Living history portrayals, gristmill demonstrations, tours and reunion chatter will pause at 1:15 p.m. Saturday, May 31, at WVU Jackson’s Mill, Weston, when chapel bells summon third annual Friends Day celebrants to gather at the All-Faith Chapel to honor United Methodist Men of West Virginia and all couples married at the Mill.
The ceremony begins at 1:30 p.m. with recollections of and tributes to the United Methodist Men of West Virginia for their 50 years of continuous service to and support of WVU Jackson’s Mill Center for Lifelong Learning and State 4-H Camp.
The program will be held on the grounds of the All-Faith Chapel, an ecumenical sanctuary completed in 1959 through the statewide all-faiths’fund-raising campaign organized by the Methodist men’s group.
Among the United Methodist Men featured on the program are Wayne Custer of Wheeling, who will review the statewide group’s history and highlight their contributions, including those of the membership’s annual Work Day at the Mill; the Rev. Floyd Richmond of Moundsville, who will review the history of their ecumenical effort; and Gene Elkins of Huntington, who will share some of the membership’s favorite stories about the Mill.
“Jackson’s Mill Couples”also are invited to attend the chapel ceremony. They will be recognized during the chapel program and then become the celebration’s focus during a Weddings Celebration reception-complete with anniversary keepsakes, cake and punch-at 2 p.m.
Friends Day opens at 11 a.m. Other attractions include the annual 4-H Homecoming, gristmill demonstrations, heritage craft demonstrations, children’s games, cottage tours, trail tours, musical performances, West Virginia glass exhibit, Civil War reenactors’encampment, antique engines and farm equipment, Friends of WVU Jackson’s Mill annual meeting, and living history portrayals.
The portrayals will be by presenters speaking as”General Thomas’Stonewall’Jackson,”“Laura Jackson Arnold”(General Jackson’s sister), and”William’Teepi’Kendrick”(the first director of WVU Jackson’s Mill).
At 5 p.m., Friends Day officially closes by merging with another event: the reception for the inaugural class of the West Virginia 4-H Hall of Fame. The 100 honorees will be inducted during a dinner program at 6 p.m.
This is the third annual Friends celebration organized by the Friends of WVU Jackson’s Mill to showcase the Mill’s history and to spotlight volunteers’efforts to”preserve the past and ensure the future”of the historic 525-acre facility.
The land is the boyhood home of Civil War General Thomas”Stonewall”Jackson and the site of the nation’s first state 4-H camp. Today, the Mill is operated by the WVU Extension Service as a special-mission campus.
Admission to all Friends Day demonstrations, receptions and related activities is free.
For more information about the 4-H Homecoming, Weddings Celebration or any Friends Day activities, call WVU Jackson’s Mill at 1-800-287-8206 or check the Web site (http://www.ext.wvu.edu/friends/).