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Moundsville featured in documentary that premieres Friday

The city of Moundsville’s storied past is being featuring in a documentary that premieres on Friday.

The city of Moundsville’s storied past is being featuring in a documentary that premieres on Friday.

“It was a town that has some of the most glorious industrial past in the whole country, had one of the world's biggest toy factories, big glass-making plants,” Filmmaker John Miller said. “It's all pretty much gone, but there’s still this pride and this fascination with the past.”

Miller first stopped in Moundsville in 2013, when he was writing for the Wall Street Journal.

Over the years, he made a few return trips for articles.

But he wanted to get more in depth, so he joined filmmaker David Bernabo and made a few trips to Marshall county to learn about the city's past.

“It was in thanks to people like Phil Remke, the vice mayor, and Gene Saunders, the former mayor, or Gary Rider, the town historian that we started networking and finding the right cast to talk to,” Miller said.

The film will focus on everything from the Adena people building the mound to the Marx Toy Factory, to where the city stands now.

Miller is hoping to show that despite big industries leaving the area, things are still doing well.

“People often portray Appalachia as this place where everybody is dying of opioids. Most people are not on opioids, they're just trying to get by, make a living,” Miller said. “There's life in places like this, there's a reality.”

You'll see plenty of faces you recognize and many stops along that way that are staples throughout the city.

And mostly, you'll see a place that has continued to grow despite some economic hardships.

“So this is like, out of the void of things that are gone, there's new opportunities that can be creative. People are resilient and scrappy that way,” Miller said.

“Moundsville” will premiere a 7 p.m. on Friday at the Strand Theatre. Tickets are $5.

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