What's Happening in Thomas- April 2018

Meetings:

4/9: Thomas/Davis Planning Commission Meeting- 6pm @ TEC

Live Music/Local Happenings:

4/1: Jordan Kirk- 1pm @ Purple Fiddle

4/6: Ona- 8:30pm @ Purple Fiddle

4/7: Stephen Simmons- 1pm @ Purple Fiddle

4/7: Gangstagrass- 8:30pm @ Purple Fiddle

4/8: Stephen Simmons- 1pm @ Purple Fiddle

4/10: Open Mic- 8pm @ Purple Fiddle

4/13: Dangermuffin- 8:30pm @ Purple Fiddle

4/14: Steve Hung- 1pm @ Purple Fiddle

4/14: Mountain Heart- 8:30pm @ Purple Fiddle

4/15: Steve Hung- 1pm @ Purple Fiddle

4/20: TCHS Senior Art Show- 6pm @ The Opera House

4/20: ArtSpring Benefit- 8:30pm @ Purple Fiddle

4/21: Austin Miller- 1pm @ Purple Fiddle

4/21: Black Masala- 8:30pm @ Purple Fiddle

4/22: Austin Miller- 1pm @ Purple Fiddle

4/26: Thomas Celebration- 6:30pm @ The Opera House

4/26: Lexi Weege- 8pm @ Purple Fiddle

4/27: Grayson Capps with Corky Hughes- 8:30pm @ Purple Fiddle

4/28: Tough Old Birds- 1pm @ Purple Fiddle

4/28: The Way Down Wanderers- 8:30pm @ Purple Fiddle

4/29: Tough Old Birds- 1pm @ Purple Fiddle

Regular Happenings:

Morning Monday Yoga with Mountain Yoga- 9am @ Allegheny Holistic

Mindful Monday Early Evening with Mountain Yoga- 5:30pm @ Allegheny Holistic

Monday Evening Ying with Mountain Yoga- 7pm @ Allegheny Holistic

Tuesday Yoga with Kelly- 5:15 @ Allegheny Holistic

Wednesday Community Yoga with Mountain Yoga- 6pm @ Blackwater Falls Lodge

Friday Happy Hour Yoga with Mountain Yoga- 5pm @ Allegheny Holistic

Friday Burger Night- 6pm @ Tip Top

Friday Dinner- 5pm @ Front St Grocers

Saturday Dinner -5pm @ Front St Grocers

Sunday Brunch- 11am @ Front St Grocers

ArtSpring Silent Auction

by Natalia Dutt, AmeriCorps Member

As spring is on the horizon it means it is almost time for the yearly ArtSpring festival. It is a time when Thomas and Davis pull out all of the stops to support the local artists. For the people who attend this full weekend they are able to find live music, works from local artisans, and a community that truly supports one another. For the people behind the scenes it is a weekend that takes months of planning. The board behind ArtSpring work tirelessly to make sure this event goes off without a hitch. This past month, they hosted their annual silent auction at White Grass, raising funds to support the upcoming weekend. The attendants were able to enjoy an amazing dinner provided by the White Grass staff, a silent auction featuring items from a wide variety of local businesses, and the great company of a community that is here to support one another. Though this event took place on a snowy evening, it was a night full of fun and showing support for an organization that plays such a big role in the Thomas community. According Alexa White, the AmeriCorps serving with ArtSpring, “they were able to reach their goal of nearly $3,000.” The money raised from the silent auction as well as the tickets sold for the event will most likely go towards the funding of the live music throughout the weekend. “we know how talented our local musicians are and it’s really rewarding to know that the money raised will go almost directly back to them,” said White. 

Though the best is yet to come with this weekend festival, the White Grass fundraiser was the perfect event to get everyone excited for Memorial Day. Be sure to follow ArtSpring on Facebook and Instagram for all of the important event updates. 

People of Thomas: Cade Archuleta

by Natalia Dutt, AmeriCorps Member

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On any given day walking down Front Street, the smell of amazing coffee and a killer soundtrack comes spilling out of Tip Top Coffee: a place that seems to have always been part of this community. Cade Archuleta, the brains behind the operation has been able to create a place that seems timeless, but it took a few years and some serendipitous acts of the universe to bring this beloved coffee shop to Thomas. Cade found his way to Thomas the way many others do: unexpectedly. Having traveled all around the country and world after graduating high school, a friend of his ended up moving to Thomas and encouraged Cade to join. It was shortly after this he met his wife Carrie at an Avett Brother's concert and with that Thomas became his home. Though he continued to travel for work, when Carrie became pregnant he decided he wanted to stay in Thomas full time. He began working in a coffee shop in Davis and started to learn the ins and outs of running a business such as this. When the owner decided to relocate, Cade and Carrie decided it was time to take on the venture of business owners for themselves. Having an already established shop, it was easy for them to begin running it, but they were able to see ways to make it even better. Having started what are now the famed Friday Burger Nights, by just grilling out in the summer and inviting friends over to the shop after hours, he saw the potential to bring this business to Thomas and establish something even more successful. Having noticed the empty space that is now Tip Top, he and Carrie thought this would be the perfect spot to take on this venture. With the possibility of a huge kitchen for burger night, a bar, space to create some killer coffee the thought of making their own coffee shop began to come to fruition. Growing up on the east coast, Cade had always hung out around coffee shops “pretending to be Jack Kerouac” as he puts it. He wanted to bring that vibe to the small mountain town of Thomas. He wanted to provide a space that people can feel at home. Having been part of the Thomas community for around 10 years, he has seen first hand the revitalization of the town. Having come here with only the Purple Fiddle, Flying Pig, and the antique shops inhabiting the main street, he was able to see how the teamwork of the community and local business owners to create a thriving home was truly working.

Cade attributes a lot of the success in creating the atmosphere that you find in Tip Top to the other local business owners on Front Street. It was a huge team effort to get the space ready, with Nathan (of White Room) building a lot of the beams and booths, while Seth (of Creature) spent many a late night with Cade and Carrie talking about the possibilities that Tip Top could bring once opened in Thomas. When the doors opened seven years ago they had a clear vision about what they wanted. More often than not you will see his son Oliver behind the counter helping out his parents in the best way he knows how, so Tip Top has always been a place where kids are welcome. They wanted to create a place where the locals can feel at home, and a place where tourists will feel just as welcome. When people visit Tip Top they can expect only the best products. Cade has made it his mission to only carry things that he believes in and are still benefiting small companies- talking personally to the owners of the products he buys for Tip Top, he provides nothing but the best. This could be why Tip Top was just named best coffee in West Virginia by Food and Wine Magazine. Though many people called him crazy for bringing a business to Thomas way before it was the thriving town that it is today, he knew he would create something that would be successful. He and his wife have created a place where the employees have fun, locals can feel right at home, and kids can be unapologetically themselves. Thomas is lucky to call Cade and Carrie members of its community. 

Tiny Llama

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by Natalia Dutt, AmeriCorps Member

 photo by: John Ryan

photo by: John Ryan

Living in Thomas we are lucky to be surrounded by a wide variety of creative souls. Individuals who thrive bringing the arts to a community waiting with open arms. Though we do have quite a few artists in our town, there tends to be a lack of supplies available to those wishing to create without having to drive down the mountain. Enter in Tiny Llama, a new business that will be making their debut on Front Street Memorial Day weekend. Cara Parrish, the brains behind the operation, wants the opportunity to bring accessibility to art supplies in Thomas. She believes that creativity is an important part in developing a cohesive community, and having art supplies at the ready will help propel this avenue of expression. Tiny Llama is starting off small by having a space in Lamplight Gallery which will allow her to see what works in this business. She will be providing a mix of new as well as used art supplies received from donations. With a donation box set up at the Opera House she is hoping people will go through their art closets and get rid of the supplies that still have use, but have been collecting dusts for years after the project was completed. 

She hopes with better access to art supplies and grouping them in a way that makes sense will not only benefit the current artists but also inspire “regular” people to let go of their fears and create. Having taken a wide variety of career paths, Cara is excited to finally work for herself and have a business that will provide something a little different to the people in the area. Though this has been an idea swirling around in her mind for years, it wasn’t until she came in second in a pitch writing contest that she realized this it is something that could work. Taking the leap into owning your own business is always slightly nerve-racking, but Tiny Llama is worth the risk. Having already received some donations to the shop she is eager to see what develops. One of the main experiments in the early days of the business is to see if the customers respond well to the availability of the used products or if she should maintain more new products. It is exciting to see members  of the community doing work that will leave a positive mark for the rest of us. Be sure to check through all of your art or office supplies that you no longer need and bring them down to the Cottrill’s Opera House Tuesdays through Fridays 11-5 to ensure they find a new home! Everyone can be a part of the next art movement in Thomas ! Be on the lookout for more information regarding the opening of this phenomenal business, that in fact has nothing to do with a tiny dancing llama. Check out https://www.tinyllama.org/ for any questions! 

An Unconventional Spring Equinox

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by Natalia Dutt, AmeriCorps Member

‘The first day of spring is one thing, and the first

spring day is another. The difference between them is 

sometimes as great as a month.’

-Henry Van Dyke “Fisherman’s Luck”

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March 20 marks the first day of spring and in Thomas we greet this equinox with snow lazily falling over our mountain town. Though many are excited to say goodbye to the snow that has been inhabiting Thomas for the last few months, it is the time to take advantage of the last bit of winter magic before it is gone for good. Whether you are a skiing aficionado or are here to build a casual snowman, be sure to get out and enjoy this last bit of snow time bliss while you can! 

 

Purple Fiddle Dance Parties

By Natalia Dutt, AmeriCorps Member

Any night at the Purple Fiddle seem to hold some sort of magic in the air. The collective vibe of the entire crowd can lift the spirit of anyone who steps foot into the room. Wednesday evening was no different. The individuals who braved the snow and cold were treated to a show by a town favorite Repeat Repeat. The crowd first got to see an intimate show where it was only the lead singer, his guitar, and the crowd hanging on every song. Known for their typically uptempo dance music, we were able to experience a stripped down version of the band. As the night wore on, however, the music became more upbeat and the show turned into one huge dance party. Though the snow may have kept some away, the people who braved the cold we able to experience such a special show. 

Repeat Repeat brought their unique sound and eclectic vibe that cheered up anyone who listened. They created an atmosphere and energy that is difficult to explain. The bands who come through the Purple Fiddle always put on an amazing show. An atmosphere that allows people of all types to let loose for a moment in time. Here in Thomas we are incredibly lucky to have a haven like the Purple Fiddle to experience the magic of live music. We are lucky to see acts that maybe would have been unknown to us prior. We are lucky to have a place to gather with our community, let our hair down, and dance like no one is watching. 

People of Thomas: Nellie Rose

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by Natalia Dutt, AmeriCorps Member

“Success is being able to create something I believe in.” These are the wise words from Nellie Rose, one of the familiar faces along Front Street and the Thomas community. Though this West Virginia native has been calling Thomas her home for three years now, she never expected she’d be able to live and work here full time while pursuing a creative career. Growing up just down the mountain in Elkins with textile artist parents, Nellie has always been encouraged to express herself creatively. When she got the opportunity to visit Japan for the first time at the age of 16 with her father for a trunk show she became enamored with the culture and the art of Shibori. Wanting to delve deeper into this country, she studied abroad there while in college before accepting a year long Full Bright scholarship which allowed her to hone in her practice with Shibori. During this year she was able to fully immerse herself in the Japanese culture and find her stride with her art.

Nellie never anticipated being able to move back to West Virginia full time. She assumed in order to be able to run a successful business selling her creations she’d have to live in a more urban area. When she was approached by the Tamarack Foundation to apply for a program that allowed her to get her work into urban areas all while living in West Virginia, she jumped at the chance. She moved back to Elkins and began work on Nellie Rose Textiles. Knowing that she could sell her product out of her mom’s shop all while being able to pay her rent each month made her realize that she could really pursue a successful career in the arts. 

Nellie had been coming up to Thomas for years for nights of boogying at the Purple Fiddle, but it wasn’t until she was asked to participate in the ArtSpring festival (which happens Memorial Day Weekend) that she got a behind the scenes look into the emerging art community we have here. She eventually decided to take the plunge and move up to Thomas and fully become part of the community. She knows you can at times romanticize this town and the eclectic charm it provides, but she truly found a niche that nurtures her soul. Moving to Thomas and having the opportunity to run businesses out of this small rural town has allowed her to work with very little overhead. She has been able to surround herself with a community that is constantly encouraging one another. She has been able to collaborate with her partner and create a business that is a snapshot of their favorite things. A business that provided Thomas with their own, color coded used books. Being part of the Thomas community has allowed her the opportunity to branch out on ventures that seem vastly different than her regular craft. 

Thomas is a place that at times can be indescribable. When talking about her favorite part of being in the Thomas community, Nellie has trouble putting her thoughts into words. “There is this energy that happens in Thomas right before ArtSpring, where it seems like everyone is emerging from winter showing off what they have been working on during the cold months,” she describes. It is what gives Thomas such a dynamic and creative economy. Nellie can’t really pinpoint the moment when she realized Thomas was truly her home, a place that made her soul feel at peace, however, when going to the Purple Fiddle after an unforeseen event that shook her community, being able to dance it out with her friends and loved ones made her realize she made the right choice in making Thomas her forever home.

What's Happening in Thomas- March 2018

Meetings:

3/12: Thomas/Davis Planning Commission Meeting- 6pm @ TEC

Live Music:

3/1: Community Center- 8pm @ Purple Fiddle

3/2: That 1 Guy- 8:30pm @ Purple Fiddle

3/3: Dave Asti- 1pm @ Purple Fiddle

3/3: EMay- 6pm @ Mountain State Brewing

3/3: That 1 Guy- 8:30pm @ Purple Fiddle

3/4 : Dave Asti- 1pm @ Purple Fiddle

3/7: *repeat repeat- 8:30pm @ Purple Fiddle

3/8 : The Brother Brothers- 8:00pm @ Purple Fiddle

3/9: Girls Guns and Glory- 8:30pm @ Purple Fiddle

3/10: Alan Getto- 1pm @ Purple Fiddle

3/10: Fletcher’s Grove- 8:30pm @ Purple Fiddle

3/11: Alan Getto- 1pm @ Purple Fiddle

3/16: C2 & The Brothers Reed- 8:30pm @ Purple Fiddle

3/17: Thomas ArtCrawl @ Front Street

3/17: BlacKingCoal- 1pm @ Purple Fiddle

3/17: The Hillbilly Gypsies- 8:30pm @ Purple Fiddle

3/18: BlacKingCoal- 1pm @ Purple Fiddle

3/23: Amanda Anne Platt & The Honeycutter- 8:30pm @ Purple Fiddle

3/24: The Glimpses- 1pm @ Purple Fiddle

3/24: Folk Soul Revival- 8:30pm @ Purple Fiddle

3/25: The Glimpses- 1pm @ Purple Fiddle

3/30: Revelator Hill- 8:30pm @ Purple Fiddle

3/31: Jordan Kirk- 1pm @ Purple Fiddle

3/31: Johnny Staats and Robert Shafer- 8:30pm @ Purple Fiddle

Regular Happenings:

Morning Monday Yoga- 9am @ Allegheny Holistic

Mindful Monday Early Evening Yoga- 5:30pm @ Allegheny Holistic

Monday Evening Ying- 7pm @ Allegheny Holistic

Tuesday Yoga- 5:15 @ Allegheny Holistic

Wednesday Community Yoga- 6pm @ Blackwater Falls Lodge

Friday Happy Hour Yoga- 5pm @ Allegheny Holistic

Friday Burger Night- 6pm @ Tip Top

Sunday Brunch- 10am @ Tip Top

Fat Tires and Funding Trails

by Natalia Dutt, AmeriCorps Member

Anyone who calls Thomas or the surrounding area home knows that the Thomas City Park Trails are a hidden treasure in our town. This trail system that is right across the river from downtown features miles of trails that allow you to get lost in nature without having to go too far. Since their inception these multi-use trails welcome hikers, bikers, runners, and skiers all alike. Like any trail that withstand harsh weather and years of use our beloved Thomas City Park Trails really could have used an update. Whether that was in the form of clearing them of fallen trees, rerouting some of the sections, or just general maintenance, we thought it was time to give this park some TLC. When the idea to in a way to revamp these multi-use trails, Zach Adams stepped up and designed a killer beginner loop trail plan. Himself and Emily (NHT's Executive Director) came up with a budget of $24,000 which would cover the cost of this project. For about a year New Historic Thomas has been avidly fundraising to make this trail a reality.

As of the first weekend in February 2018, we are so excited to announce that we have been able to fully fund this trail project, a feat we did not expect to be completed in such a short amount of time. For the second year in a row Stumptown Ales opened their doors to us for a night and donated $1 of every beer sold towards our trails. It proved to be their most successful night to date. The following day Adams hosted his second annual Fat Tire Bike race at White Grass XC. During the snowy morning 59 racers crushed a 10 or 20 mile course that took them throughout the trails White Grass has to offer. It has been thanks to these successful fundraisers, generous donations from individuals, and being awarded a hefty grant from People for Bikes that we have been able to make these trails a reality. We have been diligently putting work into the trails over the last year, and we are so excited that we are almost completely funded. It has been above and beyond our expectations to have funded this trail in just around a year, and we could not have done it without the help and encouragement from the community. Though we still have quite a bit of work to do to finish the trails, we cannot wait to be able to share the completion of this project with the people of Thomas and whoever wants to visit.

Again, we want to give a MASSIVE thank you to all of the individuals who have helped make this trail a reality. We would not have been able to do this without you! Now all that is left is head over to the trails and enjoy! 

Riverfront Cleanup Update

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by Natalia Dutt, AmeriCorps Member

Starting in 2014, the city of Thomas has been awarded three grants through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for environmental assessments and cleanup of real or potential brownfields properties in the city, with an emphasis on redevelopment of the proposed riverfront park property. A brownfield is a property that has real or potential contamination from hazardous substances or petroleum in the soil or ground water. Mine-scarred lands are also considered brownfields. New Historic Thomas spearheaded those grant efforts and manages the grants for the city. The first grant was awarded in 2014 for the assessment of the riverfront property’s soil and water, as well as initial assessments of some downtown properties in need of redevelopment. The city was then awarded an EPA brownfields cleanup grant in 2016. Most recently, a grant was awarded in 2017 for continued assessments and redevelopment planning activities. The city contracted Downstream Strategies and Green Rivers for the first two grants to tackle this hefty, multi-year project. As you may know, Thomas was a strong coal mining town. That industry brought wealth and people, but it left a poor environmental legacy when the industry declined. Some of the land owned by the city of Thomas across the river from the downtown were once home to “gob piles” or coal refuse piles that contaminated the soil, creating problems for water and vegetation growth. The assessments confirmed this contamination, and the cleanup grant received will specifically address this portion of the riverfront property and make it fit for park implementation.

With the initial assessment complete, Downstream Strategies, Green Rivers, and Woodlands Development Group have met to discuss the next phase in this project. They were able to discuss the needs for this cleanup, what they hope to accomplish through this project, and how they can best plan for the future riverfront redevelopment. This phase will hopefully be completed within a year and a half, with the city’s direction. It is our hope to be able to restore this property as close to its natural state as possible while leaving space for recreational opportunities, an amphitheater, and Fourth of July fireworks. Though this is still a beginning stage for a long project, we are excited to be able to clean up a property that can offer so much potential in our riverfront park redevelopment. It will open up endless opportunities for future recreation and development. This cleanup will allow us to give that land the ability to grow and prosper. We are excited to get started this Spring and Summer. Be sure to keep an eye out in the coming months for more updates.