CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A two-story, 12-room estate house built for a Charleston lawyer and newspaper publisher in 1852 will be the classroom for "Glenwood and the History of Charleston," a seminar for students in Marshall's Graduate Humanities Program and interested members of the public.
The historic Glenwood Estate in Charleston's West Side hills "will be used as a window to peer into the history of the West Side," said Billy Joe Peyton of West Virginia State University's history department, who will teach the course. "We will be looking at 19th-century history mostly, focusing on the transition of Glenwood and the West Side from an agricultural region of five slave plantations into an industrial and residential area."
Students will use journals and diaries of 19th-century residents of Glenwood "to gain insight into their everyday lives," Peyton said.
Glenwood Estate was built for James Madison Laidley, publisher of The Western Register, an early Charleston newspaper, and the owner of a 366-acre farm that extended from the West Side hills to the Kanawha River. Slaves were used to operate Glenwood and four adjoining farms in the 1850s and early 1860s.
In 1857, Glenwood was sold to George Summers II, a former U.S. congressman and a staunch Union loyalist, despite his ownership of slaves. The home was occupied by Summers' descendants until 1983, when great-granddaughter Lucy Quarrier died, after deeding Glenwood to the Marshall University Graduate Studies Foundation, the forerunner of the Historic Glenwood Foundation.
Today, Glenwood is operated by the Historic Glenwood Foundation, which, with Marshall's Graduate Humanities Program, is co-sponsoring Peyton's class.
Class size for the three-credit-hour graduate class is limited to 10 students. Tuition assistance is available through the Historic Glenwood Foundation. The class will meet at Glenwood from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays beginning Jan. 12 and continue until May 6.
For a one-credit-hour course, open to members of the public who have undergraduate degrees, the class will meet four times.
More information is available by calling the program office, at 304-746-2022, or by visiting www.marshall.edu/graduatehumanities.
Reach Rick Steelhammer at rsteelham...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5169.