ELIZABETH - Life as it was lived in the early days of Wirt County came back for the 11th annual Wirt County Pioneer Day in Elizabeth.
A number of craftspeople, vendors and musicians surrounded the Wirt County Courthouse in Elizabeth throughout the day Saturday to celebrate the past.
Sponsored by the Elizabeth Beauchamp Chapter of the Daughters of the American Pioneers, the event attracted more vendors than in the past.
Photo by Jeff Saulton
Tammie Marks, of Heavenly Sunlight Alpaca Farm of Freeport, works on her triangle loom to make a shawl of alpaca yarn.
Photo by Jeffrey Saulton
One of the musical acts during the day was the Lonesome Midnight Cowboys, including Greg Vincent, left, and Steve Williams, right.
Photo by Jeffrey Saulton
Tambra Ash, left, paints Brandi Bennett’s face at the 11th annual Wirt County Pioneer Day in Elizabeth on Saturday.
"This is our 11th year," said Carole Menefee, chapter regent. "We have more vendors and more participation this year."
Menefee said part of Saturday's program included a tribute to veterans. She said it was intended to be in memory of Civil War veterans, in keeping with the Civil War Sesquicentennial, but was expanded to include all veterans.
"It was a very solemn event," she said. "It got all silent and I was afraid there would be a lot of noise but it was quiet, it was very nice."
* The 11th annual Wirt County Pioneer Day took place Saturday in Elizabeth in the area around the Wirt County Courthouse.
* Carole Menefee, regent of the Elizabeth Beauchamp Chapter of the Daughters of the American Pioneers, said the event was the largest ever with more than 150 visitors to the Beauchamp-Newman Museum, 46 cars in the annual car show and 60 vendors in the courthouse area.
* A Civil War encampment will be set up today from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. in Elizabeth, with a church service at 10 a.m. and a battle at 2 p.m.
Menefee said the day was pretty much like past Pioneer Days held over the past decade in Elizabeth.
"We had more than 150 visitors to the Beauchamp-Newman Museum," she said. "And, this year the Relay for Life worked on the car show, since we didn't have enough people to take care of everything."
Menefee said the car show had a record 46 entries and 60 vendor spaces were sold in the area around the courthouse.
"This was a big increase for us, since we usually have them in the mid 50s," she said. "It's a large increase for this year about 10 more than usual."
In a separate but related event to Saturday's Pioneer Day program, there will be a Civil War reenactment featuring three cavalry units and two cannon units from 9 a.m-4 p.m. today in Elizabeth.
'We had two skirmishes this year, there was only supposed to be one," Menefee said. "It's a reenactment of an actual battle and it will be at 2 p.m. (today) at the Roberts Villers Field at the intersection of routes 14 and 5."
Among the vendors participating in Wirt County Pioneer Day on Saturday was Tammie Marks, who also spent time demonstrating weaving items with yarn made from alpaca fur.
"We've had an alpaca farm, Heavenly Sunlight Alpaca Farm, for about 15 years and I've been weaving for seven," she said.
Marks said they shear their alpacas and she works on the fur from carding the fur, to spinning it and then weaving it.
"I do not dye my yarn, alpacas come in 22 different colors so that's what I use," she said. "We do buy some alpaca yarn from another company to add colors."
Marks said her triangle loom is used to make items, like wraps and ponchos, and two pieces from the loom can be sewed together to make a large throw rug.