Gerald W. Sutphin will kick off “The History and Culture of West Virginia: A Lecture Series” with his talk on “Steamboats, Rivers and West Virginia” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22, in Marshall University Foundation Hall, home of the Erickson Alumni Center.
A native of Mullens, W.Va., and a Marshall graduate with degrees in art and journalism, Sutphin served in the U.S. Army before returning to Huntington, where he worked for the U.S. Corps of Engineers for the next 18 years. During this time he developed a keen interest in the history of riverboats that navigated the river systems feeding the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. Sutphin has written numerous articles and book chapters on the topic and has overseen the creation of various exhibits at the Smithsonian and The Huntington Museum of Art. A recent contribution is a chapter in the book, Full Steam Ahead: Reflections on the Impact of the First Steamboat on the Ohio River, 1811-2011, copies of which will be available at the presentation.
The lecture series is sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts and will feature monthly speakers through April.