West Virginia Your Way

Things to do in West Virginia!

Plaid Eagle Antiques

 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.

Silver & Glassware

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!

Small Dolls

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.

Please take a moment and check out the pictures and see for yourself.  Then, head on over to Lewisburg and the Plaid Eagle Antiques.  While you’re there enjoy yourself and shop away!

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!

October 12, 2012 Posted by | Businesses, Tourism, Travel | , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Sleeping in a Barn

As a kid growing up in West Virginia, two of my favorite games to play were played in a barn.  Hide and Go Seek was fun because there were so many places to hide.  Playing tag in a barn was almost like a maze with things to dodge, climb and swing over.   Once I found the perfect hiding place, which was a barrel where the farmer would put all his garden tools like shovels, hoes and rakes.  Since they had long handles, all I had to do was push them aside and sit in the bottom of the barrel where the tools angled on one side at the base and acted as a covering where the handles leaned against the rim on the opposite side at the top.

Beyond the couch are the stairs leading to the loft.

The other fun game to play in a barn was tag.  One time I ran out of the barn, jumped  a  fence, and ended up spending the next fifteen minutes trying to pull my shoes out of the knee-deep mud where they had been sucked off my feet.  The good news was that I didn’t get “tagged”, ’cause no one would come in after me.  (If you’re a country kid, then you know that stuff I sunk knee-deep in wasn’t really mud.)

Recently I was in Berkeley Springs which is located far into the eastern panhandle.  This time I got to stay in a barn that had been converted into lodging.   The fun part was that this place was so unique that I felt like I had gone back in time.  The place had been a working barn, until Ed George, decided to convert it into one big open place for visitors to stay.  The barn is chocked full of antiques and curios that had me wandering around in a process of discovery.  If there hadn’t been a satellite TV available, I would have felt like I was in an old black and white movie set in a foreign land where people lived as best they could. 

Even thought the place had all the modern conveniences, it had so many older things, like old wood stoves and antique farming tools, to old books and a bathroom that has to be seen to believe.  Taking a shower the next morning was like climbing down into a cellar.  Not that it was cold and damp, but more because it was big, concrete and deep.

If you have a big family, or want to visit the place with a few families, then this place is ideal.  Everyone in the family should like it, provided you’re not looking for luxury and glamour.  You can find it on www.WVyourWay.com by clicking on the Lodging heading and then checking the keywords Cabins, Pet-Friendly or Vacation Home Rental.  You can also find it under the Tourism heading and Tennis Courts keyword.

If you want you can play Hide and Seek, don’t worry, there is no “mud” to contend with.

July 18, 2011 Posted by | Lodging, Tourism | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

On The Way to Ski Snowshoe

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.

The Hardware Gallery in Lewisburg

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)

Bella's

January 11, 2011 Posted by | Restaurants, Tourism | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Finding Quilt Shops

Colorful Quilts!

When I was a kid of about 9, I remember my Mom taking me to a quilting bee in an old farmhouse near Gandeeville, WV.  When she asked me if I wanted to go, I reasoned that anything involving bees would at least be exciting.  I asked her what a quilting bee was, and she said it was when ladies sat around working on a quilt and talked. She said nothing about where the bees came into the picture, so I at least had to go and check out what Mom didn’t tell me.

When we got there I sat in the corner and watched women working on a quilt with one hand. Why they didn’t use the other hand I had no idea. Yet all I saw was the right hand of eight or so women poking the quilt as they worked. The whole time I sat there not one bee showed up and caused a commotion.  Needless to say I was disappointed and bored.

Fast forward nearly four decades and in that time I’ve learned to appreciate the beauty and cultural significance of quilts and the stories behind them. A fun part of my job with www.WVyourWay.com is that I get to travel around the state to quilt shops and businesses that sell quilts and see the beauty and care often taken in creating what is much more than just a covering for a bed. There is often a history behind the quilts that is as appealing as any found in the best of museums.

If you want to find some of these shops, and talk to the people who quilts and their history, then go to www.WVyourWay.com and click on the “Tourism” heading at the top of the home page. Once you are on the “Tourism” page, scroll down to the letter ‘Q” and click on “Quilts” and “Quilt Shops.” You can narrow your search down to the region you live in or that you want to visit, or simply search the entire state by clicking the “search” button below the map of the state.

When you get your results you’ll find shops such as The Elkins Sewing Center, where you can meet Sue Pifer, who I found to be one of the most knowledgeable and busiest people in the quilting community.

Heart’s Content Quilts in Hinton is a place where you will find a friendly face and beautiful quilts you can browse, “to your heart’s content’, as Brenda Garcia, the owner, says.

The Quilt Shoppe in Summersville recently moved into a much larger building that has been made nearly as comfortable as one of the many quilts they display around the shop. The amount of fabric and related items is also very impressive.

Other shops around the state worth taking a look at are The Sew Inn in Morgantown, Fabric and Foam Sales near Fairmont, Threads That Bind in Princeton, Wolf Creek Gallery and the Quilters Nook in Alderson, Granny’s Sewing Room in Princeton and the Needle Basket in Sutton. There are many more shops and businesses that sell quilts in West Virginia, so to get a complete listing of those places registered with WVyourWay, just go to the site, search for what you are interested in, and plan your own itinerary. And if you run into a bee in your travels, I hope it doesn’t cause too much of a commotion!

January 3, 2011 Posted by | Tourism | , , , , | 5 Comments