CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – A group of Charleston neighbors are working to preserve part of the community’s history. They start by installing new bright and colorful signs with artwork that shows what life was like in the early 1900s.
“This place is important and when people find out about it, it will become big,” said Shauna Steadman, who lives in the community. Steadman has a love for history. She is one of many who have worked on a project to share more about the history of the Luna Park neighborhood on Charleston’s West Side. The area was the site of a community amusement park from 1912 to 1923. There are now four walkway signs to mark and beautify the area. Each measures over five feet in diameter.
“Each sign sits at a corner of the historic district to show you where it all begins and ends, which is Delaware Avenue at Glenwood Avenue and Kanawha Boulevard and Main,” explained Corey Zinn, Marketing and Creative Consultant for the project.
The Luna Park Historic District Committee of the West Side Neighborhood Association worked with the City of Charleston and the Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation to bring this vision to life.
“What we’re seeing here is a riverboat coming down to ferry people in and they’ve come from as far as Ohio and other places and got there by river,” Steadman explained, pointing one of the new panels. “Then they docked and they came here to Luna Park. Thousands of people came to the park when it was operational.
Beyond the signs, there are also videos and interviews explaining the area’s past on a website created to showcase the area’s history. They will put up more signs later this year to help people learn more.
“We would like to see more people buying homes and investing on the West Side,” Zinn said. “It would be a huge success.”
There is also a lot more to this story. 13 News is working on a more in-depth story that will air next Tuesday as part of our recognition of Black History Month.