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‘Home town boys’ return to Philippi Main Street

Submitted photo Philippi City Manager Jeremy Drennen and Philippi Main Street Director Tammy Stemple admire the newest addition to Philippi’s Main Street. The statue of Lurch can be seen in the front entrance of Philippi City Hall.
Adrian Larry looking up to the 6’9” Lurch who appears even taller as he stands on his special platform.

Two of Philippi’s “home town boys” returned to Main Street last week when Adrian Larry, co-owner and artist of Morgantown’s Bixby Studios, delivered Bixby’s creation of Lurch, the fictional character in the 1960s TV series “The Adams Family.”

Larry, a 1987 graduate of Philip Barbour High School, joined forces with Chad and Sarah Sine of Morgantown’s Bixby Studios nearly 10 years ago, as a group of fine artists who specialize in creating custom art for commercial and private use. Bixby uses sculpture, painting, make up effects and more to create its creatures and creations. Bixby Studios has been featured in WV Living magazine and has exhibited at the TransWorld Halloween & Attraction Show, the only industry trade show of its kind in the world. Bixby Studios may be visited on Facebook and Instagram.

The second returning “home town boy” was Lurch, the fictional character brought to life by former Philippi resident Ted Cassidy. Cassidy grew up in Philippi and graduated from Philippi High School, where he played football and basketball and excelled academically. He attended West Virginia Wesleyan College before attending and graduating from Stetson University in DeLand, Florida, where he earned a degree in speech and drama and was active in student government.

The statue of Lurch, a project of Philippi Main Street, was initiated as a way of attracting visitors to Philippi. The project included financial support from Needful Things Tattoo Shop, the city of Philippi, the Barbour County Commission, Philippi Convention and Visitors Bureau, Philippi Main Street and a few local individuals.

According to Main Street Director Tammy Stemple, Lurch is temporarily located in the front hall of the Philippi City Hall. This placement enables people to see the impressive work of art. Eventually, Lurch will be moved to the Barbour County Historical Museum, near the Covered Bridge. A formal introduction of Lurch to the community is being planned for the future when the community can once again move about with ease.

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