FAYETTEVILLE, WV (WVNS) — A new Civil War Trails sign at Love Hope Center for the Arts will be unveiled for the public to see.

The community is invited to attend the event on Monday, April 3, 2023, at 11:00 A.M., the 161st anniversary of the historic Passover Seder, which took place there in 1862. Guest speakers will include Dr. Joseph Golden from Temple Beth El., in Beckley, Ennis Smith, the Director of Destination Development for the West Virginia Department of Tourism, Delegate Eric Brooks and other community leaders.

This is the first Civil War Trails site in the nation which talks about the victory of Jewish soldiers. The men, under the command of the President-to-be Rutherford Hayes, were camped in the wild of West Virginia and were able to get all the items needed to properly observe the Passover holiday.

“In the midst of our nation’s darkest hour, these soldiers came together, enabled by the larger community and in doing so they offered peace and hope to a nation at war,” said Drew Gruber who oversees the multi-state Civil War Trails program.

This project is the result of several years of dedication by local historians, Temple Beth El in Beckley, Love Hope Center for the Arts and the New River Gorge Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Dr. Golden researched the story of the 1862 Seder but also read from the soldier’s diaries during their own Passover celebrations.

“Commemorating this Passover Seder celebrated by 20 Jewish Union soldiers has importance to the Jewish community in Fayette and Raleigh Counties. Although we are a minority, and they were a minority in the Union Army, they were and we are part and parcel of the diverse fabric that make up this nation of ours,” said Dr. Golden.

The team at the New River Gorge Convention and Visitors Bureau who partnered with the Civil War Trails program in the county is excited for the new site as well.

“This is an asset to our growing tourism industry and community, said Becky Sullivan, Executive Director of the Convention and Visitors Bureau. “We are finding more and more that people love learning the history of the places they visit,” she continued.

Secretary Ruby of West Virginia Tourism is looking forward to showing off some the history in the Mountain State. Her office assists in promoting the over 150 Civil War Trails sites and stories across the state.

Secretary Ruby said, “West Virginia has such a rich, diverse history that deserves to be celebrated, this site is no exception. Travelers get to experience history first-hand with the help of the Civil War Trails signage. I’m thrilled that another stop has been added to honor this event in our great state.”

The unveiling will take place at 100 Rotan St., Fayetteville, WV 25840. Polecat Tacos will have parking available for people attending the event. For more information about the unveiling, call Civil War Trails at 757-378-5462.

Be sure to snap a selfie with the new sign and check in @lovehopearts, #civilwartrails, #signselfie, #gogorge.

To begin planning your trip to visit this site, you can get a free brochure at newrivergorgecvb.com.