CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The life and times of 19th Century covered bridge builder Lemuel Chenoweth will be celebrated Saturday, in Chenoweth's Randolph County hometown of Beverly.Chenoweth's home, built in 1856, is now the site of the Lemuel Chenoweth House Antiques and Museum, where on Saturday owner Randy Allan will portray the bridge builder as he leads public tours through the two-story post-and-beam house.Craftsmanship displayed in building the home "demonstrates the skill of a master carpenter, and many features in its construction reflect his occupation as a self-educated architect and our candidate as America's most accomplished builder of covered bridges," Allan said.The home was built adjacent to the site of a covered bridge over the Tygart River that Chenoweth built in 1847. The Beverly Covered Bridge was the first of many that Chenoweth built along western Virginia turnpikes during the 1840s and 1850s. His best-known span, the Philippi Covered Bridge, is still in use.
Tours of the Chenoweth house will show visitors where Union soldiers stayed during the Civil War, and include a look at the bridge-builder's model sawmill, as well as a collection of Civil War and Native American artifacts.Other activities Saturday include fiber arts demonstrations from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at several sites in downtown Beverly by weavers and artisans from the Mountain Weavers Guild. The Beverly Heritage Center will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and will operate a 19th century printing press and host musical performances by the Mountain Winds woodwinds trio and the Rich Mountain String Band.The Randolph County Museum will be open throughout the day, as will the Stalnaker Cabin and Subscription School adjacent to the museum.The David Goff House, which contains graffiti from Civil War days when it served as a Union hospital, will be open, along with the Historic Beverly Antique Mall, located inside the home.For information call the Beverly Heritage Center at 304-637-7424 or visit www.beverlyheritagecenter.org