The excitement is building and the horses are prancing in anticipation of being driven in a freshly cut hay meadow at Fairhill. Raymond and Lynn Tuckwiller have selected the carriages to display and drive and are checking their costumes and the harness.
The Tuckwillers have 22 antique carriages stored in several locations. For the Gala on June 7, they are planning to bring their landau which is a more formal conveyance that can have the top up or down according to the weather. People who owned this kind of carriage would have always been driven by a servant so the Tuckwillers will dress accordingly. They also plan to bring and demonstrate a “Doctor’s Buggy”. This one will be of particular interest to people from the Greenbrier Valley because it was sold by Crickenberger and Co. of Lewisburg. It is about 125 years old and was purchased by the Dixon family who cared for horses at the Greenbrier for many years.
Another carriage planned for the display is a roof seat break. This tall vehicle was often driven to events such as races. The seats are very high and, once the horses were unhitched, it served as portable “stadium seating” for its passengers. They may also bring a back-to-back trap. This is a smaller vehicle which has a second seat behind the driver and passenger facing to the rear. The seat could be folded up if not needed. Just imagine a “rumble seat” facing the other way.
Meanwhile, in the historic Jarrett House basement kitchen, Jim Costa sized up the fireplace to determine which of his extensive collection of pre-1850’s cook ware to bring to display there. Belinda Anderson, in an article for Goldenseal in 2001, wrote of Costa, “Many in West Virginia know Costa as a musician, playing the fiddle and banjo, singing, and instructing classes in traditional mountain music at festivals and workshops across the state. But he also is a devoted curator and conservator of the artifacts of his regional heritage. Over the course of his 50 years, he has collected thousands of tools and other pieces used in farming, blacksmithing, cabinetry, and home tending. Much of his collection came from the counties of Monroe, Summers, Greenbrier, Fayette, Nicholas, Raleigh, and Pocahontas.”
About 50 pieces of his extensive collection will be in their proper places in and around the kitchen fireplace.
Homeowners are polishing that last piece of furniture and pulling that last sneaky weed. Cathy King, at Edgarton Inn, is baking cookies and making lemonade and Frank and Barbara Tuckwiller of Watt’s Roost Vineyard are chilling the wine. All will soon be ready to welcome visitors. All these events will happen—rain or shine.
Tickets for the Gala at Fairhill from 5-7 on Friday, June 7 must be purchased by Wednesday, June 5 at the Greenbrier Historical Society’s North House Museum. There will be no ticket sales at the event because of the need to arrange for the food. Tickets for the Homes and Gardens Tour are available at the Greenbrier Historical Society’s North House, located at 301 West Washington Street in Lewisburg, or the Greenbrier Convention and Visitors Bureau, located at 200 West Washington Street in Lewisburg or at each house on the tour. Tickets for the afternoon in Ronceverte are available as above or at Edgarton Inn on Sunday, June 9 from 1-4. Call 304-645-3398 for more information.