W.Va. – West Virginia Independence Hall (WVIH) in Wheeling will host the second
program of the Fort Henry Commemoration Speaker Series in the auditorium at
5:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 23. The speaker series is observing the 240th
anniversary year of the first siege of Fort Henry and the 235th anniversary of
the second siege.
Brennan, a Wheeling native and local historian, will present the lecture “A
Profile of Betty Zane, Heroine of Fort Henry.” Brennan holds a bachelor’s
degree in history from Wheeling College, a master’s degree in history and a
certificate in public history from West Virginia University.
“Betty” Zane was the youngest sister of the Zane brothers, members of
Wheeling’s founding family. She was about 16 years old when she arrived in
Wheeling in 1782, right in the middle of the Indian Wars of the Upper Ohio
Valley which took place from 1774 to 1794.
gained fame as a local heroine for her now famous run for gunpowder during the
second siege of Fort Henry during the 1782 battle. She ran about 60 yards to
her brother Ebenezer’s blockhouse and carried back enough powder to enable the
fort defenders to hold off the enemy. That act made her a legend in her own
time, and the publication of the book Betty Zane by Zane Grey in 1903
gained her national attention.
program is co-hosted by the Wheeling Chapter, Daughters of the American
Revolution and the Fort Henry Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution, and
sponsored by the Wheeling National Heritage Area Corporation.
Virginia Independence Hall has been on the National Register of Historic Places
(NRHP) since 1970. It was originally built as a federal custom house in 1859,
served as the home of the pro-Union state conventions of Virginia during the
spring and summer of 1861 and as the capitol of loyal Virginia from June 1861
to June 1863. It also was the site of the first constitutional convention for
a National Historic Landmark in 1988, the museum is maintained and operated by
the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, with the cooperation and
assistance of the West Virginia Independence Hall Foundation. The museum is
open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, except major
holidays. The museum is located on the corner of 16th and Market Streets in
West Virginia Division of Culture and History is an agency within the Office of
the Secretary of Education and the Arts, Gayle Manchin, cabinet
secretary. The division, led by Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith, brings
together the past, present and future through programs and services focusing on
archives and history, arts, historic preservation and museums. For more
information about the division’s programs, events and sites, visit www.wvculture.org. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal
Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.