The West Virginia Railroad Museum will present “The 1858 Artists’ Excursion on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad,” a portrayal and lecture presented by Don Teter at 7 p.m. on October 5, 2023 at the Darden Mill, Elkins. This event is free & open to the public.
Don Teter is a native of Elkins who still lives in Randolph County. He earned a degree in History and Political Science from Davis and Elkins College and was self-employed for over 35 years as a land surveyor.
Don has been presenting professional continuing education seminars for surveyors for over 20 years, and since 2018 has been Assistant Professor of Surveying at Fairmont State University. He is actively involved in local historic groups and preservation efforts, including currently serving as President of the Randolph County Historical Society and being a member of the West Virginia Railroad Museum. He was previously on the History Alive! roster of the West Virginia Humanities Council and continues to freelance portrayals of Porte Crayon and other historic characters.
Sketch artist and writer David Hunter Strother published his work in popular journals like Harper’s Magazine using the nom de plume “Porte Crayon.” Don Teter will portray Mr. Crayon reminiscing about the 1858 “Artists’ Excursion” on the B & O Railroad with tales of the characters and events of the journey from Baltimore, Maryland, to Wheeling, (West)Virginia.
The artist will also relate a few other tales of his experiences and the characters encountered during his travels in (West) Virginia during the 1850’s, and a few anecdotes about his Civil War service, with his lecture being illustrated with his own sketches as published in Harper’s. Porte will also take questions about his adventures.
The presentation will conclude with Don Teter, the researcher and presenter, speaking about Porte Crayon, the excursion, and its place in railroad history. Mr. Teter will also field questions from the audience, and is fond of saying that even if he doesn’t know a good answer he will still give the subject a thorough flogging.