Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center – Fairmont, West Virginia - Atlas Obscura

Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center

Fairmont State University
Fairmont, West Virginia

The center preserves and houses artifacts ranging from the colonial era to modern times from across Appalachia. 

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The Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center, located on the campus of Fairmont State University, has been open to the public since its 2011 remodel. Its original usage was designated as a barn for storing animals and hay during the winter months, but was eventually turned into an apartment complex.

Since the early 2010s, this location has been a preserver, storer, and identifier of anything folklore related, primarily focusing on the culture of West Virginia and the surrounding Appalachian region. Inside there is a library and classroom, which serve its use as an educational center teaching classes in the fields of folklore and museum studies. The center regularly hosts free events with authors, storytellers, musicians, journalists, documentarians, and photographers to put the region’s history, nature, heritage, and cultural traditions on display.

Housed in the Center are publications from Dr. Ruth Ann Musick, including ghost-themed novels (such as The Telltale Lilac Bush) and multiple issues of Traditions magazines, which details numerous significant cultural and historical places, people, industries, and more from West Virginia. Upstairs in the “Great Room of Cultures” are panels displaying artifacts and related names, places, and events of the peoples and industries that have shaped West Virginia from early human history to modern day.

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