Elizabethtown Festival Set to Observe 20th Anniversary

The Elizabethtown Festival will be observing its 20th anniversary on Sept. 15 at the former West Virginia Penitentiary, with several new attractions.

Hilda Blake, who co-founded the event along with Sue Riggs, both of whom were members of the Moundsville Economic Development Council Board of Directors, said the Elizabethtown Festival had its beginning after several individuals decided the city needed to have some type of festival. She added that the initial planning required a year.

Blake said the festival was created in remembrance of the first community members, who settled on the shores of the Ohio River. Irish immigrants Joseph Tomlinson and his brothers, Samuel and James, built a cabin on the “Flats of Grave Creek” in 1771, and the next spring they brought their families to live on that tract of land.

By 1798, a number of people had moved to the flats and built homes. Joseph Tomlinson decided to lay out a town and called it Elizabethtown in honor of his wife. In 1831 Simeon Purdy purchased a tract of land near the river, which became known as Moundsville. As both communities grew and flourished, the Tomlinson and Purdy families merged with the marriage of their children, and the two communities became known as Moundsville in 1866.

Since 1998, thousands of people have enjoyed the crafts, food and activities centered around the early 1800s.

Each year, special attention is given to provide festival attendees a glimpse of cultural heritage, and this year will be no different.

Cooking over an open fire, story-telling, quilting, weaving, woodworking and music are some of the activities planned to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Elizabethtown Festival.

Objectives of the festival include:

∫ To acquaint visitors with a living history of the 1800s era.

∫ To provide a meaningful community supported by more than 100 volunteers.

∫ To encourage economic gain for quality crafts, exhibitors and regional businesses as well as the state of West Virginia.

One of the fun events returning to the festival this year will be a hat display and parade.

This project, headed up by Dee McDowell, will display and show hats through the ages. McDowell is encouraging individuals to create, wear and share their talents by decorating hats for the festival.

“We are pleased to bring back this fun and creative part of Elizabethtown. There are so many talented people making decorations, wearable art and whimsical fashion with hats, we wanted to bring their hats to Elizabethtown,” McDowell stated.

“As a special hat-loving treat, who better to lead a hat parade than America’s comedic hat lady herself –Minnie Pearl!” McDowell said.

Actually “Minnie” will be portrayed by Denise Giardina of Charleston

Giardina is also an American novelist who has received several awards for her books.

By the way, Giardina, who was born in Bluefield, grew up in a small coal mining camp of Black Wolf, in rural McDowell County.

Giardina received a bachelor’s degree from West Virginia Wesleyan College, pursued graduate work at Marshall University and a masters in divinity from the Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandra, Va., She currently teaches at West Virginia State University.

To those who might have never heard of Minnie Pearl, she always dressed in frilly “down home” dresses and wore a hat with a price tag hanging from it, displaying $1.98. She appeared on the television show “HeeHaw” for many years.


The 17th annual Dan Dague Memorial Car and Bike Show will be held Monday at The Highlands.

Last year, the event attracted more than 550 entrants.

The show is sponsored by the Lions Clubs (29-L) West Virginia with proceeds going to the statewide Lions Club Foundation, which assists individuals who eye problem.

Registration will begin at 8 a.m.

Some 140 trophies will be awarded, along with 500 dash plates.

Throughout the day there will be two 50/50 drawings, and a live auction at 1 p.m.

The awarding of trophies will take place shortly after 2:30 p.m.

The public is invited to attend the event to which there is no admission.

Also, those attending may drop off used eye glasses and hearing aids.


The Gabriel Project of West Virginia, Northern Programs Chapter, will be reopening in Marshall County thanks to members of St. Francis Xavier Church and the Children’s Solutions, which is housed in the former St. Francis Xavier School building.

To celebrate the reopening, an open house will be held from noon until 2 p.m. Thursday at Xavier Hall behind the Children’s Solutions school building at 600 Jefferson Ave.

Anyone is invited to attend to meet the volunteers and to learn what the Gabriel Project in Marshall County can provide.

The mission of the Gabriel Project of West Virginia is to protect and honor life by providing immediate practical and compassionate assistance to needy pregnant women and to families with infants and children two years of age and younger.

Through tangible support, the Gabriel Project helps parents give their child a healthy and safe start in life.

The Gabriel Project of West Virginia got its start more than 20 years ago in the Northern Panhandle. The previous Northern Panhandle Gabriel Project location in Moundsville was at the First Christian Church.

The Northern Panhandle Chapter of the Gabriel Project of West Virginia covers more than 10 counties, along with four counties in Ohio. It has sites in Hancock, Ohio, Marshall, Wetzel, Tyler, Wood, Calhoun and Ritchie counties.

The agency can be contacted on Facebook, or the state website at gabrielwv.org. The telephone number for the chapter office in Wheeling is 304-639-5039.


The Ladies Auxiliary of Mound Post No. 437, Veterans of Foreign Wars, will oversee the annual Buddy Poppy fund raiser Friday and Saturday outside local businesses in Moundsville.

Veterans and auxiliary members, along with friends of the two organizations, will be seeking donations on behalf of this effort.

The two organizations will be joined by students from Moundsville Middle School, 4-H members, and John Marshall High School students. In addition, veterans are welcome to assist, along with any other groups.

The hours both days will be 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.

Those planning to help are to report to the front door of the VFW at 114 Grant Ave.

The initial Buddy Poppy event took place prior to Memorial Day in 1922, thus becoming the first veterans’ organization to organize a nationwide distribution. The poppy soon was adopted as the official memorial flower of the VFW

The Buddy Poppies are still assembled by disabled and needy veterans in VA Hospitals.

The VFW Buddy Poppy program provides compensation to the veterans who assemble the poppies, provide financial assistance in maintaining state and national veterans’ rehabilitation and service programs, and partially supports the VFW National Home for Children.


Main Street Bank is the new corporate sponsor of the Knights of Columbus Council No. 1907’s “Irish Road Bowling.”

The 6th annual Road Bowling event will take place on Sept. 29 along Little Grave Creek Road in Glen Dale.

The event terminates at St. Jude Park.

Teams of four are standard, although more are permitted. There is a $25 fee per person, which includes food and beverages.

Knights of Columbus Council No. 1907 of Moundsville is a Catholic fraternal organization dedicated to charity. For several years the council has sponsored events on behalf of Marshall County Special Olympics, the Russell Nesbitt Center and other charities.

Those wishing additional information about the IRR can contact Larry Freeland at 304-843-1662.


Someone recently dropped off the front page of The Marshall County Green Tab from 1973, which read, “The Marshall County Park and Recreation Board is sponsoring a Name the Park Contest.”

The page also included a diagram of the park at that time, along with some additional information pertaining to the contest.

Among the items that the person with the best suggestion for a name would receive a $100 savings bond and a one-year pass to all recreational facilities.

Grand Vue Park general manager Craig White is hoping to find out the name of the person who submitted the Grand Vue Park name, along with other finalist.

If anyone knows these names, White would like to heard from them. He can be reached at 304-845-7810, extension 404.


In the past two weeks, Major League Baseball has released both the 2019 season schedule and the spring training schedules, and as a result Bill Bryson of Uniglobe Travel of the Ohio Valley has put together a couple of tentative trips, one being to spring training in Florida in mid-March, and a regular season trip to Minnesota, Kansas City, St. Louis and Omaha, Neb., the site of the College World Series in mid-June.


The Moundsville High School class of 1955 will hold a luncheon at 11:20 a.m. on Friday at Perkins Restaurant and Bakery on North Lafayette Avenue, Moundsville to which class members and friends are invited.


Saturday is the deadline to make a reservation for the 14th annual John Marshall High School Wall of Fame

Reservations are to be made by calling 304-845-3403.

The banquet will be held on Sept. 22 at the Moundsville Country Club. This year’s honoree will be Gerald Trembush, who is a retired Marshall County school administrator.