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Lunch With Books Set To Welcome Author Ed Watts

WHEELING — The Ohio County Public Library’s next weekly Lunch With Books program will feature “Cannel Coal Oil Days: A Novel” author Ed Watts.

The program will take place at noon on Tuesday,

In the book, Theophile Maher tells the story of a chemical engineer who arrives in Mill Creek, western Virginia, in 1859 to improve the mining and production of cannel coal oil for a company. Cannel coal oil was then contending to replace the depleted whale oil market to illuminate American homes.

While there, Mr. Mark not only reforms the company’s operations in more environmentally friendly ways, but he also engages with the local mountain communities, both black and white. When the election of 1860 brings national politics to the Mill Creek hollow, Mark organizes the Union militia and helps rally the vote in Charleston to separate West Virginia from Virginia.

Watts is professor of English emeritus from Michigan State University. He has written or edited nine other books. He is also Theophile Maher’s great-great-grandson.

Lunch With Books programs are free and open to the public. Unless otherwise noted, the programs take place at noon on Tuesday at the Ohio County Public Library in downtown Wheeling. Patrons are encouraged to bring their own lunches. Complimentary beverages and pretzels are served. The library will continue to stream the programs live on Facebook, YouTube and the library’s website.

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