What’s better than a scenic drive through the mountains of West Virginia? Thank you for asking! I’ll be happy to answer that little question. The answer: Finding treasures along that beautiful scenic drive. Theres a highway between Hinton and Peterstown (State Route 12) that has two fabulous little treasures along the way. I drove through there last week and stopped in to see Marcia at Wake-Robin Gallery and Emma Jean at Emma Jean’s Country Store. This is a case where the people are just as interesting as their art and store. And that’s saying something, since both are outstanding.
Wake-Robin is a pottery and gift gallery located in Forest Hill, and Emma Jean’s Country Store is a turn of the century country store located in Marie. (One of these days I’ll have to be sure people understand I mean the early 1900’s when I say turn of the century.) The gallery can be found under the Tourism heading and the following keywords: Art – > Gift Shop – > Pottery.
Marcia’s gallery is elegant in its presentation and reminds me of a museum. However, you can buy the pieces in this museum, and they’re worth the money! You see, Marcia is a potter of renown who uses her hands to shape functional pottery. What makes her different is Marica has been blind since birth! I love a quote she has that goes, “My hands remember how the pots grew, and my heart is gratified.” When a person realizes she has only seen her pots with her hands, being gratified takes on a whole new meaning.
While I was there some people came in and bought some gifts. When they paid I was able to observe Marcia as she typed on a brail typewriter, which I had never seen before, and folded her bills a certain way so she would know which denomination they were. The gallery had much more than pottery, though. She had creations by other local artists ranging from jewelry and candles, to iron working and wooden utensils. There were also woven items, some of which are provided by blind students of Berean College.
Emma Jean’s Country Store is exactly that, a real country store that is like going back in time. There are plenty of things to see and buy, or you may just want to talk to Emma Jean. While I was there a few people came in and the talk was of neighbors and people helping each other out. Just what comes to mind when someone thinks of how things are done in the country. Since I was in a country store, I had to buy a bottle of grape Nehi. I mean, what is a visit to a country store without buying something from my childhood?
If you look at the photo that goes with Emma Jean’s listing for her store on www.WVyourWay.com, you may think you are looking at a painting. I know that a lot of people, including myself, thought it was a painting when they first saw it. So, if you like the idea of walking into, not only history, but a painting, you may want to visit her and talk awhile. Oh yeah, and you just might show up the day The History Channel will be filming a story about her store. I know they’re coming, we just don’t when yet. Her store can be found on WVyourWay under the heading Tourism and the following keywords: Antiques – > Collectibles – > Country Store – > Groceries – > Primitives – > Wine Store.
So take a drive down Rt. 12 and stop and see two very nice ladies. The trip is worth it and it’s an experiance you won’t soon be forgetting.