Kump House hosting annual Fair at the Crossroads event

The stately Kump House in Elkins will be celebrating its second annual Fair at the Crossroads Saturday.

The event is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the lawn of the house, which is across the street from Kroger’s at 401 S. Randolph St. The fair will feature an art tent and games for children, crafts, house tours, live music and a pie auction.

The fundraiser, a celebration of 150 years of West Virginia history, will kick off with a tribute to the local John Hart chapter of the Daughter of the American Revolution, which was instrumental in obtaining a $10,000 DAR grant for continuing Kump House renovations.

All proceeds benefit ongoing restoration of the Kump House and the development of the Kump Education Center. The spacious 26-room mansion built in the 1920s was the former home of Herman G. Kump, 19th governor of West Virginia.

It was bequeathed to the city of Elkins in 2008, when Kump’s last surviving child, Mary Gamble, died. Her intent in leaving it to the city of Elkins was that the house be used for educational purposes, and the surrounding property was to provide a place to develop good citizenship for children and youth.

Fair highlights include toy exhibits that reflect the history of West Virginia by showing how children played over the last 150 years in the Mountain State. Elkins residents Ed Griesel and Jim Schoonover will exhibit their Lionel Train collections.

“Toy trains have been one of the three most important symbols of Christmas in America, after Santa Claus and Christmas trees,” said Jim Porterfield, director of Railway Tourism at Davis & Elkins College.

Historic childhood games like croquet, jacks and marbles will be offered at the fair for children of all ages.

“Marbles are a marvelous part of what made childhood magical for kids growing up in the 1950s,” said Dr. Heather Biola, Kump Education Center coordinator and Kump granddaughter. “Every guy had his favorite ‘shooters,’ and any patch of dry flat earth was an ideal spot for a game of ‘Ringer.’ Nobody had heard of digital games yet, but developing excellent eye-hand coordination gave a natural advantage to the best marble players.”

The game also reflects West Virginia’s past as a major glass and marble manufacturer.

“The historic heart of the world’s glass marble production is in West Virginia,” said Dean Six, director of the Museum of American Glass in Weston. “West Virginia has been home to 24 of the 36 companies that have produced marbles in North America.”

In addition, “Hoodwinked in Richmond,” an original one-act play by Jane Birdsong, will debut at 2 p.m.

At 3 p.m., an old-fashioned pie auction will tantalize with over 40 fresh-baked sweet and savory pies going to the highest bidder. Local bakers are donating the pies for the fundraiser after searching their recipe collections for historic or family favorites.

Enticingly named pies include: five-pound apple pie, heavenly peanut butter pie, shaker two-crust lemon slice pie and silken chocolate tofu pie.

The five-pound apple pie, made by local resident Linda Rudy, was auctioned last year for $107. Rudy is a graduate of the Baking and Pastry Institute at Johnson and Wales University in Rhode Island.

Her pie baking tips include: keep the dough cool by using ice water; use Crisco sticks; and roll the pie crust on waxed paper.

Another intriguing pie available is a steel magnolia tomato pie or tomato, cheddar and bacon pie by Katy McClane. It has a sour cream crust with layers of colorful tomatoes and fresh herbs such as chives, parsley and dill. Sharp cheddar as well as fresh parmesan cheeses tie it all together, according to McClane.

Nectarine blueberry crumb with cardamom pie, a blueberry cream pie, sausage and apple breakfast pie, a Williamsburg pie recipe will also be up for auction.

In addition to pie, Davis & Elkins President Dr. Michael P. Mihalyo, Jr. will bake two French rum cakes, which sold well last year.

At 4 p.m., square dancing with music by the McClane Family & Friends will be featured. Tours of the Kump House will be available from 10:30 a.m. until 1 p.m., nd again from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Crafts will be available for sale with crafters including: Riece Brown, handmade musical instruments; Aki Endo and Maggi Rhudy, art work, origami, and handmade scarves; Deb Farrell, historic books; Melinda Shafer, polymer clay jewelry; Mandy Sullivan and Judy Helms, art work and rugs; and Rachel Varner, canning and crafts.

The lawn will also feature apple butter and beer-making demonstrations (without tasting). Roast corn, specialty hot dogs and home-made apple cobbler will be available for the hungry.

Admission to the fair and grounds is $10 for adults. Children will be admitted free.