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‘Big Dipper’ Has Attractions, Ice Cream

May 6, 2012
Jim Cochran , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

The "Big Dipper" has arrived in Moundsville!

Those two words could be for several things, but probably are associated most with ice cream and an amusement rides.

Well, the case I'm referring to is an establishment that offers both ice cream and displays items which at one time where part of an amusement park industry.

The official name of the business is Johnny and Shar's Big Dipper. John and Sharon Yeater three ago purchased the former Marshall Dairy building on Tenth Street. Their main purpose at the time was to use the building for storage of equipment John uses in his construction business and amusement park and carnival items that the Yeaters have purchased over the years at auctions, flea markets, etc.

Several friends, on learning they had purchased the Marshall Dairy building, approached them about the possibility of opening an ice cream store. John said that the interior of the building was in a somewhat deplorable condition, but being a building contractor he decided to take on the task of remodeling it.

The Yeaters stated they haven't had time to research the history of the building, but some of the oldtimers said they know it opened more than 70 years ago. One change made by the Yeaters is that the counter used to be on the east side of the building, and now it is on the west side.

One of the first things you will notice on entering the building is six "cars' of a roller coaster from Kennywood Park in Pittsburgh. Many of the customers, both young and old, have had the picture taken sitting in one of the cars. Also, there are a couple of bumper cars and numerous old signs, one being from the days of the Marshall Dairy operation; a juke box, an oldtime gasoline pump, a three-wheel bicycle, and two carnival fun house mirrors.

The ice cream selection includes 32 flavors. In addition to ice cream products, a big seller is Nathan's hot dogs.

The new business has fulltime employees in addition to the Yeaters. It is open every day except Monday.

Whether you are driving or walking in the vicinity of the building you would have a hard time not seeing it as there are an old telephone booth and a gasoline pump on the sidewalk, an elephant on the front of the building, an amusement park train on the roof, and if you go around back, you will see a trolley car from Kennywood Park, and a Big Boy, although the hamburger is missing in its place is an small airplane.

While the downstairs of the business has in addition to amusement park memorabilia, the upstairs is another story. It includes items from in addition to Kennywood, Coney Island, White Swan, West View Amusement Parks, the latter two near Pittsburgh; and Noah's Ark, a model of an amusement park with all the figures moveable, and a larger number of carnival items.

The Yeaters plan to open the upstairs museum in the near future.


There will be several main issues on the ballot in Tuesday's election in Marshall County.

These include:

Democrats will nominate three magistrates from the six on the ballot; Democrats will also nominate a sheriff from three candidates and two House of Delegate candidates from four seeking the nomination. Four individuals are seeking the two seats on the non-partisan Board of Education.

In the city of Benwood, voters will be voting for the bus levy. This issue used to be voted on for three years, but recent action by city council has made it for one-year.

While city elections will be taking place in Benwood, Cameron and Glen Dale, none of the ballots list anyone as having opposition. Of course, there could be write-ins.

Benwood will be electing a mayor and four council members, with the mayor and three of the council members being incumbents; Cameron voters will be electing a mayor and three council members, all of whom are incumbents; and in Glen Dale the mayor, recorder and two council members will be elected; all are incumbents.

Democrat voters in seven precincts may be scratching their head when they receive their ballots, as they will not find state Sen. President Jeff Kessler's name on their them. As the result of redistricting, the name of Jack Yost of Brooke County (1st Senatorial District) appears on their ballot.


Among special events taking place in Marshall County this week will be the 6th annual Marshall County Chamber of Commerce Chocolate Jubilee; the Walk-A-Thon for Games; and the Friends of Cameron Football event.

The Chocolate Jubilee will be held from 4-6 p.m., on Thursday at Grand Vue Park.

The Walk-A-Thon will take place from 9-11:30 the Sam Shaw Walking Trail at Valley Fork Park in Moundsville. Proceeds will go to the Brian Games family. Games, 40, had a brain stem stroke in early January and continues to undergo treatment in Morgantown.

The Friends of Cameron Football event will be held beginning at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Chesapeake Energy Building at the Marshall County Fairgrounds, Moundsville.

Honorees will be former principal Dave Hall and 1966 graduate Woody Yeater, who was a teacher coach at CHS for 32 years. Also, honored will be cheerleaders from 1950-80 and the football teams for 1991 and 1997.


Don't forget that free dumpsters on Saturday will available from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturday at the Dallas Volunteer Fire Department and the St. Joseph Volunteer Department, the dumpsters provided by the Marshall County Commission and the Marshall County Solid Waste Authority in conjunction with the countywide Operation Pride clean up effort.

Two special programs will be presented at the Moundsville-Marshall County Public Library this week.

At 6 p.m. on Monday Gene Worthington will do his one-man production of ''Bully,'' It deals with the life of Teddy Roosevelt who was the 26th President from 1901-09.

At 6 p.m. on Tuesday authors Debbie Frye and Tracy Mercier will discuss their recently published book, ''Our Father Who Aren't in Heaven.'' Their father was once incarcerated at the former West Virginia Penitentiary in Moundsville.

Both presentations are free and open to the public.


The annual Spring Used Book Sale at the Moundsville-Marshall County Public Library will conclude on Tuesday. The hours being 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., on Monday, and 10 a.m. until noon on Tuesday. This event is sponsored by the Moundsville Woman's Club with proceeds going toward the library's operation.

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