Bicentennial Trout to Be Unveiled at Discovery Junction

The year-long Bicentennial Celebration of the founding of Pocahontas County in 1821 will be starting in October. As part of the celebration, eight six-foot tall sculptures of a trout have each been painted by a local artist. Each trout will represent one of the eight rivers that have their headwaters in the county. Cara Rose, of the Pocahontas County Convention and Visitors Bureau tells us about the premier public unveiling of these sculptures.

“As listeners likely know, Pocahontas County will soon be celebrating our Bicentennial (in) October, 2021, with the kick-off at Huntersville Traditions Day, through October of 2022,” said Rose. “And as part of this year’s long celebration of our history, we will be premiering our eight rivers’ trout sculptures in August.”

“We have eight rivers that are born in Pocahontas County. We have eight trout sculptures that represent eight of our communities, with eight local business and private sponsorships, and eight local artists that are participating in this project. And, it’s an exciting project. We have been working on this for over three years. Each one of these six-foot tall trout sculptures are unique and designed by the artists who have painted them.”

“The public premier of these trout sculptures will be August 21st, which is a Saturday, at Discovery Junction in Marlinton. The event will take place from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. It will be an opportunity for the public to view all eight of these magnificent sculptures at one place in an outdoor setting. And then each one of these sculptures will go to their respective communities, and be permanently installed in those communities, with the hope that the visitors and the local residents celebrate the Bicentennial. Over the course of the next year, people will go from community to community and view and get their pictures taken with each one of these trout sculptures.”

“So, this has been a project that has been three years in the making and it’s really exciting to finally unveil these beautiful sculptures as a public art project for Pocahontas County.”

Cara, can you tell us about the communities, the artists and which river has each trout will represent?

“Tim, as I Said, we have eight rivers that start in Pocahontas County, which is really something that no other county can claim. So, it’s a very unique feature that our mountains in Pocahontas County have.”

  1. “Cass, West Virginia, is one of our communities. The Cherry River will be featured with that sculpture. Johnny Fitzgerald is the artist, and Southern States, Marlinton Cooperative is the sponsor.”
  2. “Snowshoe Mountain Resort is our second community, with Shavers fork of the Cheat River. (The) artist is Kelsey Beverage, and sponsors are snowshoe mountain Resort and the Snowshoe foundation.”
  3. “Hillsboro, West Virginia, will feature the Gauley River. The artist is Charles McNeel, sponsored by the McNeel Family.”
  4. “Green Bank, West Virginia, highlights the Greenbrier River. The artist is Rebekah Anderson. Sponsored by the Green Bank Observatory.”
  5. “Huntersville, West Virginia, chose the Williams River. And artist Cheryl Beverage, and is sponsored by Pendleton Community Bank.”
  6. Marlinton, West Virginia, and their sponsor chose the Cranberry River. The artist is Kim Hafler. And the sponsors are Russell and Cinnamon Jessee, in memory and honor of Basil Clair and Jane Price Sharp; Lyle Crawford; and Marjorie Caroline Marshall Smith and their Descendants.”
  7. “Durbin, West Virginia, highlights the Tygart River. The artist is Eric Werner, sponsored by the Tomato Fund.”
  8. And the county Courthouse will have the Elk River featured on their trout. The artist is Sage Tanguay, and sponsored by the Pocahontas County Commission.”

Story By

Tim Walker

Tim is the WVMR News Reporter. Tim is a native of Maryland who started coming to Pocahontas County in the 1970’s as a caver. He bought land on Droop Mountain off Jacox Road in 1976 and built a small house there in the early 80’s. While still working in Maryland, Tim spent much time at his place which is located on the Friars Hole Cave Preserve. Retiring in 2011 as a Lieutenant with the Anne Arundel County Police Department in Maryland, Tim finally took the plunge and moved from Maryland to his real home on Droop Mountain. He began working as the Pocahontas County Reporter for Allegheny Mountain Radio in January of 2015.

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