AN ESSENTIAL SUMMER GUIDE TO TRAVEL IN WEST VIRGINIA
SUMMER of SUNDAES + MEALS ON WHEELS
DRIVING THROUGH THE DECADES
VOLUME 13 ◆ ISSUE 2
Summer 2020 features
The Greenbrier Relive yesteryear through the 1953 scrapbook of Helen Lazor.
Your Motorscenic HolidayTreat
Travel West Virginia Enjoy driving through the decades as we look back at how tourism shaped the state.
Take to the open road this summer with these Mountain Splendorland circle tours.
VOLUME 13 ◆ ISSUE 2
38 Libations Findley Martin is making exceptional wines in Morgantown. Do yourself a favor—get there soon. 39 Restaurant Make plans to stop by one of these unique eateries during your summer road trip. 42 Local Flavor Don’t forget the sprinkles when you visit Austin’s at The Market, Dairy Creme Corner, Ellen’s Homemade Ice Cream, Howdy’s Dari-Owl, or Page’s Ice Creamof West Virginia. 45 This Create these retro summer recipes. 50 Vittles Baker Cheese Company’s charcuterie boards are a perfect excuse for your next get-together. live 52 Local Mister Bee Potato Chips joins West Virginia University at Parkersburg in an agribusiness partnership. 56 In Lovely Spaces Dave Rosiello’s transformation of his 1970 Frolic XP proves that campers have s’more fun. 60 Creatively Rosalie Haizlett mapped a career as an illustrator focusing on the state’s most vulnerable places and things. 64 Away The Billy Motel, Capon Springs and Farms, Coolfont Resort, and Koolwink Motel evoke a time when a few days off looked a whole lot different. 96 The Last Word Growing up “rich” in West Virginia.
discover 14 Lake Time Five beaches to experience without leaving the Mountain State. 14 Handmade Browse items perfect for the glorious dog days ahead. 15 Town Weston—We can’t wait to say we knew you when. 16 Artist Nik Botkin is a West Virginia artist making true-to-size animals out of common kitchen utensils. 18 Kids WV Living magazine and WVU Medicine Children’s launched a contest in May to find some of the most incredible kids in the state. 19 Fame POTUS among us. 20 Sound Enjoy great food, craft beer, and live entertainment at The Purple Fiddle. 20 Made in WV Panther Primitives in Gilmer County makes “history’s best tents.” 21 How They Did It Custard Stand committed to home—and the owners have made it work. 22 Heritage The documentary Born in a Ballroom celebrates Helvetia and its beloved matriarch, Eleanor Mailloux.
24 Play WV Living Road Trip Bingo. 25 Shop Kin Ship Goods in Charleston is all about the hand-made and the heck-yeah. 27 Great Summer Reads Check out these trustworthy guides to Mountain State fun for your summer vacation planning. 28 Power Partners Eric and Tenise Young envision their Mountaineer Brand offering everything aman needs to take care of his body. 30 Country Roads Readers share their wild and wonderful selfies. 31 This Lost Appalachia Trading Co.: an online lifestyle brand with proud West Virginia roots. 31 Road Trip Checklist A little planning goes a long way when it comes to a fun, relaxed road trip. taste 34 Maker Chef Tim Urbanic of Cafe Cimino Country Inn serves up Appalachian cuisine with a Mediterranean twist.
ON THE COVER We took our travel theme to a whole new level by using a vintage 1929 West Virginia visitor's guide as our cover.
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are only a few hours from our homes.” That is still true today—nearly a hundred years later. The cover of this issue is reproduced from a 1929 travel guide that celebrated the newfound freedom of navigable roads. (We’ve also reproduced this as a frameable print and it is for sale at wvlivingcollection. com .) I purchased a scrapbook on Ebay that chronicled Helen Lazor’s 1956 trip toThe Greenbrier with a group of women called the National Association of Railway Business Women. What a hoot! You’ll see snippets from that trip on page 68. The mission of this magazine, like Know Your Own State a hundred years ago, is to inform and inspire our readers to intimately
We did a thing! Our New South Media publications are community builders, and it is our mission to help champion our small businesses not just through words, but also through action. In an effort to help our local small restaurants survive the social distancing requirements and keep our main streets thriving, my husband, Michael Mills, principal of the architecture firm Mills Group, and I spearheaded a community effort to organize, design, and fabricate dining parklets for High Street. After meeting with city officials, the West Virginia Department of Highways, Morgantown Parking Authority, and area restaurants, and getting the necessary approvals, we created a master plan for transforming parking spaces in front of restaurants into outside dining parklets that follow the state’s mandated restaurant seating guidelines. Using our social media following, we promoted the idea, generating and gauging interest. Community change happens when people come together to find a solution to a problem and then create an action plan to make it happen. And that’s what we did. Our hope is that this sets a precedent for more communities. A special thanks to Central Supply Company, which donated the concrete walls that serve as a protective barrier for our pilot location in front of Tin 202 on High Street. And a huge shoutout to all our supporters around the state that joined in on the conversation! Your voice helped make this happen!
If I had collected a dime for every time my father yelled, “Don’t make me pull over!” I would have paid for my college five times over. And yet, what I wouldn’t do to go back to those simpler times—when piling in the car meant setting out on an adventure, picnicking on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at rest stops, and inhaling mile-high stacks of pancakes at roadside diners. We counted license plates and played I Spy and Rock, Paper, Scissors. We swam in lakes and rivers. We roasted marshmallows and weiners on an open fire and played horseshoes outside until our legs were chewed up with mosquito and chigger bites. Life seemed simple. Easy. Then life somehow got complicated, right? Travel became more of an ordeal. It became commonplace to say “I need a vacation frommy vacation.” Now as we navigate a new post-pandemic normal, many of us yearn for those simple summer memories. This issue, dedicated to the all-American road trip, answers that call. Sometimes to go forward, we need to appreciate the past. And that’s what we are doing. We’ve scoured vintage travel guides going back 100 years to revisit those authentic adventures that are still around every curve in the road. And boy has it been fun! I’ve loved reading these old publications, and I’m excited to share with you the stories we’ve crafted from them. One of the oldest I stumbled across is called Know Your Own State , published in 1925. It says, “It is proverbial that the neighbor’s field always looks greener, a distant state more romantic, a foreign country more picturesque, but it is equally true that the very place we live in looks just that way to a stranger. People come long distances to gaze at our historic buildings, to admire our picturesque scenery, to study our geology and botany, to explore our caverns, to relax and recuperate in our health resorts. But very often we, who live here, know little or nothing of the interesting things and places which Don’t make me pull over!
knowWest Virginia. And in order to do that, you have to make the effort to truly experience it. Through our pages, we introduce you to places you’ve never been. Stop saying, “Someday, I want to visit …” and instead make plans to turn that “someday” into today. Pack a picnic. Venture somewhere new. Travel a country road not knowing where it ends. Sit in a field filled with fireflies. It’s the perfect season to love where you live. Here are some parting lessons I’ve gleaned while working on this issue: 1. Traveling in your own state is an inexpensive option and is an aid to good citizenship. 2. Don’t stick to the main roads on your trips. 3. Don’t limit your touring to July and August. A closed car makes all weather good weather. All-year-’round drivers are a healthy bunch. Freedom from colds and sickness, freedom from blues and worries, is their reward for the little extra work it takes to keep the car going all the year ’round. 4. You ought to know beforehand all about the historic and scenic landmarks you will pass. With the motor purring quietly and steadily, it is so easy to slip past some historic place before you know it. So read up about the trip beforehand. (Which means subscribe to WV Living magazine!) 5. Be sure the car is in good shape. Fill up your tank. Drain, flush, and fill your crankcase before embarking on a road trip. Love where you live,
NIKKI BOWMAN MILLS, Editor
Follow us on , and . facebook.com/wvliving pinterest.com/wvliving instagram @wvliving #wvliving ,
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letters to the editor
WV Living Reader Survey Says ...
Reader Love “Gorgeous spring cover! ” susie q law, via Facebook “I bought WV Living because it contains a lot of information about West Virginia and the places and things happening in some towns. I have bought the magazine for years and love it!” ann harris, via Facebook “ Thank you for such a great opportunity to share our story and learn more about what is happening throughout our state. West Virginians shine ... always!” potomac valley transit authority, via Facebook “Thanks for sharing West Virginia’s inspiring stories. I love these feel- good stories!” carla holliman via Facebook
“I love reading all of the articles and finding out about local business owners and events going on in town. I’m the General Manager of the Best Western Mountaineer Inn in Star City and there are many times I can recall using a lot of the content from WV Living to inform guests. I usually try to bring my issues in to leave in the lobby for the guests to have access to. I LOVE what you guys are doing, keep it up!” amy (no last name given) via our WV Living Reader Survey “I love seeing what is happening in our state.Thanks for sharing!” angela stanton, via our WV Living Reader Survey
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letters to the editor
Like and follow us on Facebook! Did you take our reader survey? We gave away 15 one-year subscriptions to WV Living magazine and our grand prize winner will receive a deluxe gift basket stuffed full of West Virginia-made products. You can take the reader survey now at wvliving.com/wv- living-reader-survey .
What Shortage? When the nation was worried about meat shortages, we sent you to five local butcher shops that didn’t have meat shortages. It got more than60 likes, 50 shares, and 17 comments!
Zoom Working from home? Spice up your Zoom meetings with one of our WV Living -themed Zoom backgrounds. We shared this background and others on Facebook, and 66 followers liked the backgrounds.
Let us hear from you. We want to know what you think about the magazine, and we’d love to hear your suggestions. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Call: 304.413.0104 Mail: 1135 Main Street, Granville WV 26534
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Take WV Living with you:
VOLUME 13, ISSUE 2
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WV Living is published by New South Media, Inc. Subscription rates: $20 for one year. Frequency: Quarterly. Copyright: New South Media, Inc. Reproduction in part or whole is strictly prohibited without the express written permission of the publisher. © 2020 New South Media, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
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Discover WEST VIRGINIA IS A PLACE OF BOUNDLESS DISCOVERY. HERE’S YOUR GUIDE.
Adventure at Home Hit the beach in the mountains, discover Weston anew, and find great new places, spaces, and faces to explore this summer. PICTURED: SCULPTURE BY NIK BOTKIN, NITRO, PAGE 16.
LAKE T IME
Megan Ursic is the owner and founder of The Handcrafted Cooperative in Morgantown,
Summer Style, by Hand Browse items perfect for the glorious dog days ahead. introduces us to some of her favorite makers. f
Beaches to Experience Without Leaving the Mountain State
the summer season ushers in annual markets and festivals. We gather our friends and family and make memories with a shared love of art, music, food, and shopping. This year, things are a little different due to COVID-19—but we can’t let this epidemic derail the support our makers and artisans need now more than ever. This summer, you can help a small business you know and love from the comfort of your home. If you need a little inspiration, here are five talented makers who would be grateful to have your support.
Experience the beauty and medicinal power of nature through Stacy Ford’s skin care line, Rora Apothic. These cold- process bar soaps are vegan, made with organic oils, and feature recycled packaging materials. $8, etsy.com/shop/roraapothic
There is a reason Summersville Lake has been nicknamed “The Little Bahamas of the East.” The sandy beach, warm waters, and crystal-clear depths make this an inviting place to swim and scuba dive. Lake Stephens in Beckley is the perfect place to enjoy a summer day. The Aqua Water Park offers family-friendly fun, and concessions are also available to help you beat the heat. Shaver’s Lake in Snowshoe has several games and activities available to rent as well as beach accessories and umbrellas. Whether you hike one of the trails surrounding the sandy beach or plan a day on the lake, there is always time for evening relaxation on the shore. Pack a picnic basket and your camera and head to Lake Sherwood in Neola. The small sandy beach is surrounded by the lush greenery of the Monongahela National Forest, making it a perfect setting for spotting wildlife. Stretch out in the grass and soak up the rays at Jennings Randolph Lake in Mineral County. Shaw Beach offers swimming and picnic areas on its 200-foot grassy shoreline. Go prepared for a day of fun and relaxation.
Elizabeth Elswick of The Hippie’s Daughter offers a little hope and
inspiration through this hand-painted,
boho-farmhouse-style sign—a reminder that we will get through whatever obstacles may come our way. $25, thehippiesdaughter.com
If meat and cheese boards are your go-to for low-stress summer entertaining, grab one of these simple, durable, and dishwasher safe charcuterie platters from East Wheeling Clayworks $25–$35, eastwheelingclayworks.com
Meet your summer beverage’s new best friend: Morgan Rhea ’s West Virginia leather artisan koozie. It will keep your drink cold during any summer outing and, as a bonus, it features an illustration of our beautiful state. $35, morganrhea.com
Visit Nellie Rose , textile artist and clothing maker, in her Thomas studio to find something that embraces your beautiful, one-of-a-kind body just perfectly. nellierosetextiles.com
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TOWN W WESTON
Made for TV Weston—We can’t wait to say we knew you when. in january, lewis county resident jenawhiston happened to see a call out on social media fromHGTV requesting submissions for a Home Town Takeover competition. The winning entry would earn a whole-town transformation. Whiston and her husband, that was due in a matter of days. The response from the community was huge, Whiston says, and the excitement palpable. “We chose to focus on our good bones—in our structures and our people. And we felt in that moment that change was really coming to Weston.” COVID-19 threw a wrench in the plans, and the network announced that the selection process is on hold for now. Excited volunteers will have to wait a bit longer to learn which of the 5,000 entries is chosen for the makeover. But winning may not be important, at this point. “This contest sparked pride in our community,” Whiston says. “Whether we win or not, we’ve got the spark.” So head out for a day trip or weekend getaway to the community of Weston so that you, too, can say you knew it well—way before it was famous. written by holly leleux-thubron John, the principal of Lewis County High School, organized a meeting, and what followed was a quick sprint to the finish. An enthusiastic group of volunteers sprang into action for Weston, readying the entry video
Eat A local favorite and repeat Best of West Virginia winner, Thyme Bistro is a great place to stop for a bite to eat in Weston. You’ll discover a perfect blend of comfort food, fresh seafood prepared in unexpected ways, and mouthwatering desserts. 125 Main Avenue, 304.269.7177, @thymebistro on Facebook . Another dining option is the brand-new West Fork Eatery, serving innovative specials and tried and true favorites. 139 East Second Street, 304.269.1981, @thewestforkwv on Facebook . Or check out Giovanni’s of Weston for a heaping helping of Appalachian soul food. 451 US Highway 33 East, 304.269.4563, @giovannis4563 on Facebook
Play There’s plenty to do in the town of Weston, starting with a tour of the community’s most famous attraction—the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum—a National Historic Landmark with a colorful 160- year history. Historic tours leave every hour, and paranormal tours every two hours. 71 Asylum Drive, 304.269.5070, trans-alleghenylunaticasylum.com, @trans-alleghenylunaticasylum on Facebook . Also be sure to plan a stop at The Museum of American Glass and browse its gigantic collection of West Virginia–made items that will leave you wondering “how do they do that?” 230 West Main Avenue, 304.269.5006, magwv.com, @maginwv on Facebook. And before you leave, plan a stop at Appalachian Glass for a striking souvenir. 499 US Highway 33 East, 304.269.1030, app.glass.com, @appalachianglass on Facebook
Stay Just outside town is a resort fit for kings and queens and, after a full day of exploring all that Weston has to offer, it’s the perfect place to spend the night. Stonewall Resort is a peaceful sanctuary on the banks of the West Fork River. You can choose to relax and do nothing at all, or take part in a long list of activities available on the property—from spa treatments to fishing and everything in between. For your stay, select from rooms at the Lakeside Lodge, book a luxury or classic cottage, or park your RV at the Briar Point Campground. The resort also regularly offers exclusive stay-and-play packages, so check the website often. 940 Resort Drive, Roanoke, 304.269.7400, stonewallresort.com, @stonewallresort on Facebook
ART IST W NI TRO
both predators and prey to create my exhibit.” The exhibit is an upcoming show at
A Forking Fun Time Nik Botkin is a West Virginia artist making true-to-size animals out of common kitchen utensils.
Gradient Projects in Thomas. There will be something there for every budget. “Photographer Todd Griffith and I have been taking photographs of the sculptures in natrual settings and photographing them as they would be in real life as if they were alive. I am printing these images and displaying them at the exhibit as well. Both the sculptures and the photographs are for sale,” Botkin says. The show date is to be determined based on COVID-19 guidelines. Follow the artist on social media for up-to-date information on his work and the show in Thomas.
together industry and beauty, metal and sculpture.” The state is on the verge of becoming an art destination, he says. “I want to help make that happen. I want to bring people from out of state to see the beauty of West Virginia.” Currently, Botkin is creating life-sized animals out of common metal items like forks, spoons, and knives. Each piece is a work of heart. For the “Silver Vixen,” Botkin created used more than 3,000 forks and more than 300 hours of work to come to life. “The main goal behind each piece is to create a menagerie where the animals can interact together visually. Each animal has a natural reaction with the other animals. I use
artist nik botkin has been interested in art his whole life. As a kid, Botkin sat in his grandpa’s lap and watched him turn scribbles into illustrations. Fast forward to now— Botkin calls himself “an assemblage artist that likes to make beautiful things out of common materials.” All of Botkin’s work is based on the environment and nature. “My family has a history of working for chemical plants, and I realize the benefits of both industry and nature. My art is about starting a conversation with both,” he says. “West Virginia is a hardworking state with an industrial workforce, and the state also has a beautiful landscape. I want it to bring
@apartmentearth on Facebook, @gradientprojects on Facebook. written by savannah carr photographed by todd griffith
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Meet Our INCREDIBLE Kids WV Living magazine and WVU Medicine Children’s launched a contest in May to find some of the most incredible kids in the state. Here are the winners:
ROUND 2 WINNER
ROUND 3 WINNER
ROUND 1 WINNER
Brady , 8, Mercer County, learned a few years ago that people in the world are hungry and he decided he was going to do something about it. He started sending hundreds of seeds each year to South Africa and distributing them throughout southern West Virginia. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Brady has distributed 4,000 seeds in West Virginia with hundreds more to go. He hopes to continue his effort of helping people who are hungry for years to come.
Reagan lives in Nicholas County and developed a way to make “ear savers” on her 3-D printer to help alleviate the discomfort that essential workers are experiencing due to wearing protective equipment. The ear savers are being distributed to those who serve in hospitals and other front-line locations.
Jayden , 11, and his brother Tristen , 7, are always helping their older neighbors. They don’t even need prompting. They just grab the trash, or get their mail, or offer help from a distance. They have several older neighbors, one is even 91, and these two are always trying to make sure she is ok, specifically over the last few months. They can’t be close to these ladies, but they can help from a distance.
Aiden , 16, Clay County, is the executive director of the Clay County Community Emergency Response Team. He has been trained in administering naloxone, active shooter response, sports medicine, first aid, bullying prevention, litter control, and
ROUND 5 WINNER
ROUND 4 WINNER
developing and managing volunteers. Aiden and his response team partnered with the West Virginia Mask Army to distribute more than 1,000 masks to first responders, doctors, essential business workers, and also residents. The team also distributed hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies to small businesses. Aiden and his team have also developed a response line for the elderly, allowing them to call and request services such as meal delivery or prescription pickups. Aiden is an inspiration to all.
Andrew , age 11, and Aaron , age 9, are working to repopulate Eastern bluebirds in West Virginia. They have also created their own business, For the Birds, in which they make and sell birdhouses. Together they have built and delivered more than 25 birdhouses, in addition to creating their own advertisement, order forms, and Eastern bluebird fact sheet. A portion of their profits go towards creating birdhouses for public places like parks, walking trails, and their school.
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Presidents in Residence POTUS among us.
whether itwas totakethewaters ortoask forthe vote, hopeful, sitting, and past presidents have been coming to West Virginia since before presidents were a thing. John Tyler
Arthurdale homesteader Martin Luther Perkins gets a little one-on-one time with Franklin D. Roosevelt during the president’s May 1938 visit.
Since he was a Virginian and served as governor of the Commonwealth, John Tyler was one of the most frequent presidential visitors to The Greenbrier—or White Sulphur Springs, as it was known at the time; he would have said he was going “up to The White.” He visited before, during, and after his term of office. Tyler spent part of his 1844 honeymoon with second wife Julia Gardiner at White Sulphur. He was 54 and she was 24 and, impressively, he fathered seven children with her, bringing the total number of his offspring to 15. Franklin Pierce F ormer congressman and senator and future president Franklin Pierce visited Capon Springs in June 1851 to attend the grand opening of the Mountain House at the springs. After winning the presidency in 1852—at 48, the youngest man to have been elected to the office to that time—he stayed in what is now known as the President’s Cottage. Another president, though not of these United States, visited Capon Springs, too: Jefferson Davis visited on several occasions with his friend Robert E. Lee before he became president of
the Confederacy. Harry S. Truman
Harry Truman’s presidency ended in January 1953. The following summer, he did something unheard of before or since: He and wife Bess stole away on June 19 without bodyguards for a road trip from their home in Independence, Missouri, to the East Coast and back. They reached Wheeling on the evening of June 20. The night clerk at the McLure Hotel recognized Truman and called the
manager, who asked why they didn’t notify him they were coming. “I told them that if I had, the street in front of the hotel would be so full that we would have a hard time getting through.” When the Trumans called their daughter, Margaret, later that evening, she said she’d been fielding calls from reporters trying to figure out where they’d gotten away to. Franklin Delano Roosevelt In May 1938, President Franklin D. Roosevelt visited Arthurdale in Preston County to tour the New Deal community and give the high school commencement address. During his tour, a homesteader walked his prize cow over to meet the president, who patted the cow’s nose and quipped, “If you really want to know what the breed is, it’s what they call a West Virginia moose!” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iw4V-88GF0U Dwight D. Eisenhower Before he became president in 1953, Dwight D. Eisenhower was already a superstar, having become a five-star general in the Army during World War II and served as Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force in Europe. He received great honors on a visit to Morgantown on September 23, 1947: Five thousand WVU students and faculty gathered to hear him speak on a sunny Tuesday dubbed Eisenhower Day. The university conferred an Honorary Doctorate on the general. written by pam kasey
Mountain Sound SOUND W THOMAS
Enjoy great food, craft beer, and live entertainment at The Purple Fiddle. located inthe charmingadventure town of Thomas, The Purple Fiddle is probably best known for its amazing acoustic live music performances. After 20 years in business, the schedule practically fills itself, and many nationally touring bands cannot wait to play for this hospitable crowd. 96 East Avenue, Thomas, 304.463.4040, thepurplefiddle.com, @thepurplefiddle on Facebook
if youhappentobe inthemarket for a historically accurate tent, or if you just appreciate enthusiasm that shows up as an astounding command of one’s craft, look no further than Panther Primitives. Take canvas: Panther Primitives’ catalog explains their year-round test rack that compares the durability of 13 varieties at once. Army duck, they’ve concluded, works best. How about seams? “The double-stitched, flat-felled seam is the strongest way to join two pieces of canvas.” That’s two rows of lock-stitching through four layers of canvas. There’s a diagram. And don’t think they’ve overlooked needle and thread: “A round needle does not cut the canvas fibers like a triangular needle does”—less damage during construction. They’ve found that a poly-core, cotton-wrapped thread swells to fill needle holes and prevent leakage. Medieval pavilions, military wedges, teepees, lean-tos—the catalog is a guided trek through the history of portable shelter. You’ve seen Panther Primitives tents in person at destinations like Colonial Williamsburg, in films like Pirates of the Caribbean , and in TV series including Deadwood . Each tent is custom-made in-house in Gilmer County and signed by the sewer. Quality assurance never stops; founders and owners Sam andTheresa Darby spend weeks each year MADE IN WV W NORMANTOWN Gimme Shelter Panther Primitives in Gilmer County makes “history’s best tents.”
JULY 4, 1 P.M. James Margolis No cover charge
JULY 10, 8:30 P.M. Nora Jane Struthers and The Party Line $15 / $20 day-o f AUGUST 7, 8:30 P.M . The Carpenter Ants $10 AUGUST 29, 1 P.M. Davis Bradley No cover charge OCTOBER 10, 1 P.M. Davey O. No cover charge
in their tents so they can advise customers from direct experience. You, too, can own a made-to-order Panther Primitives tent—many of the styles are practical for any hunter, hiker, or outdoorsy family that appreciates quality. Even if you don’t add King Arthur scallops for a bit of flair, you’ll still be camping in style in one of history’s best tents. written by pam kasey
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Taking a Stand Custard Stand committed to home—and the owners have made it work. HOW THEY DID I T W WEBSTER SPRINGS
that stuff and sell it?” Going from an open-air restaurant to retail was the biggest risk they’ve taken, says Angie Cowger. They sold a
manyof us knowthe story of how Angie and Dee Cowger started The Custard Stand in Webster Springs in 1991 as a take-out dairy bar. It’s told often that the hot dog chili they’ve turned into a regional favorite—at their restaurant chain and in grocery stores across the Eastern U.S.—follows a recipe created by her grandfather a century ago for his own Webster Springs restaurant, closed many decades ago. What you haven’t heard is that they didn’t originally know about her grandfather’s recipe. Custard Stand chili was based on the chili at a dairy bar that operated in Webster Springs from the 1960s to the 1980s. When the Cowgers decided in 2003 to produce the chili for retail sale, they approached the family from that earlier restaurant to make sure everyone was
okay with it. The family told her, “Didn’t you know? That’s your Grandpa Max’s recipe!” The Cowgers encourage customers to make Custard Stand Hot Dog Chili and Custard Stand Chili Soup their own—or find recipes on their website: custardstand.com HowThey Did It As a teacher and a truck driver, the Cowgers felt they didn’t know enough to run a dine- in restaurant. They opened in 1991 with a walk-up window on the model of a previously successful dairy bar. Over time they added benches, then picnic tables, then a pavilion— only moving to their dine-in location in 2014. Friends would ask to buy chili, and finally one said, “Why don’t you just put a price on
$50,000 coal truck and used that and credit cards to start the manufacturing facility. People advised them to move closer to the highway when they first decided to expand production, but “we wanted to work and employ people in our hometown, not go to Summersville or Flatwoods,” Cowger says. They built warehouses in Webster Springs in 2006 and 2012 and now employ 9 at the manufacturing facility. written by pam kasey
Custard Stand Timeline
1991 The Custard Stand opens in Webster Springs as a take- out dairy bar.
2003 The Cowgers convert a three-bay car wash into a chili production facility.
2009 First franchise restaurant opens, in Flatwoods.
2010 Franchises open in Danville and Oak Hill.
2014 Webster Springs walk- up spot moves to larger dine-in location.
2016 The Cowgers appear on Shark Tank . No deal, but sales skyrocket.
2017 The Cowgers open their own second
restaurant, in Summersville.
HERI TAGE W HELVET IA Helvetia, Rediscovered The documentary Born in a Ballroom celebrates Helvetia and its beloved matriarch, Eleanor Mailloux.
in the 1860s, not long after West Virginia became a state in the Civil War. When Mailloux—then Eleanor Fahrner—was growing up there in the 1920s and ’30s, residents still spoke the Old World language, cooked the foods, and followed the traditions. She grew up, traveled with the Red Cross, married, and had five children. But by the time she divorced and moved back to Helvetia in the 1960s, times had changed. “Things were slipping,” Mailloux explains in an interview recorded half a century later. “Traditions were slipping. Foods were slipping. The old people who were the keepers of these treasures were dying.” Needing an income
and something to do, Mailloux started the restaurant in 1968 with a friend. Although all of that history eventually becomes clear, the film is far from a chronological recitation of events. Born in a Ballroom is above all a poetic remembrance of Mailloux created in fulfillment of a decade-old promise by her granddaughter, Clara Lehmann, and her partner, Jonathan Lacocque, through the production company, Coat of Arms. Arthurdale homesteader Martin Luther Perkins gets a little one-on-one time with Franklin D. Roosevelt during the president’s May 1938 visit. But the film’s premise is that people and place are not separate—that especially for a person of
even if youhaven’tbeentowestvirginia’s famously swiss enclave, Helvetia, yet, you’ve likely heard of The Hütte Restaurant. For those who happen on it while driving the remote Randolph County outskirts of the Monongahela National Forest, the homey, comfortable restaurant is a delightful surprise. For others, it’s a destination in its own right. But for the residents of Helvetia, it’s the heart of the community. As the new documentary film Born in a Ballroom shows, The Hütte and its co-founder and longtime owner Eleanor Mailloux are very much bound up in the town’s history and culture. Helvetia was founded by Swiss immigrants
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commitment, energy, and joy, person and place are the same. Mailloux ran her restaurant with pride in its appearance and its authentic Swiss dishes, and she held her staff to high standards. At the same time, she brought a sense of fun to all of it. Her family remembers her dancing, singing, yodeling, and laughing. The title of the film refers to the circumstances of her birth—you’ll have to watch to hear the story—but also to her love of life, a love that invigorated all of Helvetia. Lehmann and Lacocque weave loving footage of the landscape and the restaurant in among interviews with family and residents and with music of all kinds—including, yes, a little West Virginia–style yodeling. Taken together, the film paints a picture of a place that has truly rediscovered its roots. Mailloux died in 2011 boss and mayor and pretty much everyone’s role model,” says granddaughter-in-law Jerianne Davis, who works at the restaurant. “She was just one of the most lively spirits I’ve ever known,” says her grandsonWillie. “A wise person, inspiring to a lot of people around her.” Although Mailloux had a lot of life left in her when her time ended, she did find satisfaction in the results of her life’s work. In the same interview where she observed that the community had been “slipping” 50 years earlier, she added with a twinkle in her eye, “All they needed was somebody that wanted to do something about it.” Born in a Ballroom premiered in January at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. You can see it on Amazon Prime, YouTube, and other platforms—or buy it on Blu-ray at borninaballroom.com . written by pam kasey at the age of 93 and is much missed. “She was like the matriarch of Helvetia and kind of the
Shopped at Tamarack B I N G O RETRO ROAD TRIP
Took a selfie at Blackwater Falls State Park
Packed a picnic
Ate a banana split
Visited a state park
Dipped your toes in Summersville Lake
Visited the spring house The Greenbrier
Took in a show at The Purple Fiddle
Ate a hot dog at Hillbilly Hotdogs
Went whitewater rafting
Enjoyed a glass of local wine
Drove on The Turnpike
Drove by a Washington home in Charles Town
Slept in a retro motel in WV (see pg 64)
Ate Mister Bee Potato Chips
Climbed Seneca Rocks
Hiked Dolly Sods
Stopped by the Trans- Allegheny Lunatic Asylum
Watched a movie at a drive-in theater
Kayaked a WV river or lake
Fished in a WV river or stream
Toured a cave in WV
Download your card here: https://wvliving.com/wp-content/uploads/WVL-Summer-2020-Bingo.pdf
SHOP W CHARLESTON Keepin’ It Cozy Kin Ship Goods in Charleston is all about the hand-made and the heck-yeah.
Screenshots Some of our faves to take on your next outing.
Wild & Wonderful Women’s Tank Starry skies, clear streams, rolling hills, and a campfire—Kin Ship’s new women’s tank top design illustrates a lot of what’s Wild and Wonderful about West Virginia. Printed on 65 percent polyester–35 percent combed ringspun cotton with a scoop neckline and a curved hem, this fetching tank is available in women’s sizes S to XXL. $28
back in2009, Dan Davis and Hillary Harrison started screen printing greeting cards of their own design in their spare bedroom studio in Louisville, Kentucky. They were both working at an art gallery—Davis was a longtime screen printer, and Harrison was the gallery’s purchasing agent. Little by little, at least one of them always working a day job, they added T-shirts and started a shop in the Etsy online marketplace. Their spunky, eye- catching designs got them noticed in Country Living and on blogs like Apartment Therapy and Design*Sponge and, when they outgrew the bedroom, they decided to move closer to Harrison’s family, back home in West Virginia. Kin Ship Goods opened in Charleston in 2014 and has been cranking out new designs ever since. The pair describes their business as “a quality-of-life brand dedicated to bringing comfort to all creatures.” Creatures star on many of their shirts and other printed goods, from “Ask Me About My Cat” tees to “Stay Cozy” dog stickers.
Comfort also comes through cozy goods. In addition to hand-printed casual wear and
Fingerling Fish Knife Even the mightiest fish caught in a West Virginia stream was a fingerling early on. This boxed, sculpted, chrome-handled fingerling fits nicely in your pocket for stylish cutting on the fly. The knife has a 2-inch stainless steel blade and measures 3 inches closed. Made by a 200-year-old cutlery. $10
West Virginia– and Appalachia-themed accessories, Kin Ship’s
shop features smile- inducing home goods and keepsakes. Many come from small artisans like themselves—fragrant bourbon bar soap from crafters in Tennessee, sassy mothman pins by West Virginia artist Liz Pavlovic. Davis and Harrison’s definition of “cozy” seems, satisfyingly, to mean something like “loving the place where we are.” Browse the website to see more of it. 6 13 Tennessee Avenue, Charleston, 304.346.0326, kinshipgoods.com, @kinshipgoods on Facebook written by pam kasey photos courtesy of kin ship goods
West By God Bottle Opener Lots of West Virginia–made beer is sold in cans these days, but you never know when you or a friend might face a bottle of local cider or mead. This home state proud brass bottle opener and key ring measures 2.5 inches and has “Kin Ship Goods” stamped on the back. $12
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GREAT SUMMER READS
❹ Inspirational READING Check out these trustworthy guides to Mountain State fun for your summer vacation planning.
A Canoeing & Kayaking Guide to West Virginia, by Paul Davidson. Available from West Virginia Book Co., wvbookco.com , $19.95
Way Out in West Virginia: A Must Have Guide to the Oddities & Wonders of the Mountain State , by Jeanne Mozier. Available at West Virginia Book Co., wvbookco.com , $18.95
West Virginia Curiosities: Quirky Characters, Roadside Oddities & Other Offbeat Stuff by Rick Steelhammer. Available at Taylor Books, bookshop.org , $15.95
West Virginia Off the Beaten Path: A Guide To Unique Places by Su Clauson-Wicker. Available at Taylor Books, bookshop.org , $16.95
POWER PARTNERS W MART INSBURG
Mountaineers Are Always Free Eric and Tenise Young envision their growing Mountaineer Brand offering everything a man needs to take care of his body.
written by jordan carter
the names “mountain fresh,” “Timber,” and “Pine Tar” conjure images of the wooded Appalachians and the mountaineers who surmount them. Mountaineers are symbolic of the state and are often depicted as rugged beardsmen. In fall 2013, Mountaineer Brand began with a beard. West Virginia native Eric Young was looking for a product to condition his facial hair when he discovered he could make beard oil in his home kitchen, inexpensively and with no artificial ingredients. He used oils such as jojoba, castor, grapeseed, almond, and coconut as well as shea butter and beeswax to create a product that keep his beard healthy and strong. Ever the entrepreneur, Young listed his beard oils on e-commerce websites. The first product Young developed, WV Timber Beard Oil, reached the first page of search results on Amazon within its first year and hasn’t left since. “Things just took off,” Young says. Like Young’s beard, orders began to grow. He moved his operation from his home kitchen to a 2,600-square-foot building on his property. He quickly outgrew that space and, in order to meet customer demand, moved into his current 10,000-square-foot location in Martinsburg. Mountaineer Brand had filled a bald spot in the beard-oil market and has since expanded to include bald head care products, too. In 2018, Young’s wife, Tenise Young, joined the CEO and founder as the manager of production flow and coordination. She speaks about the freedom that comes along with using Mountaineer Brand products. “Our products affect everyday life by keeping you healthy. You’re not putting any toxins on your body. You can at least rest assured that’s one of the things you don’t have to worry about.” the importance of using all- natural products, and what they hope for the future of Mountaineer Brand. mountaineerbrand.com, @mountaineerbrand on Facebook Here’s what the Youngs have to say about men’s grooming,
What has caused the rise in the popularity of men’s grooming? ERIC YOUNG: What has really brought men’s grooming to where it is today is beard care. I think men have always been doing this; they’re just admitting to it more now that they see other men doing it. Why are all-natural body care products important to you? TENISE YOUNG : Eric had a wife who died of breast cancer. I feel like that was the turning point for him—his health and his body. It’s becoming more and more important for people to take care of what goes on their bodies. If you’re not taking care of yourself, what’s going to happen? Tell us about your products. TY: We emphasize the importance of self-care for men with our products. That’s something men don’t seem to think they need to do the way women do. EY : We’ve spent time researching what these oils do and which ones work together. With our premium line of beard care, we think we’ve come up with the best combination of essential oils in a product. None of our products have an artificial fragrance; it’s all natural essential oils that have a purpose. How do you work well together? TY: Eric has this infectious spirit. We work so well together because we decided to be a team. We’re not in competition with one another; we have a like-minded vision. We always try to stay positive and it’s always the road forward. What do you hope for the future of the business? EY : Somebody asked me that when I was in the other building at the house. I said, I’d like to get to a place where I had to move. Within a year, I was out of there. Now the goal is to get as big as it can get. We’re going to have everything a man needs to take care of his body.
Insta-Beautiful Readers share their wild and wonderful selfies. COUNTRY ROADS W STATEWIDE
Selfies prove you climbed the mountain, caught the fish, braved the rapids, saw the sights, been there and done that. They have become a visual diary of the places that we touch in this lifetime and the collective memories that shape us. We asked you to share your favorite selfies captured from around the Mountain State and boy did you deliver! Here are a few of our favorites.
Alissa Roush via FB
Whitney Bays via FB
Justin McCloy via FB
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A little planning goes a long way when it comes to a fun, relaxed road trip. This travel season especially, you’ll have the most fun if you know what lies ahead and set off prepared. Road Trip CHECKLIST
✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓
AAA recommends checking your tires before beginning a road trip. Check COVID-19 conditions at your destination and avoid hot spots. Double check whether the state you’re traveling to has self-quarantine guidelines . Some states require you to self-quarantine for 14 days. Pack masks for everyone in the car. Pack a cooler with drinks and snacks to reduce the number of stops. Clean your car . The steering wheel is four times dirtier than a restroom. Clean safety belts, door handles, Plan. Plan. Plan. Don’t hit the open road without one. Visit hotel websites and make reservations. Identify rest areas and restaurants and make sure they are open before you travel. Create a Keep Clean Kit for everyone traveling with you. Include small bars of soap, bottles of water to use to wash hands, paper towels, travel-size toilet seat covers, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant wipes. Wash hands before and after pumping gas. starter, and key fobs. Pack charging cords .
Get Lost in Comfort Lost Appalachia Trading Co.: an online lifestyle brand with proud West Virginia roots. THIS W DANIELS graphicdesignernicholas tankersley had his eye on creating a personal clothing and lifestyle brand for years, but he wasn’t sure quite how he should get started. He entered a design for the New River Gorge’s 2017 Bridge Day poster competition and won. Part of his prize was booth space at the October event that draws more than 100,000 people each year. He decided the time was as good as any and took action to unveil his clothing designs to the world from that trophy booth. Tankersley hoped the Lost Appalachia Trading Co. brand would reflect the spirit, natural beauty, and history of the region. The crowd loved what they saw. Word of mouth spread from the lively event beyond the borders of West Virginia and across the oceans. A year after that pivotal Bridge Day, Tankersley launched a website where customers could purchase his designs. His inventory has grown to include cozy tees and sweatshirts, home decor, gear for the outdoors, and other items that proudly convey Mountain State pride. He’s received orders from faraway states and even European countries. While his love of West Virginia provides endless inspiration, it’s also important to Tankersley to highlight the region’s craftsmanship, so he strives to keep all production within Appalachia. “Fiestaware does our mugs inWest Virginia, our bandanas are milled in South Carolina, and our
stickers and pins are done in New York state,” he said of his supply chain. “I guess it’s important for me because it’s home, and keeping money in the economy and cycling back to the same areas is important.” Check out Tankersley’s goods at lostappalachia.com . written by kayse ellis
Taste NO MEAL IS COMPLETE WI THOUT A GOOD STORY.
Summer Treats Iconic foods of summer come by boat, box, bottle, and backyard barbecue. PICTURED: DJ’S ’50s & ’60s DINER, FAIRMONT, PAGE 39.
taste ›› maker
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maker ‹‹ taste
The Taste of Home
Chef Tim Urbanic of Cafe Cimino Country Inn serves up Appalachian cuisine with a Mediterranean twist. chef tim urbanic grew up on a horse farm just outside Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He describes the farm as idyllic—from the swing bed his father built for him under an apple tree to the smell of freshly turned earth. “I was in the most beautiful sunshine with a pair of horses and a plow, one foot in the furrow and one foot on dry land. There was nothing more spiritual,” Urbanic says. In April 1973, Urbanic moved to West Virginia to feed his interest in organic farming. In 1999, he and his wife, Melody, opened Cafe Cimino, an upscale farm-to-table restaurant in Sutton. “I could bring farmhouse elegance to everybody and eat as close to the land as possible,” Urbanic says. While the ingredients he cooked with were How did you begin cooking? TimUrbanic: I had rheumatic fever when I was very young. I was confined to home. I was always in the kitchen with my mother, my aunts, or my grandmother—the four most influential people in my life. I played with bread dough, cookie dough, sauce, rice right off the stove, a cut-up potato. I’d taste all the spices. That’s how I started cooking. Every time I cook, I still try to get that taste. Tell me about your dedication to quality, attention to detail, and commitment to perfection. MelodyUrbanic: [laughs] He can’t do it any other way. TU: I don’t claim recipes to be my own. I have a deep respect for the people I share those recipes with, so I can’t do any less than perfection. Being a chef is a very giving occupation. If you want to give somebody something, it would have to be the very best. Anything that misses the mark just doesn’t get to the table—for my family or for sale. MU: It’s all about cooking from the heart. That’s what Tim loves. Why is the sustainability of West Virginia farms important to you? MU: Our 20-year history of Cafe Cimino is the cornerstone of it. We feel very strongly about the sustainable economy in general—agriculture,
local, the dishes were influenced by his Italian-Polish heritage. “The very best of the food I can serve comes from inside me somewhere, and that’s what I want to share with my family and the people I love,” he says. “The intention was to put something great on the table and to show what respect I have for the whole Appalachian culture. If I can share just a tiny piece of that, maybe it would help make things a better world for a few people.” 616 Main Street, Sutton, 304.765.2913, cafeciminocountryinn.com interviewed by jordan carter
artists, our staff. We do anything we can to promote what is great about West Virginia and share it with our customers, to make
people very proud they are contributing to the sustainability of our community and of our state because of the products they buy from us. What qualities does it take to become an award-winning chef? TU: You have to have a respect for food that is almost religious and a desire to please people. But most importantly, it’s the people around you, quality people supporting you every minute. You need a good partner in life who helps you and picks you up when you don’t think you’re quite making it. And that just so happened to be Melody for me. What inspires you? TU: What’s in the garden is the inspiration. Seventy-five percent of whatever skills I may have are because of the very fact I’ve been able to find good ingredients right here in central West Virginia. I want to wake up everybody’s taste buds with food that’s grown organically and locally. My wife and I have seen parts of the world and found that this little slice of Heaven in the center of Braxton County is still inspirational to us. newsouthmedia.com 35Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52 Page 53 Page 54 Page 55 Page 56 Page 57 Page 58 Page 59 Page 60 Page 61 Page 62 Page 63 Page 64 Page 65 Page 66 Page 67 Page 68 Page 69 Page 70 Page 71 Page 72 Page 73 Page 74 Page 75 Page 76 Page 77 Page 78 Page 79 Page 80 Page 81 Page 82 Page 83 Page 84 Page 85 Page 86 Page 87 Page 88 Page 89 Page 90 Page 91 Page 92 Page 93 Page 94 Page 95 Page 96 Page 97 Page 98 Page 99 Page 100
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