Get ready for the 19th annual Derby Day Celebration in Lewisburg, WV! Gateway Industries, of Ronceverte, created and sponsors the “Derby Day Run for the Roses” fund raiser each year. This year’s event will be held on Saturday, May the 4th, from 3:30 until 7:30 PM at the West Virginia State Fairgrounds. Each year an average of 500 participants attend the event that models Derby Day as if everyone were actually in Louisville, Kentucky. Besides having fun and giving ladies a good reason to wear decorated hats, the event is designed to help raise money for a very worthwhile organization in Gateway Industries.
Many local businesses, as well as the event attendees, support Gateway’s efforts to provide employment, training and services to individuals with disabilities. Gateway offers assembly, packaging, warehousing and distribution to meet custom sub-contracting needs. To learn more about this worthwhile organization go www.WVyourWay.com and click on the “Business” heading. Scroll down and click on the sub-heading “Business Services” and then check the boxes next to the keywords “Assembly, Distribution, or Warehousing.” You may also scroll down further to the sub-heading “Industry” and either check that box, or click on the word and check the keyword “Industrial Services.”
At Derby Day you will find great food, fun music, a spectacular silent auction and a chance to win some great prizes. You’ll enjoy watching the Kentucky Derby on large screen televisions with a lot of fine folks. Keep in mind that you’ll have a great time and as well a memorable experience. Last but not least, you’ll be helping a very good organization – “Gateway Industries.”
By Sherry McCormick-Hawkins
I am the proud Mother of a spoiled Chihuahua that I rescued from a Virginia animal shelter in late 2010. “Little Bit” is the first dog I ever owned – or does he own me? Either way, I’m so glad that I took that first step and finally adopted a dog. He has given me a lot of love and laughs over the past 2 years. I also have a lovebird named “Squeak” that I received as a birthday present in 1999. His beautiful feathers and intelligence never fail to amaze me.
We here at WVyourWay love animals and want to see them go to good homes. On our Pinterest page we post pictures of adoptable animals in West Virginia. It is our hope that more and more cats and dogs will find forever families. If you live in the Greenbrier Valley of West Virginia consider contacting the Greenbrier Humane Society [Businesses – Animal Care > Humane Society]. They have a wide variety of cats, dogs, puppies and kittens. They also have several adopt-a-thons throughout the year where people find wonderful pets. If you know of other animal shelters in the state, ask them to register with us so people can find them too.
If you decide to adopt a pet they will need additional care. “Seneca Trail Animal Hospital” [Businesses – Animal Care > Animal Hospital > Boarding > Veterinarians] in Lewisburg has a friendly staff and they can help your companion animal with their medical, dental and surgical needs. They even offer boarding services as well as emergency care. If you are visiting in our beautiful area and need care for your pet they will do their best to fit you into their schedule.
Are you looking for a more exotic pet such as a bird, ferret, fish, snake or something else? “Susan’s World of Pets and Grooming” [Businesses – Animal Care > Pet Stores] has a large selection of wonderful animals, birds and reptiles. They are conveniently located in Fairlea. In addition to all of the pets they also carry a large supply of pet products and they offer expert pet grooming to make your dog look his best!
Check out these businesses on www.WVyourWay.com. Following the name of each business above in bold you see the Heading – Sub-heading > Keyword. Click on the heading “Businesses”, then scroll down to the sub-heading “Animal Care.” Click on the sub-heading “Animal Care” and the keywords will then drop down. Click on whichever keyword you’re interested in, then choose your region and hit the “Search” button below the map.
Look on the map and see if you can find the town of Edgarton, West Virginia. Surely there must be one, since there’s an Edgarton Inn Bed & Breakfast. I Googled the town, and found out that there’s a town in Mingo County named Delorme that is also known as Edgarton, but there are no B&B’s there. So where in the world is the Edgarton Inn Bed & Breakfast?
As you might have guessed, the name was changed sometime back. You see, the Greenbrier River flows through this town and it’s in Greenbrier County. I guess they could have called the town Greenbrier, but then that wouldn’t have been very original. I’ve heard a few different stories about the original name for the town from Edgar’s Ford to St. Lawrence Ford. One story has it that Edgar’s Ford was named after Thomas Edgar who built his house near the banks of the Greenbrier and then sold off lots that started the community. When it came time to incorporate the town, it was time to give it a more colorful name. So some say that was when Mrs. Edgar put a twist of French to the name Greenbrier and came up with Ronceverte, which in French means bramble green, or green brier.
Greenbrier County and Lewisburg, the county seat, is one of the more popular tourist destinations in West Virginia, and only five miles south of Lewisburg on US 219 is the town of Ronceverte. In honor of the founder of Ronceverte, Kathy King, the owner of the Edgarton Inn Bed & Breakfast, named the Inn located in his original house built-in 1810, after Thomas Edgarton.
The house is beautiful and chucked full of history and scenes from days gone by in Greenbrier County. It is spacious with a common dining area and sitting room downstairs that is a great place to just sit and relax. Upstairs there are four bedrooms each with its own bathroom.
The Blue Ridge Suite is part of the original 1810 house that was built with timbers; then brown sand from the Greenbrier River and horse hair were mixed into plaster which is still in place under the old wallpaper coverings. The wooden floors are original and to stand on them is to go back 200 years in history.
The Greenbrier Room is also located in a section of the original house built-in 1810. The Bay windows were added when Col. Best remodeled the house after the Civil War. If you notice, the house faces the river, as most houses built-in the early 1800’s did.
The Renaissance Suite contains the Victorian tower, which features the Queen Anne architecture popular in this historic period. If you look at the photos that accompany this article, you will see just how spacious and beautiful these rooms are.
Take a step back in time, and at the same time, enjoy the present while staying in the Edgarton Inn. Kathy, the owner is a great host and you will find the town, now named Ronceverte, to be populated by friendly people who help make your stay enjoyable. Come prepared to enjoy your stay in the Inn while you discover all the attractions and fun shopping experiences Greenbrier County has to offer.
Guest Blogger: Sherry McCormick-Hawkins
Being relatively new to West Virginia and the Greenbrier Valley I have taken some time to explore some of the businesses here.
One of my favorite places is a shop in downtown Lewisburg is called the “Plaid Eagle.” First off, the moment I walk into the store I am greeted and feel welcomed! This is a friendly place! The owner, Karen McClung, definitely loves her store and enjoys seeing people come in and browse. Also, she is readily available to talk to you about her large assortment of antiques and is happy to answer any questions.
The store makes me “feel young again” when I check out the toy section. Wow! There are several toys there that I used to play with as a child. I also have a small collection of antique dolls so I enjoy looking at the dolls that are available for sale.
Another neat aspect that brings back memories for me is the large assortment of glassware and silver. It definitely brings back memories of my grandmother’s house in Central Pennsylvania where I loved to visit. The Depression glass is my favorite!
The variety of vintage clothing and quilts in the store are amazing too. If you are into those types of items I highly recommend Plaid Eagle to find what you’re looking for!
Another aspect that is unusual is the large collection of medical items and old medicine bottles. This would be a perfect place for the collector of these types of items.
My husband is a collector of old books and has an extensive library. Plaid Eagle has a large collection of antique books available for sale and a large amount of them are about West Virginia and the history of the state. Hmmm…this might just be the place to shop for his Christmas present.
Karen is a specialist when it comes to antiques. She has been in the business for over 25 years. Not only does she have her store she also does Estate Sales. She can do an Estate Sale of contemporary items as well as antiques. She had a large sale recently which featured fine, contemporary items that was quite successful. If an estate sale is something that you have been contemplating please contact her about it.
To find Plaid Eagle Antiques and similar stores go to www.WVyourWay.com and click on the Tourism heading. Scroll down and select the keywords: Antiques, Books, Collectibles, Primitives, Prints, Quilts and Vintage Clothing. Then scroll down to the map and click on “The New River/Greenbrier Valley” region. Just below the map is the “search” button. Click on the search button and in moments everything you are interested in, and nothing you are not interested in, will come up. If you want directions to any of the places that are displayed, simply click on “Add to Itinerary” and you will be able to see the places you added separately and see the written out directions. So go search and have fun!
My brother-in-law is a hamburger connoisseur who is so serious about his favorite food that they vacation around burger places they find on the Food Network. A few years ago, when our niece got married, they had to leave the wedding early in order to visit a burger place in South Carolina they had heard about. They’ve also visited hamburger joints in Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia and many more places too numerous to remember. So before coming to West Virginia, they visited www.WVyourWay.com and planned some places for me to take them.
Under Restaurants they chose the keywords “Bar-B-Que, Burgers, Casual-Fine Dining, Family, Home Style Cooking and Steaks.” They then narrowed their search to the New River/Greenbrier Valley and hit the search button under the map. The first result they saw was the Mason Jar Restaurant in White Sulphur Springs. (By the way, the Mason Jar also have the keyword Catering, but my sister wasn’t needing a caterer on her visit.)
My sister’s family arrived over the weekend and off to the Mason Jar we dashed. When we got there I told Jeff, my brother-in-law, about the burger challenge where if you eat their entire Triple Decker Burger they’ll give you a free dessert. It was on!
My wife tried to warn Jeff not to eat too much food before the burger got there because of the size of the Triple Decker, but Jeff had already seen the salad bar with the potato salad and macaroni salad, and it was too late. I tried to warn him also since I had already taken the challenge and struggled to eat the entire burger. I’m no small man at 6′, 1″ and 225, but compared to Jeff I guess I am. That night we watched Jeff down a heaping plate of potato salad, macaroni salad and all the other parts of a salad. Then he enjoyed a few of the fried green tomatoes and fried pickles we ordered as an appetizer. Next came the Triple Decker Burger and it’s side of potato chips. Jeff ate the entire burger and chips before I was able to finish even half of my burger! Of course, the extra time enabled him to munch on some of his daughters fries, but who is counting?
After the meal Jeff said that was the best burger he ever ate. Coming from him, that was high praise indeed! Of course, it helps that the Mason Jar Restaurant has chefs with over 70 years of 5-Star restaurant experience. The little secret is you can enjoy meals from Greenbrier Chefs at the Mason Jar Restaurant at great prices. The restaurant even caters, and all I told you about was the burger. I didn’t even mention the brisket which is so big they should make a challenge to eat the entire slice of meat. Or was it two slices? Yep, it was that big!
Go to www.WVyourWay.com and click on the keywords in bold above to find the Mason Jar Restaurant and see all the other kinds of delicious meals they serve. And while you’re there, you can even buy a hillbilly wine glass!
Oh yeah, I almost forgot, Jeff did win the challenge and a free dessert which he gave to my sister. After all, he was almost full and didn’t want to stuff himself.
Nearly 25 years ago I saw Lost World Caverns on a highway map for West Virginia and decided to stop and check it out. In the days before the internet all I knew about the place was that a cavern was involved. Even now, to find the place using an old-fashioned search engine, like Google, you still have to type something about caverns. Thankfully, www.WVyourWay.com let me find the place without even thinking about caverns or typing anything in. That way, when I searched for Dinosaurs and Natural History, I was able to find just what I was looking for.
So off I went and I took a date with me. We got there early so there wasn’t a crowd to deal with, but the owner suggested we take the tour first since a few busloads of elementary kids was on the way. My date was from the city, so I knew my chance of scaring her was pretty good. This was my second date with her, but would I get a third?
We walked down the tunnel which was a much easier way in than the original entrance, which was a straight drop somewhere around two or three hundred feet. Actually, you can still see a tiny chain ladder that was used. I call it tiny ‘cause it appeared less than a foot wide.
Keep in mind that the temperature drops as you enter the cavern, so bring along a light jacket if you want to keep from shivering. If I recall, the cavern stays at a cool 55 degrees year ‘round.
The fact that these tours are self-guided played right into my hands as I thought of what I was going to do to scare my date. As we walked along the path and viewed the myriad of formations, I came up with an idea. I wanted to wait until we were deeper into the cavern, though. One of the good things about Lost World Caverns is that so much is packed into the place that you can pretty much see everything caverns have to offer in one giant room. It’s almost like someone collected all the different formations and placed them there for safe keeping.
As we reached the lowest depth of the cavern, I said to my date, very matter of a fact, “They say there’s something that lives deeper in these caverns, but I don’t believe it myself.”
The city girl looked at me wide-eyed and asked, “What are you talking about?!”
So I told her how there was some kind of creature that was alleged to have been spotted down here several times. When she said I was just trying to scare her, I simply asked, “Why do you think we’re on a self-guided tour? They can’t get tour guides to come down here ‘cause the locals know all about it!”
At that her eyes grew as big as saucers and she inched closer. My plan was working to perfection. I had forgotten about the cave bear sign, but when my date saw it, my story gained even more credence when I suggested they had to call it a cave bear since the description of the creature matched nothing else anyone had ever seen. By this time she wanted me to stay very close to her the rest of the tour.
Once you leave the cavern take the time to tour the little museum and the expansive gift shop. If you like dinosaurs, you’ll love seeing the fossils and giant bones. The gift shop has something for everyone, including fun things for the kids. You can even do some gem stone mining while you’re there.
And fella’s, if you want to have a fun date, take your girl to Lost World Caverns. Not only did I get a third date, but it looks like I just might end up marrying that city girl!
So you’re heading to Snowshoe in the mountains of West Virginia to do some skiing. You can speed up and speed back and miss all the points in between, or you can take a few minutes to enjoy some things along the way which will offer some variety from what you will see, and pay, on the mountain.
There are different routes to Snowshoe, so I’ll cover more routes in other blogs. Let’s start with US 219 between getting off I-64 at Lewisburg and heading north to the mountain. There are plenty of shopping venues in Lewisburg, so let me just highlight a few. Downtown there is the Old Hardware Gallery (China, Gift Shop, Jewelry), which has nothing really to do with hardware. It is mainly a gift shop with a wide variety of unique items to choose from. They also carry FiestaWare, which seems to be very popular. I liked it because the staff was very friendly and you can even get a free cup of coffee or glass of lemonade.
Bella’s The Corner Gourmet is another place downtown right on the corner of US 219 and US 60 which offers gourmet cheeses and unique gift items. They even have a very nice suites if you need a place to stay (Cheese Shop, Shopping, Wine Store). Discount Decorating, which is located between the interstate and downtown offers some very decorating items and gifts for the home. Plus, the ladies are very friendly and helpful to answer questions (Arts & Crafts, Gift Shop, Primitives).
I love books, and so does Plaid Eagle Antiques located in the downtown area. They have many rare books dealing with history, and especially West Virginia, that you will drool over. They have more quality items than most antique shops, so they’re definitely worth taking a look at (Antiques, Books, Collectibles, Primitives, Prints, Quilts, Vintage Clothes).
Now, head north on US 219 and 3.2 miles north of the I-64 you will find the Ruby Rooster Antique Mall. They have 25 dealers specializing in furniture, glassware, pottery, books, decorative items, primitives and various collectibles. It’s under a large roof, so be prepared to do some browsing. There’s also a small bakery and cheese shop located next door (Antiques, Collectibles, Shopping).
Nine miles north of Lewisburg in Frankford is Lowell’s Bakery. This place has some good eatin’! If you like hot dogs with chili, you have to try their’s, ’cause they have a smoke flavoring that is making me hungry right now just thinking of it! Check out their listing on www.WVyourWay.com which has even more information about this nice little place. Oh yeah, and they also have some nice memorabilia from the area on the wall (Bakery, Desserts, Pizza).
Continue driving north and you will reach the top of Droop Mountain and enter Pocahontas County. On this mountain is the biggest Civil War battlefield in the state. It also has a very nice overlook with a grand view of the Little Levels and Hillsboro. Once you drive down into Hillsboro you may want to try the Pretty Penny Cafe. It’s a nice restaurant that utilizes locally grown produce and organic fare to create a familiar but jazzed up version of your favorites (Casual-Fine/Dining, Catering, Family, Wireless Internet, Music).
After leaving Hillsboro and not far after passing US 55 heading toward Richwood, you’ll come across Grandpa’s Pantry on the left. It’s a little off the road, but there are good signs to guide you. The small store sits on a knoll and it has some very good cheese and deli products you’ll want to stop and enjoy. They have Amish selections, sweets, WV made food products and many other tasty items (Amish Goods, Cheese Shop, Country Store).
Right after you pass by Marlinton you’ll go up a hill and sitting on the right is Gunter’s General Store. They have a slew of WV made crafts, jewelry, candles, wind chimes and other collectibles. They also have a nice selection of antiques (Antiques, Arts & Crafts, Gift Shop).
Right before you turn up Snowshoe Mountain you’ll see a strip of stores on your right. From about the middle of that building to the far left you’ll find the Route 60 Why Not Shop. This is a must stop store with all kinds of gifts. And I do mean all kinds. They also have a delicious deli where they serve some of the best sandwiches I’ve had in the state. It’s also a place you can rent ski equipment. So stop and tell them you saw them on www.WVyourWay.com! Oh, and spend some time reading all the interesting signs. You’ll get a good laugh (Biking, Canoeing, Gift Shop, Shuttle Service, Skiing, Tubing)
Greenbrier County, home of The Greenbrier Resort, has some very good restaurants. Most people know about the fine restaurants in Lewisburg; however, there are restaurants in other parts of the county that might suit your taste as well. So I’m going to give you a sampling of those restaurants as found on www.WVyourWay.com by searching under the “Restaurant” heading and the categories: Casual/Fine Dining, Family and Homestyle Cooking.
The Mason Jar Restaurant in White Sulphur Springs has a variety of steaks and seafood that is prepared by some of the best chefs in the business. They have a very nice buffet and the atmosphere is casual/fine dining, but it’s not so stuffy that you can’t laugh out loud with your friends. [Casual-Fine Dining – > Catering – > Family]
Food and Friends in Lewisburg is the same restaurant that was featured on the Food Network some time back because of their delicious meals. The breads, served in a clay pot that looks like it should have a plant growing in it, are some of the best breads that go very nicely with the meal. The whoe experiance of dining is top knotch from the time you enter the restaurant until you leave. [Casual-Fine Dining – > Seafood – > Steaks]
Rudy’s Corner Grill located off US 219 in downtown Ronceverte is another great place to eat while in the area. If you are looking for a more down home setting where the locals like to eat, you’ve found the right place. Their buffet will have you going back again and the waitresses will make you feel as if you’re a neighbor. [Buffet – > Catering – > Family]
The Dairy Delite Restaurant in Rupert is another homestyle restaurant where you can experiance not only local dining, but the friendliness of the local people as well. This isn’t just a place to find ice-cream, because they have a full menu of your favorite meals. Hamburgers are made from 100% ground chuck and their desserts are made fresh. In season they have ramp dinners, fresh catfish and pig roasts. They’ll even give you a free cookie if you mention you found out about them through WVyourWay! [Catering – > Country Cooking – > Family]
The Spare Time Sports Bar & Grill is located in the bowling alley north of Lewisburg on US 219 and they serve some very nice meals which you can enjoy while watching your favorite teams on their many TV screens. Their grille serves the number one burgers, wings and quesadillas in the valley. [Casual-Fine Dining – > Sports Bar/Grill – > Music]
The Gables Restaurant in Hines, which is between Rupert and Rainelle on US 60, offers dining in a soothing atmosphere for those wanting to enjoy a delicious meal. Their Bolivian coffee is roasted fresh daily and you can enjoy breakfast items any time of the day. Their menu includes a variety of casual foods from hot dogs and hamburgers to ribs, Rotisserie chicken, crab cakes, fried green tomato sandwiches, fried chicken and steaks and seafood. [Breakfast All Day – > Casual-Fine Dining – > Coffee]