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Sesquicentennial of West Virginia

June 28, 2008
By Wayne Sheets, Contributing Business Writer

The West Virginia Division of Tourism has formed a partnership to highlight Civil War sites in West Virginia and is taking full advantage of the soon to come 150th anniversary of the Civil War and consequently the sesquicentennial anniversary of West Virginia. In doing so, they are beginning a new marketing endeavor aimed at boosting the state's already popular Civil War heritage tourism industry.

Tourism has partnered with Civil War Trails Inc. on a signage/tourism project that will use the same brand of interpretive signs currently found along highways in other Civil War prominent states such as North Carolina, Maryland, Tennessee and Virginia. Tourism has agreed to pay for the first 150 signs to mark Civil War sites in the state. If you know of a site you would like to have considered for inclusion, e-mail Justin Gaull at For more information about Civil War Trails Inc., visit the Web site

I dropped in on Susie Wingfield at her Che Bella fashion boutique one day last week to see how she is getting along at her new location on South Randolph Avenue.

"Things are going great," Wingfield said. "We have a lot of walk-in customers now that we weren't able to accommodate at my old location where I had to operate by appointment only."

Hours now are from 9 am. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays.

As usual, Wingfield is immersed in the pageant industry and getting ready for the Miss U.S. pageant in Las Vegas beginning on July 11. She showed me a copy of the line of swimwear she is making to be worn in the pageant. I'm here to tell you I'll be watching the pageant.

She has a display of her own line of fashions - Sus'an Couture' - on the floor. How else would one describe them except stunningly beautiful?

"The line includes suits, gowns, jeans - just about everything a lady needs," Wingfield said.

Beth McNemar recently joined Wingfield's staff of fashion professionals. She hails from Vienna and is a certified women's custom clothier.

"One of the reasons for our success, I believe, is that we pride ourselves in providing great personal service," Wingfield said.

She opened at her new location on June 1.

Let me remind everyone that the July 4 celebration kicks off next Friday around 3 p.m. with the cruise-in to downtown Elkins. Planning officials are expecting a record attendance of nearly 700 antique cars and trucks and modified roadsters. Along with the cruise-in on Friday evening, there will be live entertainment at the depot, poker walks and plenty of socializing. If you love old cars and hot rods, come on down to the cruise in on Friday evening.

The car show in the park will be going on all day Saturday, culminating with the Colgate Talent Show in the evening at the D&E College Amphitheater, followed by fireworks as soon as it gets dark enough. The car show will continue on Sunday commencing around 9 a.m. and ending at about 4 p.m. This promises to be an exciting weekend in Elkins. Who would want to miss it?

Volunteers are needed to work the many venues associated with the show. If you would like to help, call the Chamber of Commerce office at 636-2717.

Incoming Davis & Elkins College President Dr. G.T. "Buck" Smith extends an invitation to those who should like to join him and his wife, Joni, at 10 a.m. on July 1 in Robbins Chapel for an open discussion of the future of the college. He is asking that those who plan to attend give special thought to three things: The most significant/pressing/important opportunities before us; what it will take to achieve them; and what we are willing/able/ready to do to make them a reality.

Davis & Elkins College is commencing its 105th year of higher education.



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