The Daywood Foundation Grant to Promote Dr. Musick’s History 

Fairmont State University’s Frank & Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center most recently received the Daywood Foundation Grant.  These funds will go towards purchasing “Dr. Musick’s Trunks of Tales”, which will feature two of her famous books, Coffin Hollow and Other Ghost Tales and The Telltale Lilac Bush and Other West Virginia Ghost Tales.  These trunks will feature lesson plans for teachers and students, made by Folklife Center Interim Director, Francine Kirk, Project Manager, Tiffany Martin, and seven work studies students. 

Dr. Ruth Ann Musick is a very important figure in the Fairmont community. She taught Mathematics and English at Fairmont State University from 1946-1967.  Dr. Musick was eventually named West Virginia’s folklore ambassador, where she promoted the traditions through “education, public speaking, radio, and television.” (Byers) The campus’ library was named after Dr. Musick in 1980, because of her impact on the town and the university (Byers).  

The group will provide information about Dr. Musick and her stories, as well as folklore, in general. The lesson plans are going to be directed to students in grades 4-8, but the plans will be designed to potentially accompany other grade levels. The hope is to inspire students who are reading the books, to speak with their family members about their family stories. There will also be lesson plans designed for students to learn about several stories in the book.  

Many people may ask, “How does this benefit Fairmont State University and its’ Folklife Center?”  Dr. Kirk responded to that with, “We plan to put information about the Daywood Foundation, Fairmont State University, and the Folklife Center in the teacher resources.  We hope these lessons will spur students’ interest in folklore. Dr. Musick’s stories are interesting, and they contain nuggets of West Virginia history and culture. Reading and talking about the stories is gratifying.  Also, we hope this project will introduce these stories to a new generation of young people.” 


Byers, Judy Prozzillo “Ruth Ann Musick.” e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. 16 September 2016. Web. 01 February 2021.