As our forests are wearing their full coats and greens envelope the landscape, it is a prime time to be exploring places that do not rob us of our weekly restaurant meal allowance. My hearty suggestion for this month's outing is a trip to Historical Beverly, only 10 minutes South of Elkins on Route 219, where Civil War Era drama will capture your attention and give perspective necessary for understanding why peace is
Beverly Week begins July l9, and is an event not to be missed. With the Beverly Heritage Center now the town's focus, the week has become rich in historical flavor and offers families some very interesting activities where children will not only learn about significant statehood and Civil War events, but get some needed exercise as they hike through the town learning about all the restored "folk" buildings and places of early Randolph County importance, and just have fun in general, with fine foods offered throughout the week.
The Inter-Mountain photos by Shannon Bennett Campbell
Beverly Fire Department volunteers will roast hot, juicy barbecued chicken dinners by 11 a.m. during the Fireman’s Parade Day July 26.
An old printing press at the Beverly Heritage Center stands ready to print the latest news and was a vital instrument used during the Civil War era to promote ideas and inform residents of current events.
Its first weekend targets the Town Square where Jackson's Mill's "History Hitting the Road" will dominate the scene Saturday and Sunday, offering a number of heritage craftsmen and women who will demonstrate how early settlers maintained their homes and have handmade items for sale. Candlemakers and a blacksmith will be among the troupe traveling throughout West Virginia to keep native skills in view of current residents.
The two-day event will also include Mountain Weaving Guild members who will have looms loaded with wool strands and produce items that were used for necessary clothing and accessories in early times. Some of these will, no doubt, be seen during the Historic Homes Tour that can be taken Saturday morning for $10.
The Beverly Heritage Center, an historical hub, has clothing, books, souvenirs and an excellent pamphlet providing walking tour directions that educate visitors about architecture, history and personalities of Beverly's past. Music by the Mountain Winds Trio will add a lilt to all the discovery.
While visiting the l841 jail, the original Randolph County Courthouse, or the l768 cemetery, which many believe was the first public cemetery west of the Alleghenies, several period re-enactors are also expected to be seen strolling the streets. More information about the town's history and this event can be obtained by contacting 304-637-7424 or www.beverlyheritagecenter.org.
Many wonderful aromas will fill the air as the Rich Mountain Battlefield group offers a barbecued pork loin lunch on July l9. The privileges of winning at the l0 a.m. Goff House homemade pie auction may complete your fine dining.
The Marketplace across from the Town Square will feature homemade cookies, candies, cakes and breads, and the Campbell's Market butcher shop can provide fresh meats for take-home needs.
The following weekend, on July 26, the chicken barbecue pits will be hot at the Beverly Fire Department. Members will offer delicious chicken dinners at 11 a.m. Drive-through capabilities are a plus.
Coinciding with this activity is an all-day Craft Fair at the Fire Hall that opens at 9 a.m. One will see many fire trucks lining up on the Elkins side of town as the annual Fireman's Parade begins at noon. If cold water or a snack is needed while waiting for the parade to begin, the Beverly Woman's Club can serve you in front of the Presbyterian Church.
Special events throughout the week include Monday's visit by "Ostenaco," a French and Indian War Cherokee chief, who will present a "History Alive" program at the Heritage Center at 7 p.m.; Thursday's 4-H Ox Roast at Camp Pioneer; and other pageants, contests and musical performances sponsored by the Beverly Firemen.
The War Between the States is a commemorative event in several West Virginia locations. Our state may never have found its own identity if this war had not taken place. It pitted family members in opposing corners. Why, Beverly's Laura Jackson Arnold was a great heroine for Union causes, while her brother Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson ran the most famous of all Confederate calvary units.
When the Civil War was fought, the United States of America lost more fighting men and women than in any war in its history. Wars result when there is a lack of sensitivity and creativity. None of us have ownership over others, but each of us have a responsibility to respect the dignity of those we encounter. Relationships are reciprocal and must be based upon mutual respect. Certainly we have the intelligence to know right from wrong and how to find acceptable solutions to remedy common problems.
Were thinking to be done in Beverly's Cemetery, where the stillness is deafening and memories of so many brave souls that have passed in time profound, a person might recall the words of Abraham Lincoln as he pronounced them in his Gettysburg Address.
Said the sad President, "The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us - that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion - that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain - that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom - and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
We can only wonder how Lincoln would assess events this Independence Day weekend. But we probably each could look at a soldier's headstone and recognize that we could promise to do more.