A Family Reunion’s Southern WV Experience


Burks Family Reunion 2014

Our ‘job’ is to tell you how great southern West Virginia is so that you will come to visit – well we do and IT IS!  But it is always nice to have someone else tell that story for us so we were thrilled when Jacque, who recently served as a step on guide for The Burks Family Reunion, sent us an email sharing the experience her and the family had while touring southern West Virginia . . . Thanks Jacque for the story and the photos!

The Burks Family Reunion commenced on Thursday, July 31, 2014, in Charleston, WV with family members arriving from NJ,OH, AL, DE, and North Central WV to tour Southern WV. I, Jacque, currently residing in Fairmont, served as the tour guide for the bus trip.


Burks Family Reunion 2014

Our first stop was at the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine and Village. What an awesome tour and informational session. The tour guide was awesome. The family was so intrigued with the information and question and answer period, our tour lasted a little longer than expected. The family had the opportunity to visit the replica’s of the coal camps as it was in the 1930’s. It was so very interesting knowing the buildings were reconstructed with the original material from the old homes. The exhibition and tour of the coal community was amazing. The children also enjoyed the Children’s Museum.

We left the exhibition going to Tamarack “The Best of West Virginia”. Family members were able to visit the fabulous artisian works of our friends of WV while enjoying lunch.

The family boarded the bus to travel to the New River Gorge Bridge Overlook. Our family members were in awe when the bus cross the bridge traveling north from Beckley. I was explaining to the family the history of the bridge. The bus drive from NJ, tried to look over the bridge, however, I told him, “Not you, keep your eyes on the road”! The family roared in laughter. It was a great outing for the family. The bus driver, however, was able to walk to the overlook. Hehe. My Aunts and Uncle who grew up in WV before relocating to the city were extremely excited to view the beautiful hills and mountains of WV.


Burks Family Reunion 2014

Our family had a great outing just visiting those three sites. The Hawk’s Nest was on the agenda, but, we ran out of time to visit. It was my plan to take the bus across the Midland trail back into Charleston. However, my siblings didn’t think it would be a good idea to proceed with those plans.

Hopefully, we’ll be able to showcase Hawks Nest and the additional history of our forefathers, African American’s, and their contribution in building WV.