What's Happening in Thomas- June 2018

Public Meetings:

6/11: Thomas/Davis Planning Commission Meeting- 6pm @ TEC

6/12: Town Council Meeting- 6:30pm @ City Hall

Live Music/Local Events:

6/1: Lord Nelson and Chaga Tea Project- 8:30pm @ Purple Fiddle

6/2: The Truehearts- 1pm @ Purple Fiddle

6/2: Black Guy Fawkes- 6pm @ Mountain State Brewing

6/2: Gentleman Brawlers- 8:30pm @ Purple Fiddle

6/3: The Truehearts- 1pm @ Purple Fiddle 

6/7: Belle and the Band- 8pm @ Purple Fiddle

6/8: Matt Otis and the Sound- 8pm @ Purple Fiddle

6/9: The Wild Hymns- 1pm @ Purple Fiddle

6/9: Brian Davis- 6pm @ Mountain State Brewing

6/9: The Barstool Romeos- 8:30pm @ Purple Fiddle

6/10: The Wild Hymns- 1pm @ Purple Fiddle

6/10: Poor Man's Gambit- 8pm @ Purple Fiddle

6/12: Open Mic w/ Emay- 8pm @ Purple Fiddle

6/15: John Stickley Trio- 8:30pm @ Purple Fiddle

6/16: JP Parsons- 1pm @ Purple Fiddle

6/16: Black King Coal- 6pm @ Mountain State Brewing

6/16: Larry Keel Experience- 8:30pm @ Purple Fiddle

6/17: JP Parsons- 1pm @ Purple Fiddle

6/18: Amigo- 8pm @ Purple Fiddle

6/20: Space Koi- 8pm @ Purple Fiddle

6/21: Chris Rattie and the New Rebels- 8pm @ Purple Fiddle

6/22: Karikatura- 8:30pm @ Purple Fiddle

6/23: Dan Bankhurst- 1pm @ Purple Fiddle

6/23: Davis Bradley- 3pm @ Purple Fiddle

6/23: Skyler & Shane- 6pm @ Mountain State Brewing

6/23: David Mayfield Parade- 8:30pm @ Purple Fiddle

6/24: Dan Bankhurst- 1pm @ Purple Fiddle

6/24: Davis Bradley- 3pm @ Purple Fiddle

6/24: Liz Frame and the Kickers- 8pm @ Purple Fiddle

6/25: The Fly Birds- 8pm @ Purple Fiddle

6/26: Hustle Souls- 8pm @ Purple Fiddle

6/27: Emma's Lounge- 8pm @ Purple Fiddle

6/28: Bindley Hardware Co- 8pm @ Purple Fiddle

6/29: The Hills and the Rivers- 8:30pm @ Purple Fiddle

6/30: Bob Keel- 1pm @ Purple Fiddle

6/30: Anna p.s.- 3pm @ Purple Fiddle

6/30: Eliza Neals and the Narcotics- 8:30pm @ 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

Monday Burger Night @ Country Roads 

Tuesday Yoga with Kelly- 9am@ Allegheny Holistic

Tuesday Taco Night @ Country Roads

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

Wednesday Women's Drink Special @ Country Roads

Thursday Chef's Specials @ Country Roads

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

Friday Burger Night- 6pm @ Tip Top

Friday Dinner- 5pm @ Front St Grocers

Friday Seafood Night @ Country Roads

Saturday Dinner -5pm @ Front St Grocers

Saturday Dinner- Farm Up Truck @ Tip Top

Sunday Brunch- 11am @ Front St Grocers

Sunday Brunch- Farm Up Truck @ Tip Top

People of Thomas: Vince DiBacco

 photo courtesy of the Parsons Advocate

photo courtesy of the Parsons Advocate

Many of the individuals featured as the “Person of Thomas” are active members of the community as we speak. This month, however, is slightly different. This month our person of Thomas, is someone who had been an active part of this community for 96 years. Vince DiBacco has called Thomas his home for his entire life, and he has an incredible story to tell. He has seen Thomas through many trying times. From the Great Depression, World War 2, and the closing of the mines. He has always believed Thomas is the best place to live and would pull through any adversity.

Visiting Vince at his home in Cortland Acres it felt as though we had been friends for years. As soon as I sat down he told me his entire story, after asking just one question. I was inspired by his honesty and bravery to talk about such a difficult time. The visit was incredibly memorable and even included a small tour of his home and a trip to the gift shop where he treated me to some candy! He is the type of person who if you take the time, will genuinely change your life. 

Dibacco was born in 1921 and is the youngest of nine children. Thomas has been the backdrop for a majority of his life not counting the time he spent in seminary school or away in the war. He had always dreamed of becoming a priest and once he graduated from high school he went to seminary school near Baltimore. However, when WW2 broke out, he decided to volunteer for the army. He wanted to do his duty to fight for our nation. Once he completed his amphibious trainings at bases in Kentucky, Florida, and West Virginia he headed overseas. His time in the military took him to the UK and eventually to the beaches of Normandy where he served with the Army’s 61st Medical Battalion. Like many people, as you can imagine, that battle changed DiBacco’s life. Post invasion he was stationed in a chateau outside of Paris where he trained French locals to be medics. He developed friendships with many individuals over there that remained friends throughout his life. 

Upon returning to the states post war, he moved back to Thomas where he had hoped to go back to seminary school. Life, however, had alternate plans for him. He remained in Thomas and worked for his family at a variety of businesses around the area. As he grew older he remained in his hometown here in Tucker County. DiBacco has continued to be a passionate and active member of the community. He is a long time member of the Catholic Church and has been honored by the Knights of Columbus in a variety of ways. He was also awarded with a Bronze Star Medal for his service in the war. Vince is they type of character that immediately upon meeting him you feel like you’ve been friends for years. His openness about his history will have you bursting with pride to be able to call him a neighbor.

Looking back on his time in Thomas, he has always been rooting for this small town to prosper Having lived here his entire life he not only wanted it to succeed because he loved his hometown, but he also wanted to preserve the memories of his friends and family who called Thomas home for their entire lives. He believes we have a unique town with loads to offer. From the artists who have come in and begun to revitalize the community to the boulder park that was built near Davis, Tucker County as a whole has been able to maintain a beating heart even at times when it seemed impossible. It is thanks to people like DiBacco who continued to believe in our town. Without their support our Thomas would not be where it is today. We cannot thank Vince DiBacco enough for his service not only for our nation, but also his dedication to Thomas. He has been an amazing asset and neighbor since before many of the community even called Thomas home. We are lucky to call him a peer. 

ArtSpring 2018

Memorial Day Weekend has once again come and gone. The indicator that summer is officially underway and with that the ArtSpring Festival is over. It was a weekend full of amazing community togetherness, fantastic music, great art, and a celebration of Tucker County that will not soon be forgotten. Kicking off with the silent auction party Friday night, the community piled into the Opera House and were able to see all of the incredible pieces donated from throughout the community. They eventually headed upstairs to the original theater to enjoy the sweet tunes brought to us by Triptych, Stephanie Nilles, and Thomas Deakin. They were able to provide a rousing start to the weekend by taking us back in time with their sound. It was the perfect way to begin this beloved festival. 

Saturday started off at the Davis Firehall and was packed full of uniquely talented vendors who were sharing their stuff with the public. There were a variety of hands on art projects that kids and adults alike could enjoy- from lantern making to found art painting- there was a little something for everyone. Musicians from around the area provided the perfect soundtrack for the day. From tourists to locals, the people who visited were treated to all of the best parts of Tucker County in one go. There were unique happenings going on all over the county- from nature hikes to historical tours around the community- people were able to experience things more than just the art. Saturdayended like every ArtSpring Saturday with one of Thomas’s most beloved Art Walks. Everyone dressed to impress and walked along Front Street taking in all of the new exhibits that debuted that day. Each gallery featured talented artists that truly added something special to Thomas. Later that evening the town favorite- Driftwood performed at the Purple Fiddle for a packed house. People who weren’t even in the Fiddle could be found dancing in the streets to the amazing music. It was an evening that truly solidified the foundation of this community. 

The last day of ArtSpring was just as good as Saturday. The handmade art was again in full force. Local musicians were performing to anyone who would listen. Hikes and more opportunities for hands-on activities were happening all over Tucker County. As ArtSpring came to a close the community wrapped up the festival activities with the lantern parade. Kids, adults, locals, and tourists all alike met up at the Opera House with the lanterns they made during the weekend and paraded down Front Street behind a giant duck with the sound of kazoos and drums serenading them along the way. Business owners stood outside of their shops cheering everyone on and saying the official goodbye to yet another ArtSpring Festival. Memorial Day Weekend is truly a magical one here in Thomas. It is a time where the entire community and people from the outside come to celebrate our town and the surrounding areas. It is the few days that we are truly able to highlight all of the talent and camaraderie found in our small town. Though the festival just ended, we cannot wait until next year! A massive thank you to the ArtSpring board for yet again planning such an incredible event year after year. 

Thomas Community Clean Up


On May 19th New Historic Thomas along with Mountain Laurel Learning Cooperative joined forces to clean up downtown Thomas. A group of around 30 individuals gathered together for the third annual clean up and got our downtown looking A+ not only for ArtSpring, but also the rest of the summer. The Mountain Laurel students were rock stars tackling the railroad grade. They each collected at least one bag of trash making our town as clean as possible. The other two groups took on Spruce Street, Ash Alley, and the city hall garden. The week leading up to the clean up Thomas had been experiencing a week of constant rain, and the morning of the clean up was no different. Though we were a bit concerned we would have to delay the event, the community members involved maintained a positive attitude and we were greeted with blue skies, sunshine, and warm weather. The day couldn’t have been more perfect.

After three years of hosting this event, we are shocked and excited with how clean Thomas has become in recent years. Many individuals who have attended the clean up over the years mentioned how much better our town has been looking over the years. These service days in a way have created a snowball effect on the community. It has encouraged individuals to continue to pick up the downtown even if there were not specific clean up dates. We are incredibly grateful to the individuals who continue each year to attend this event and to keep our small city as clean as possible. We cannot thank Mountain Laurel enough for helping each year to make this such a great day.

Gearing Up for ArtSpring


It is hard to believe that May is almost done and we are gearing up for the 8th annual ArtSpring Festival. Though it is one of the busiest weekends in Thomas, we can't help but be incredibly excited for the time that brings together the entire community. It is going to be a weekend full of live music, celebrating local artists, hands-on activities, and so much more. The galleries will be featuring shows from new artists, the Opera House will be full of music and a silent auction, and amazing food will be served up all weekend, and so much more. Be sure to check out the ArtSpring website for an entire schedule of events and so much more. It is going to be a weekend to remember!  

A Lasting Impact on Front Street

On Thursday, May 3, we were lucky to be blessed with the return of a very influential former Thomas resident. E Reid Gilbert is a creative individual- a playwright, author, mime, and a laundry list of other things who has lived an interesting life. When he called Thomas home for a spell he helped bring the arts to Front Street. As the owner of the Valley Ridge Theatre, which was once located in the building that Creature resides, he provided summers full of laughs and high spirits. With the release of his most recent book, “Stories Tell What Can’t Be Told” which tells tales of his time in Thomas and Tucker County, he made a triumphant return to Front Street to share some of his favorite memories. People who personally worked alongside Gilbert during his time in Thomas and the ones who have since been welcomed to Front Street with open arms filled Tip Top to hear from someone who had once played such a major role in our community. As community members come and go in Thomas, we are lucky to reap the rewards of their legacy! We cannot thank E Reid Gilbert enough for all he had done for our community and the stories that kept us smiling all night! Be sure to check out his most and see if you were part of any of the stories!

A Return to Thomas


Mark your calendar, on Thursday, May 3, 2018 former Thomas resident E Reid Gilbert will be at Tip Top discussing his new book, "Stories Tell What Can’t Be Told." During his time living in Thomas, he became one of the original members of New Historic Thomas as well as one of the founders of the Thomas Education Center. He was the former owner of the DiBenedetto building (now known as Creature) which housed the Valley Ridge Theatre. As a Thomas citizen he was a strong advocate for bringing the arts to the community and helped with the beginning of the revitalization of Front Street. As a successful author, mime, and curator he was an asset to the Thomas community. Every year during his time living in Thomas the Valley Ridge Theatre put on a wide variety of plays in town. He is making his return to Front Street on May 3 to talk about his new book which is a collection of stories about his time in Tucker count and his memory of the Valley Ridge Theatre. Be sure to head down to Tip Top on Thursday to say hello to Gilbert, thank him for his dedication to the revitalization of Thomas, and listen to his tales of Tucker County from long ago. We are thankful for the work he did to make Thomas what it is today. Whether you call Thomas home for a short spell or a long time, the community members here are ones that are passionate about their home and will do whatever it takes to create a successful town. We are lucky to have had someone like Gilbert as a community member who brought something unique to our town and is able to tell his stories in a creative way. 

Thomas Celebration


We are lucky in Thomas to be surrounded by a community who want to support one another at the drop of the hat. At New Historic Thomas, we are so glad to have a support system in this town that allows us to accomplish all that we do. It is a team effort, one of which should be celebrated more often. On April 26th, we did just that. Filling Cottrill’s Opera House with delicious food from Farm Up Truck, amazing beer from our local breweries, and our community that at times can feel like a family to celebrate us. We wanted the

opportunity to show the community what New Historic Thomas has been up to over the last few years. It was a time for us to come together in a casual fashion as opposed to the formal meeting. We wanted to showcase the grants we’ve been awarded, celebrate the amazing public art pieces done by Nellie Rose and Nathan Baker, and our hopes for the future.


As we all crowded into the Opera House people wrote what they were thankful for in this community. They were able to look back on all of the work we have put in over the years, and more importantly bring everyone together for one much needed party. It is our hope that we can continue to celebrate our amazing town every day. We want to thank ArtSpring for not only partnering with us to make the public art a possibility and for opening up the Opera House for the party. We want to thank Mayor Matt Quattro for his constant dedication to Thomas. We want to thank YOU all! Without this community we would not be able accomplish half of the things we have in this town. Finally, we need to thank Emily Wilson-Hauger, our fearless leader at New Historic Thomas. She has worked tirelessly throughout the years to help Thomas become all that it is today. We are grateful and lucky to be surrounded by people who love and support this town in more ways than they realize. Thanks to everyone who showed up to make this event as fun as possible! 

People of Thomas: Christine Kozan

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Christine Kozan moved to Thomas in 2004 two weeks out of college to work for the Aldridge Academy. She assumed she would stay in the area for a transitional period working for this wilderness therapy program and then move on to the next spot. She soon found herself a tribe of friends that made her feel completely at home. She has found it to be incredibly easy  living in Thomas. The good vibe bubble this mountain town provides made the decision to stay indefinitely much easier. When she  first moved to town it was before Front Street was full of the wide variety of businesses that it boasts today. She was able to see the artists and business owners slowly begin to trickle in and the growth of the town we have today begin authentically. Falling in love with Thomas and the surrounding area Christine wanted to become more involved. She wanted the opportunity to better her community, and along with a group of friends they started to plan simple beautification projects. Mayor Matt Quattro caught wind of these projects, and suggested they revive the non profit New Historic Thomas organization. They were able to complete small projects to beautify the downtown like getting picnic tables donated down on the riverfront, flower arrangements on Front Street, and other simple projects that made Thomas a beautiful place to live. She has since been involved in a wide variety of projects throughout the town and has been an incredible asset to Thomas. Throughout her 14 years in Thomas she has been able to put her hands in a wide variety of projects and jobs. After working for the Aldridge Academy for four years, she began to do work in windmill biology research at the various wind power sites in the area. Crediting being in the right place at the right time she was able to get this position all while waitressing at the Flying Pig one summer. Christine was able to work full time  for three years basically hiking in the area for this research company. It was something that has remained one of her favorite positions during her time in Thomas. 

Thomas is a place where each day provides something different. Christine has said one of the benefits  of living in this community is that if one day she wants to be incredibly social she can head down to any of the shops and find someone she knows. And if she wants quiet she is able to explore all of the nature that Tucker County has to offer. She loves being able to live so close to town, but still be able to find the solitude that is sometimes needed. Christine, like most people came to Thomas expecting to only live here for a short period of time, but fell in love with the area and never left. She has been able to create a life of which she is happy and proud. Christine has been able to see the community grow in ways that she never would have expected when she originally came to this small town. She has been able to find a group of individuals that became family. The kind of people who would choreograph an elaborate dance to support a friend’s new business. One of whom is Nathan Baker, who just celebrated their ten year anniversary by way of a cross country road trip. She has found a place that she is passionate about supporting because it has become her home. She is a person that has done a lot work for our community behind the scenes. She is the person that will always be there to help out her neighbors and people who are in need. She has impacted the community in more ways than she has realized and has truly helped Thomas become the place it is today. We are thankful for all that she continues to do in the community whether it be helping with revitalization efforts or offering a smile walking down Front Street. Thomas would not be the same without Christine Kozan.

What's Happening in Thomas- May 2018


5/14: Thomas/Davis Planning Commission Meeting- 6pm @ TEC

Local Music/Events:

5/3: E Reid Gilbert- 6pm @ Tip Top

5/4: Keller Williams - 9pm @ Purple Fiddle

5/5: A Different Thread - 1pm @ Purple Fiddle

5/5: Gun Hill Royals - 8:30pm @ Purple Fiddle

5/6: A Different Thread - 1pm @ Purple Fiddle

5/6: Douglas Falls (final show) - 6pm @ Purple Fiddle

5/8: Open Mic w/ Emay - 8pm @ Purple Fiddle 

5/9: Bella's Bartok- 8pm @ Purple Fiddle

5/12: Jeff Smith - 1pm @ Purple Fiddle

5/12: The Woodshedders - 8:30pm @ Purple Fiddle

5/13: Jeff Smith - 1pm @ Purple Fiddle

5/17: The Matchsellers- 8pm @ Purple Fiddle

5/18: Radiator King- 8:30pm @ Purple Fiddle

5/19: Thomas Community Clean Up- 12pm @ City Hall

5/19: Eddy Marshall Duo- 1pm @ Purple Fiddle

5/19: Zach Deputy- 8:30pm @ Purple Fiddle

5/20: Eddy Marshall Duo- 1pm @ Purple Fiddle

5/24: Skunk Ruckus- 8pm @ Purple Fiddle 

5/25: Strung Like a Horse- 8:30pm @ Purple Fiddle

5/26: Jason Ring- 1pm @ Purple Fiddle

5/26: Driftwood- 8:30pm @ Purple Fiddle

5/27: Jason Ring- 1pm @ Purple Fiddle

5/27: Triptych- 8:30pm @ Purple Fiddle

5/28: Jason Ring- 1pm @ Purple Fiddle

5/31: Amy Black Duo- 8pm @ 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

Monday Burger Night @ Country Roads 

Tuesday Yoga with Kelly- 9am@ Allegheny Holistic

Tuesday Taco Night @ Country Roads

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

Wednesday Women's Drink Special @ Country Roads

Thursday Chef's Specials @ Country Roads

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

Friday Burger Night- 6pm @ Tip Top

Friday Dinner- 5pm @ Front St Grocers

Friday Seafood Night @ Country Roads

Saturday Dinner -5pm @ Front St Grocers

Saturday Dinner- Farm Up Truck @ Tip Top

Sunday Brunch- 11am @ Front St Grocers

Sunday Brunch- Farm Up Truck @ Tip Top