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"I am completely smitten with the Lunch with Books patrons...who welcomed me like a long-lost cousin. It takes two to have a successful reading: an enthusiastic presenter and an engaged audience, and boy did the stars align for us." -Marie Manilla, Still Life with Plums

"Lunch With Books is an outstanding program -- one of the best in the country." -NPR Journalist Matthew Algeo, The President is a Sick Man


"With a new book in hand, I’ve visited a lot of libraries lately, and I think the Ohio County Public Library is my all-time favorite. People are kind and welcoming, and deeply appreciate a visiting writer." -Jaimy Gordon, Lord of Misrule (National Book Award)

“I wanted the book launch to be at Lunch With Books because it is the best library book program in West Virginia and because Wheeling and the Wheeling area was centrally involved in so many of the firsts in West Virginia sports.” –Bob Barnett, Hillside Fields: A History of Sports in West Virginia

Next: The B & O and the Civil War

Next: The B & O and the Civil War
Was the first front of the Civil War actually the main line of the B&O Railroad?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

July 29 The B.&O. During the Civil War

On Tuesday, July 29 at noon at Lunch With Books at the Ohio County Public Library, Dan Toomey, author of The War Came by Train, The B. & O. Railroad During the Civil War, 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 1000-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, Virginia (now West Virginia), to drive off Confederate forces near Grafton. Thus, it can be stated that that the first front of the war was neither a political nor a geographical boundary, but the main line of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. Dan Toomey will explore this first front concept in depth.

Author Daniel Carroll Toomey is a seventh generation Marylander whose first American ancestor
taught school for John Carroll of Carrollton. His 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. Mr. Toomey has lectured for a number of historical organizations as well as the National Park Service and the Smithsonian Institution. He course “The Civil War in Maryland” has been offered at a number of local colleges. He has also contributed to radio and television programs and two Civil War battle videos. 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. Dan 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 many 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.

The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, is dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of American railroading and its impact on American society, culture, and economy. The Museum is home to the oldest, most important and comprehensive collection of American railroad artifacts in the world including an unparalleled roster of 19th and 20th century railroad equipment. The 40-acre historic site is regarded as the birthplace of American railroading and includes the 1851 Mt. Clare Station, the 1884 Baldwin Roundhouse.

Lunch With Books programs are free and open to the public. Patrons are invited to bring a bag lunch and free beverages are served. Please visit ohiocountylibrary.org, call 304-232-0244, or visit facebook.com/lunchwithbooks for more information.

AND on July 29 at 7 PM: People's University, American History III, The Jazz Age, part 1.

In a nation weary of war, women exercised their newly found freedom (having won the right to vote in 1920) and Harlem nightclubs thrived, featuring jazz musicians like Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington.
Instructor: Dr. Joe Laker. Please visit ohiocountylibrary.org, call 304-232-0244, or visit facebook.com/lunchwithbooks for more information.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

After the Storm

Burial of the Civil War Dead

July 22, 2014

Event starts at 12:00 PM.


When the fighting stops and the armies move on, what happens to the dead left behind? Local efforts might take care of the problem initially, but the cleanup is a process that will last years as family members search for loved ones and the government or Confederate associations seek ways to properly care for the dead.

Kathleen Logothetis Thompson graduated from Siena College (2010) with a B.A. in History and a Certificate in Revolutionary Era Studies and from West Virginia University (2012) with a Masters in History (focus on the American Civil War). She is pursuing her doctorate at West Virginia University. Kathleen has been a seasonal historical interpreter at Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park since 2010.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Moses Fleetwood Walker at Noon and the Great War at 7 PM

Lunch With Books: Moses Fleetwood Walker


July 15, 2014, Event starts at 12:00 PM.

Stark State College instructor Craig Brown is leading an effort to create an official day to honor Moses Fleetwood Walker, the first African American to play major league baseball, many years before Jackie Robinson. Walker was born in Mt. Pleasant Ohio. Brown will discuss Walker's fascinating life. Meanwhile, you can show your support by liking the Moses Fleetwood Walker Day Facebook page: 

https://www.facebook.com/mosesfleetwoodwalkerday






And at 7 PM: The People's University, American History III, World War I, part 1 with instructor Dr. Hal Gorby.



Wednesday, July 2, 2014

July 8 (rescheduled from Jan 7) Black Damp Century

Author Kerry George will be at Lunch With Books at the Ohio County Public Library in Wheeling on Tuesday, July 8 at noon to discuss his book, Black DampCentury, a story of strife, loyalty, and fury set against the backdrop of coal mining in West Virginia, beginning with the bloody battle at Blair Mountain. Mr. George is a retired U.S. Mine Inspector. Lunch With Books programs are free and open to the public. Patrons are invited to bring a bag lunch and free beverages are served. Please visit ohiocountylibrary.org, call 304-232-0244, or visit facebook.com/lunchwithbooks for more information.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

July 01, 2014: Lunch With Books: Author David Giffels

Author David Giffels will be at Lunch With Books at the Ohio County Public Library on Tuesday, July 1 at noon to discuss his new book The Hard Way on Purpose, a collection of linked essays about the quirky, hardbitten cultural landscape of the Rust Belt and the people who thrive there. 

An assistant professor of English at University of Akron, Giffels teaches creative nonfiction in the Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts Program.

Giffels’ last book, All the Way Home: Building a Family in a Falling-Down House, received widespread acclaim, from the New York Times, which described it as “sweet and funny” to the Los Angeles Times, which called it “a truly wonderful book” to Oprah’s O at Home magazine, where it topped the “Fantastic Summer Reads” list.

Giffels is coauthor of Are We Not Men? We Are Devo! and Wheels of Fortune: The Story of Rubber in Akron. He was a longtime columnist for the Akron Beacon Journal and a contributing commentator and essayist on National Public Radio station WKSU in Kent, Ohio. He has written for the New York Times Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, Grantland, Parade, Redbook and many other publications. He also was a writer for the MTV series Beavis and Butt-Head.

His recent awards include the Cleveland Arts Prize for literature, the Ohioana Book Award, and the National Society of Newspaper Columnists award for excellence.

Lunch With Books programs are free and open to the public. Patrons are invited to bring a bag lunch and free beverages are served. Please visit ohiocountylibrary.org, call 304-232-0244, or visit facebook.com/lunchwithbooks for more information.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Javersak will Explore the Gilded Age and the Great War

June 24 The Great War: 100 years Later 
On Tuesday, June 24 at noon, century after the assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand sparked war in Europe, Dr. David Javersak will be at Lunch With Books at the Ohio County Public Library to discuss the impact of the First World War on the people and industries of the Upper Ohio Valley. Lunch With Books programs are free and open to the public. Patrons are invited to bring a bag lunch and free beverages are served. Please visit ohiocountylibrary.org, call 304-232-0244, or visit facebook.com/lunchwithbooks for more information.

June 24 at 7 PM: The People's University, American History III, The Gilded Age to the Jazz Age, part 2, 
The growth of industry, increased production of steel, increased demand for oil, and railroad development, led to rapid wealth accumulation for certain businessmen, who became known as “Robber Barons.”
Instructor: David Javersak (retired professor of history, West Liberty University). 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Arts Fest Events at Library Will Explore the History of Photography


The Ohio County Public Library in Wheeling will serve, along with West Virginia Northern Community College and West Virginia Independence Hall, as one of the venues for the annual Wheeling Arts Fest on Saturday, June 21.

As announced by the History and Literature Committee of the City of Wheeling Arts and Cultural Commission, the theme for the library events will be the “Art and History of Photography.”

The first program will begin at 11 AM in the library’s auditorium, and will feature West Virginia Poet Laureate Marc Harshman, who will conduct a special reading plus workshop concerned with ekphrastic poetry, that is, poetry that is inspired by or offers comments upon another art form, such as photography.  He believes ekphrastic poetry provide an exciting prompt for a writer and suspects that people know more of such work than they may realize citing the pop song “Starry Night” by Don McLean, as one example, and Bob Dylan’s many allusions to Shakespeare, as another. Harshman will conduct a reading of some of the seminal verse arising from this peculiar yet often popular perspective. Following the reading he will lead participants in a writing exercise designed to draw them into a full engagement with a work of art that will fuel their own literary art, their own work of words. 

Harshman was appointed poet laureate by Governor Earl Ray Tomblin in 2012.  His eleven children’s books include THE STORM, a Smithsonian Notable Book, and he has three new children’s books forthcoming.  His full-length poetry collection, GREEN-SILVER AND SILENT, was recently published and his fourth chapbook, ALL THAT FEEDS US: THE WEST VIRGINIA POEMS came out from Quarrier Press just last year. Last year, Marc was commissioned by the Wheeling National Heritage Area to write a poem in honor of West Virginia’s Sesquicentennial. On June 20th his poem “A Song for West Virginia” was presented in both Charleston and Wheeling as a part of the day-long festivities.  A new, full-color edition of this poem will be available at the Wheeling Arts Fest.

At noon, Miriam MeislikMedia Curator, Archives Service Center, University Library System at the University of Pittsburgh, will present a history of photography as an art form and discuss the importance of photographs as primary source documents for historians. The presentation will include a hands-on exhibit. Meislik is an experienced speaker and educator and has published a book called Historic Photos of Pittsburgh.

At 1:30 PM, attendees will be able to learn the art, science and history of tintype photographywith expert Jason Snyder, owner of Pittsburgh Tintype Studio. Snyder uses a 19th century process to create unique photographs on aluminum using the same technique that was popular during the Civil War era. Following Snyder's presentation, for a fee, guests will be able to have their own authentic tintype portrait taken and developed. “This is an excellent opportunity for living historians and Civil War reenactors to have an authentic tintype portrait made in costume,” Snyder said. The photographs will be 4x5 in size, and Snyder will offer a discount from his usual studio rate to $45 per plate. He will only have time to complete a limited number of tintypes, so make your reservation today by sending an email to lunchwithbooks@yahoo.com or calling 304-232-0244. Stages Inc. of Wheeling will be on hand with one-size-fits-all costumes for people who want to have a tintype done and don't have a costume with them. There will be no charge for costume use.

In addition to the library programs, the History and Literature Committee will offer a “Spoken Word” table at the main festival venue at the WVNCC plaza. Books from local authors will be available.

All of the library’s Arts Fest programs are free and open to the public. As described above, there will be a charge of $45.00 for any attendees who would like to receive a tintype portrait from Pittsburgh Tintype Studio. Please call the library at 304-232-0244 or visit ohiocountylibrary.org or wheelingartsfest.com for more information.

Top Ten Lunch With Books Programs

Program; Presenter; Attendance; Date

1. SAENGERFEST; Eintracht German Singing Society; 200; 07-17-10

2. A Lucky Child; Auschwitz Survivor Judge Thomas Buergenthal; 198; 03-04-11

3. Fashion Show; Civil War 150; 194; 11-20-11

4. Ruanaidh; Art Rooney, Jr. and Jim O'Brien; 168; 06-15-10

5. Follow the River; James Alexander Thom; 160; 06-05-08

6. Warwood Memories; 157; 12-18-12

7. The Quiet Man Pub Reading; 150; 08-30-12

8. Wheeling Then and Now; Sean Duffy; 146; 09-07-10

9. Bloch Brother Tobacco; Stuart Bloch; 131; 04-27-10

10. Reasons to Believe; Dr. Scott Hahn; 126; 08-21-07

Book Discussion Groups

The Ohio County Public Library facilitates book discussion groups for both young adults and adults. Currently, the OCPL offers two adult groups, which meet on the first Monday and third Thursday of each month.

In addition to its own growing collection, the OCPL has access to the book discussion collection of the West Virginia Library Commission.

To join or form a book discussion group, or for more information, please call 304-232-0244.

Meeting of the Minds Philosophy Group

The Meeting of the Minds Philosophic Inquiry Forum is facilitated by David Weimer. The group meets virtually every Tuesday at 6 PM. Call the library for meeting room locations.

For more information, visit www.firstknowthyself.org/m&mphilosophy.htm or contact group organizer, David Weimer, at 740 526-0985 or by email at dwwweimer@comcast.net..