First Spud and Splinter Festival

Nicholas Republican
August 19, 1937

Richwood Ready for Home Coming

Federation Insists on Highway Action

Governors of Two States To Be Guests

Inter-City Rotary Meet - County Potato Day - Admirals Day - Lumberjacks Day Pageantry Dances Carnival Included in Spud and Splinter Festival Program

World's Champion Wood-Hick Axe Man Webster County Product Will Tell Old Lumberjack Classic Yarns at Banquet

Governor and Mrs. Harry W. Nice of Annapolis, Maryland, will lead out-of-State Admirals of the Cherry River Navy to Richwood, next Thursday, for the first annual review of the Admirals, while Governor and Mrs. Homer A. "Rocky" Holt will lead the West Virginia contingents here for the review, christening of the flag-ship "Clothespin" and the Admirals' banquet and ball.

Admiral E. C. Bennette, M. D., chief of the Navy's staff yesterday received word direct from Admiral Nice, same being copy of a communication sent by him to Governor Holt, in Charleston. The letter states:

"I am so pressed for time that I am afraid that Mrs. Nice and myself will not be able to do ourselves the great honor of being the guest of you and Mrs. Holt, but we will be compensated by being able to see and chat with you at Richwood, at which time we both will be permitted to function as full fledged Admirals of the King's Navee."

Admiral and Mrs. Nice will be entertained While in Richwood, at the home of former Congressman and Mrs. John M. Wolverton of Park Place. Admiral and Mrs. Holt will be entertained by the families of Clark Holt and W. A. Holt, both being closely related to the Governor.

These distinguished guests of Richwood will review the Festival parade at two o'clock next Thursday afternoon, then participate in the Cherry River Admirals, the Navy's 55 piece band under the direction of Admiral Edgell Dean, Admiral Bennette and his staff and the Sweetheart of the Navy, Miss Nedra Myers and her charming galaxy of beauties making up her escort, in the ceremonies which will mark the beginning of the annual trek of admirals to their headquarters here. The christening of the flagship "Clothespin" promises to be a colorful ceremony. Admiral H. I. Marks, commanding officer of Camp Cranberry will have charge of the military features of this phase of the program.

In the evening will come the Admiral's banquet and ball. Congressman Jennings Randolph of Elkins will be toastmaster at the banquet. Speakers will include the Governors, J. K. Buchanan, well know humorist and orator of the Monongahela system of Fairmont, George Fike, impersonator, of Buckhannon, and Pawl Blyan Criss, celebrated champion wood-chopper of the Lumberjacks.......[unreadable]

Following the banquet, Admirals and their friends here and from everywhere will follow the Governors and their ladies in the grand march then dance with their ladies until the wee hours to the melodies and swing music of the orchestra, "The Melody Barons" of Tuskegee, Alabama.

Congressman Andrew Edmiston will lead parties here from Weston, Clarksburg, Fairmont and Buckhannon.

Huntington, Charleston, Fayetteville, Montgomery, Beckley, Bluefield, Hinton and Princeton will have Admirals here for the day's events, as will Fairmont, Parkersburg, Glenville, Sutton and Gassaway.

Richwood is in gala attire as decorators complete their big task of placing colors, decorating business houses, streets and street-lighting fixtures with Spud and Splinter Festival festooning. Everywhere the festival insignia, the plank of lumber piercing the potato, may be seen in profusion. By Saturday night this task will have been completed.

Richwood is ready for its first great Home Coming and Spud and Splinter Festival. Announcement of this event and the reason for this celebration has been read from coast to coast as writers like Damon Runyan have caught the spirit of Nicholas county pioneers and told the story everywhere. Men of parts, recognized for their civic contributions throughout the United States have commissions as Admirals of the Cherry River Navy, an organization of vigorous, successful men in their lines, whether important public officials or mechanics in garages, so long as they demonstrated good citizenship and have brought their "ships" into port. These have sensed the spirit of good fellowship carried by these commissions and with fine sense of humor and understanding have joined in to celebrate Richwood's first declaration that it has conquered a wilderness and is coming forth as an American City not asking for help, but offering to share opportunity with the rest of the land in developing its resources.

The call has been heard.

Two Governors, Nice of Maryland as a guest of the State, and Holt of West Virginia will be here next Thursday taking their part in the celebration, not as Governors particularly, more as good fellows interested in any community determined to go forward and with traditional American spirit, overcome obstacles rivaling those of the days of the frontier of the nation.

Representatives of 19 of West Virginia's Rotary Clubs will come to Richwood on Tuesday evening to be guests of the Richwood Club, an organization of less than thirty men who have planted and kept alive the spirit of Rotary, "He profits most who serves best," in a small city in a vast wilderness forces many need readjustments, socially and industrially, to drive forward in these days of rapidly changing conditions, social and economic.

William R. Lunk, Industrial Counsellor of the Monongahela System, of Fairmont, and Judge H. Roy Waugh, West Virginia's Rotarian Governor will be speakers at this event on Tuesday evening to be followed by a Rotary Ball, one of the high points in social events planned for the festival.

Wednesday of next week is Nicholas County Day.

For the first time in history the Nicholas County farmers through their courageous efforts and work of years have won for them national recognition. Nicholas county farms have produced something unusual in an unusual potato. True, the soil has helped, being peculiarly adaptable, but it has been the enterprising Nicholas county farmer and the leadership and scientific knowledge he has gained for himself that in the main has been the contributing factor.

Next Wednesday afternoon in Richwood, "Queen Marjorie I" of Potato Land will be crowned amid festival 4-H Club celebration of the coronation event. Richwood and Nicholas County has long delayed recognizing the substantial contribution being made, daily, weekly and monthly by the County Farm Bureau, its members, and the county 4-H clubs. This recognition has, at last, come. Its importance cannot, at this time, be fully estimated. From Main[e] to California, from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, Damon Runyan has told the world of the "Nicholas County Spud." Admirals of the Cherry River Navy in Washington, Maine, Florida and California will be asking for months to come, when they sit down for dinner "Have you the Nicholas County, West Virginia, potato on your menu."

It is the Cherry River Navy dish!

Next Wednesday come the first celebration of this national recognition. The future holds opportunity for Nicholas county farmers under the able leadership of William E. Simpson, their able leader. The start given this movement is tremendous and is filled with OPPORTUNITY. Next Wednesday will see Nicholas county farmers poring into Richwood to see "Queen Marjorie I" crowned "Queen of Potato Land" a new generation given the greatest agricultural opportunity Nicholas county has yet had presented on a silver platter.

Thursday brings the mammouth [sic] parade, with gorgeous floats. Summersville, Nicholas county's capital has a float entered on which will ride Queen Marjorie and her Court of Princesses, fairest farmer's daughters of Nicholas county. Fourteen or more other beautiful and artistic creations, results of two months work, will mark this great parade. In the afternoon will come the Cherry River Navy Admiral's Review, the banquet featuring two Governors, Congressmen and other notables including Will Roger's old friend, Pawl Bunyan Criss, World's Champion Lumberjack Wood Chopper, a product of Webster County, West Virginia.

Friday brings the Lumberjack's Reunion at Camp Woodbine, eight miles north of Richwood, on the Cranberry river with its contests and reunions of Lumberjacks who once roamed Nicholas county hills during the days of the cry of "Timber!" returning here from many states. Movie news cameras will click and writers of note will cover these events. Many a famous face of yesterday when Richwood was but a group of lumbermen's bunk houses will be seen and many a true and hearty hand- clasp will mix with the jovial laughter on this day of the festival.

Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday evenings a 16 scene pageant will be given under the auspices of the Auxiliary of the Bert H. Hickman Post of the American Legion, father of the Horrie Corning Spud and Splinter Festival. This pageant, work of weeks, depicts the history of this region from the time of the Indians down to today. Tuesday and Wednesday evenings the pageant will be given in the City Hall, Richwood. Friday evening it will be presented amid the natural grandeur of Woodland scenes at Camp Woodbine.

The week's festivities come to an end, next Saturday with a great street Mardi Gras dance, when costumes, confetti, and gala hours will wind up a week never to be forgotten in this county's and Richwood's history.

In the fore-front throughout the week serving visitors and home folks alike will be the Mighty Sheeley Midway with forty attractions making up the largest carnival attraction that comes into West Virginia. Monday evening is free for ladies, and next Saturday-watch for the announcement- every kiddie in Richwood, Summersville, Fenwick, Holcomb, Nettie and all Nicholas county will be given free rides ONE WHOLE AFTERNOON, through an arrangement with Admiral Sheesley and a Richwood store.

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