The June birthday of Lemuel Chenoweth, the master carpenter and renowned builder of covered bridges, will be honored during Chenoweth Day in Beverly
Featured activities this year will include a special visit from "Mary Todd Lincoln," in addition to tours and hospitality at the Lemuel Chenoweth House, and music and demonstrations at the Beverly Heritage Center.
Randy Allan will lead tours of the Lemuel Chenoweth House in Beverly during Chenoweth Day Saturday.
The special feature of the day will be a History Alive! presentation of Mary Todd Lincoln, at 4 p.m. at the Beverly Heritage Center. Mary Lincoln's story mirrors the pain and loss suffered by many Americans as a result of the Civil War. A devoted supporter of her husband Abraham's political aspirations, she encouraged him in his career. As the First Lady during the war, her southern roots created doubt about her loyalty to the Union and she was viewed as a traitor to the Confederate cause.
Presenter JoAnn Peterson will begin with a monologue by Mrs. Lincoln talking about her life and personal tragedies, and the historical, social and political issues that influenced her. This will be followed by a question and answer session with Mrs. Lincoln in character. Then, Peterson will break character for a question-and-answer session in which she talks about her research into primary sources and personal papers to develop the character portrayal. History Alive! is a program of the West Virginia Humanities Council.
The Lemuel Chenoweth House Antiques and Museum will be open from 10 a.m. with tours of the house. Chenoweth built this house in Beverly and lived there from 1856 until his death in 1887. Among the many covered bridges he built is the Philippi Covered Bridge, which is still in use and open to traffic.
Visitors Saturday can learn about Chenoweth's carpentry skills and unique construction designs as they tour the two-story clapboard structure with owner Randy Allan as their guide. They may also purchase fine antiques on display throughout the house/museum. Mrs. Allan will serve refreshments in the historic kitchen, and visitors can admire the view of the Tygart River, where one of Chenoweth's wooden bridges once stood. The Lemuel Chenoweth House and Museum is located on Bridge Street in Beverly, three blocks from the Beverly Heritage Center.
At the Beverly Heritage Center starting at 10 a.m., printer Karl Mulac will demonstrate the skills of a 19th century printer on a historic printing press. Beverly residents in period dress will provide hospitality and tours of the museum exhibits, which are open free for this special day.
At 10:30 a.m. Mountain Winds will perform a variety of mid-19th century music that once entertained residents of the Tygart Valley. The trio of woodwind players specializes in rousing and sentimental Civil War songs and lively dance music suitable for schottisches, polkas, waltzes and an occasional march. After lunchtime, the Rich Mountain String Band will offer a variety of minstrel and Civil War era dance tunes to set visitors' toes tapping.
Other attractions and shops in Beverly will be open as well. The Randolph County Museum will be open, showcasing its extensive collection of local artifacts. Historic Beverly Antiques features a wide variety of antiques, collectibles and books in the historic Goff house that was once the Beverly Union Hospital. The Marketplace, across from the Town Square, offers fresh local foods and handmade crafts.
All Chenoweth Day activities are free and open to the public. The Beverly Heritage Center will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and the Chenoweth House and Museum will be open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Beverly is located 6 miles south of Elkins on U.S. Route 219. For more information, contact the Beverly Heritage Center at 304-637-7424 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or see www.beverlyheritagecenter.org.