Huntersville Traditions Day – How Rural West Virginians Lived 150 Years Ago
Huntersville, WV – On a beautiful fall Saturday, Huntersville Traditions celebrated the old-style of country living showing how rural West Virginians got through life 150 years ago.
Huntersville Traditions had a modest beginning when it started as a hot-dog roast at the Carriage House Inn. It has since blossomed into an autumn festival educating people in the old traditions such as corn-shelling, apple butter making, and blacksmithing. Tim and Terry Duff of Monterey have been making apple butter, the old-fashioned way, for the past 12 years and have quickly become staples at Huntersville Traditions.
“This is our second year coming,” says Tim Duff. “We didn’t know what to expect when we were asked, but they asked us if we make apple-butter and we said we did so they told us to come on by.”
They come to Huntersville Traditions mainly so they can display the art of making apple butter the traditional way.
“We’ve been in Highland County,” says Duff, “for twelve years and we’ve been doing this heavy for those years. We just had someone come by and say they appreciate that someone still makes it this way like their grandparents did.”
Someone else who is sure to become a fixture at Huntersville Traditions is re-enactor Al Stone who has made a living portraying the Confederate General Robert E. Lee. Stone undoubtedly has become one of the most sought after General Lee portrayers and he talks about how he came to this unusual profession.
“I was raised in upstate New York,” says Stone, “but I traveled to all the Civil War battle sites and it quickly became an interest of mine. About twelve years ago someone came up to me at a reenactment and said I look like Robert E. Lee and they asked if I ever thought about portraying him. I said no because it’s like portraying God.”
For five years Stone has been honing his craft which has taken up to virtually every state in America to portray the fabled General. And although he’s been a travelin’ made who’s made a lot of stops, he’s really enjoyed the past couple of chances to come to Huntersville.
“This is a really unique place,” says Stone, “because it’s so small. Everyone is extremely friendly and they have down-home family values. Here they show everyone great traditions that in many case we’ve lost. There’s a lady caning a chair and I didn’t even know that people still do that.”