1928 - Alderson High School - 1968
GREENBRIER HISTORICAL SOCIETY 814 West Washington Street Lewisburg, WV  24910 304-645-3398                                                                                                                Sunday Tea And Performance-GHS Home Tour Weekend The   Sunday,   June   11,   event   of   the   Greenbrier   Historical   Society’s   (GHS)   Home Tour   Weekend   is   an   opportunity   for   GHS   to showcase   the   Village   of   White   Sulphur   Springs.   These   activities   follow   the   Gala   on   Friday,   June   9   from   5-7   p.m.   at   the home of Angus Peyton and the historic homes  tour on Saturday, June 10, from 10-5 p.m.    White    Sulphur    Springs    was    chosen    for    the    Sunday    event    in    January,    2016    and    no    one    could    have    predicted    the devastation   that   would   strike   in   June.    However,   the   city   is   making   a   remarkable   recovery   and   Mayor   Lloyd   Haynes   is eager to continue with this plan.  The   event   will   consist   of   a   tour   of   the   historic   St.   Thomas   Episcopal   Church,   a   monologue   by   local   actor   Neely   Seams   as she   portrays   Katherine   Coleman   Goble   Johnson,   Medal   of   Freedom   winner   and   White   Sulphur   native,   and   afternoon   tea served   in   Butler   Memorial   Hall   located   in   the   church   complex.  The   first   seating   will   be   at   2:00   p.m.   and   the   second   seating will be at 4:00 p.m.  Tickets are limited to 90 per seating.  St. Thomas   Episcopal   Church   was   established   in   1886   on   the   grounds   of   what   was   then The   Old   White   Hotel,   predecessor of The   Greenbrier,   for   Episcopalians   who   were   staying   at   the   resort.    In   the   early   1930s,   the   resort   wanted   to   add   a   wing   to the   hotel   and   needed   to   move   the   church.    The   present   church   was   dedicated   in   1932   and   contains   many   of   the furnishings and fixtures from the original church and those can be viewed on the tour.    Arguably,   White   Sulphur   Springs’   most   famous   native   child   is   Katherine   Coleman   Goble   Johnson   who   was   born   in   White Sulphur,   lived   there   during   part   of   her   childhood,   and   even   worked   briefly   during   the   summers   at   The   Greenbrier.    While she   has   only   recently   become   famous   through   the   book   about   her   called   “Hidden   Figures”   by   Margot   Lee   Shetterly,   the movie   of   the   same   name   starring   Taraji   P.   Henson   as   Ms.   Johnson,   and   her   Medal   of   Freedom   award,   the   story   of Katherine   Johnson   has   grabbed   the   imagination   of   everyone.    That   is   especially   true   of   the   people   of   the   Greenbrier Valley.  Janice   Cooley,   member   of   the   Board   of   the   Greenbrier   Historical   Society,   said,   “Everyone   seems   surprised   that   they   did not know this story. That is one of the reasons we are so pleased to be able to share this performance.”    As   a   part   of   the   event   on   Sunday   afternoon,   June   11,   at   2:00   p.m.   and   again   at   4:00   p.m.,   Neely   Seams   will   be   portraying Katherine Johnson using a script written and directed by Pamela Barry with the permission of the Johnson family.  Pamela   Barry   retired   from   the   U.S.   House   of   Representatives   and   moved   to   Lewisburg   to   begin   a   new   career.   She became   a   professional   actor,   but   now   has   found   a   new   passion,   writing   and   directing   her   own   shows.   Pamela   wrote, directed,   and   produced   three   shows   for   the   Greenbrier   Historical   Society:   Historic   Ghosts,   Historic   Tragedies,   and   Historic Graveyard Townsfolk. She also manages an Alpaca farm and rescues retired racing greyhounds.  "I   am   honored   to   be   involved   in   the   Katherine   Johnson   project   and   excited   to   be   working   with   Neely   Seams,   a   very talented   actress.   Mrs.   Johnson   is   a   remarkable   woman   and   I   am   delighted   to   showcase   this   educational   and   historic drama   in   Mrs.   Johnson's   hometown,   White   Sulphur   Springs,"   said   Ms.   Barry.    She   added,   “It   is   important   to   learn   about   her early years and how many people invested in her obvious talent.”  Neely   Seams   is   from   Lewisburg,   West   Virginia.   She   is   a   Theatre   Performance   Major   at   Marshall   University   where   she   will be   a   sophomore   next   fall.   She   has   been   involved   with   theatre   her   entire   life   and   has   competed   in   the   national   poetry recitation   competition,   Poetry   Out   Loud,   where   she   had   the   honor   of   representing   her   state   twice   at   the   national   level.    Ms. Seams   said,   “While   I   am   sharing   this   wonderful   story   I   am   also   learning   more   about   African   American   history,   women’s history, and local history that is so often pushed aside.”     Tickets   are   available   at   the   North   House   Museum   and   the   Greenbrier   Convention   and   Visitors   Bureau   in   Lewisburg;   City Hall   in   White   Sulphur   Springs;   and   from   GHS   board   members.    Gala   tickets   are   $60;   tour   tickets   are   $30;   and   tea   tickets are   $20.  A   special   value   weekend   package   of   tickets   to   all   three   events   is   available   for   $100.    While   home   tour   tickets   will be   available   at   each   house   on   the   day   of   the   tour,   gala   and   tea   tickets   must   be   purchased   by   June   2.    Please   call   304-645- 3398   for   more   information.    The   Greenbrier   Historical   Society   thanks   The   Greenbrier   Resort   for   helping   to   sponsor   these events   and   the   Bluebell,   Lewisburg,   Savannah,   and   Old   White   Garden   Clubs   for   providing   flower   arrangements   and docents.  PHOTO CAPTIONS: Left: Neely Seams who will be portraying Medal of Freedom winner Katherine Coleman Goble Johnson. Right: St. Thomas Episcopal Church in White Sulphur Springs
Date: May 11, 2017
News Release
Contact:  Margaret Hambrick  or Nick LaCasse     304-646-2439               304-645-3398