to the public. Free beverages will be served.

Visit ohiocountylibrary.org, call (304) 232-0244, or visit facebook.com/lunchwithbooks for information.

The library is located at 52 16th St.