By Beth Christian Broschart
BEVERLY - Hundreds gathered Saturday in Beverly to celebrate a bit of history with the Old-Fashioned Beverly Christmas. The event is an annual celebration of the holidays with a 19th-century twist.
The Inter-Mountain photo by Beth Christian Broschart
The Old-Fashioned Beverly Christmas features folks dressed in period clothing to enhance the visitors’ experiences. Pictured are, center, Leonard Kerns as the Victorian Santa St. Nick, from left, Richard Evans as a 19th century musician, Karl Mulac as a pressman, Millie Goetze as Mrs. John Carlile, Gary Goetze as Sen. John Carlile, Pam Dodd as Mrs. Francis Pierpont, Linda Wolfersheim as Julia Pierpont and Art Dodd as Gov. Francis Pierpont.
Visitors strolled the streets, learning of the history of the buildings and the significance of the town in the past. Historians tell us that Beverly was one of the first settlements west of the Alleghenies, and was an important crossroads in the Civil War.
Many Beverly shops were open to explore, including the Beverly Antique Mall, the Marketplace, Cornucopia, Rusty's Relics, Back in Tyme, the Beverly Heritage Center Gift Shop, the Randolph County Museum and the Lemuel Chenoweth House.
Art and Pam Dodd spoke with visitors about the history of Beverly. The Dodds were dressed in 19th century period clothing, portraying Gov. Francis Pierpont and his wife.
"My sister, Julia, did a wonderful job helping with the kids," Art Dodd, as Gov, Pierpont, said. "This enabled me to stay in Alexandria to do the things I needed."
Children rushed to visit St. Nick, a Victorian Santa, waiting to hear their Christmas wish lists, and later, kids and their parents enjoyed listening to the Mountain Winds Woodwind Ensemble playing 19th century pieces, including patriotic and parlor music.
Members of the Beverly Presbyterian Church sponsored a holiday luncheon and bazaar, offering homemade foods, gift baskets and baked goods.
Craft vendors sold their wares at the Beverly Heritage Center gallery and on Main Street next to the Marketplace.
Crafter Kelly Hatton said the stream of visitors made the event a tremendous success.
"We have been very busy," Hatton said. "Lots of folks have stopped by to help support the Marketplace."
Local children completed pages for the children's coloring contest. Entries were judged at 1 p.m. and everyone participating received a treat.
Additional information about Beverly and its history is available by calling the Beverly Heritage Center at 637-7424 or on-line at beverlyheritagecenter.org.