<img src="https:\/\/pocahontastimes.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/25\/2021\/06\/DSC_0762.jpg" alt="" width="600" height="402" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-81869" \/>\r\n\r\nHistoric Hunters-ville Traditions board members, l to r: Jean McClure, Tim Wade and Dondi Stemple, serve a piece of birthday cake to Delegate Bill Hamilton during the HHT picnic and pie auction last Saturday. At right, a closeup of one of the cakes McClure baked for the celebration. L.D. Bennett photos\r\n\r\n<img src="https:\/\/pocahontastimes.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/25\/2021\/06\/DSC_0748.jpg" alt="" width="400" height="245" class="alignleft size-full wp-image-81868" \/>\r\n\r\nLaura Dean Bennett\r\nStaff Writer\r\n\r\nPocahontas County got a jump start on celebrating our state\u2019s birthday, holding its West Virginia Day picnic last Saturday evening, the night before the big day.\r\n\r\n\u201cSince West Virginia Day fell on a Sunday this year, we thought maybe folks would rather come out on Saturday evening instead of Sunday,\u201d Huntersville Historical Traditions President Tim Wade, explained.\r\n \r\nThis year marked the 158th anniversary of West Virginia becoming the 35th state in the United States. \r\n\r\n At the outbreak of the Civil War, the majority of West Virginians opposed Virginia\u2019s secession from the Union. \r\n\r\nIn April 1863, a proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln granted West Virginia admission into the Union, as of June 20, 1863.\r\n\r\nCities, towns and communities all over the state celebrated West Virginia\u2019s statehood last week, as did Huntersville \u2013 Pocahontas County\u2019s first settlement and home to the county\u2019s first courthouse.\u00a0\r\n\r\nHuntersville Historical Traditions \u2013 a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of and education about Huntersville\u2019s historical sites and the county\u2019s history \u2013 has, for many years, celebrated West Virginia Day with a community picnic. \u00a0\r\n\r\nThe group decided it might be nice to have a special celebration this year, since the pandemic cancelled last year\u2019s event.\u00a0\r\nThe old Huntersville schoolhouse was open for tours, and the lawn was prepared for company.\r\n\r\nA large tent stood over a stage and picnic tables beckoned guests to relax and enjoy the evening\u2019s program.\r\n\r\nJoy Mullins, dressed in a pioneer-era dress and bonnet, served delicious picnic fare to guests and, later, gave tours of the Huntersville School, where she had once been a student. \r\n\r\nOn behalf of HHT\u2019s Board of Directors \u2013 Mary Jo Fisher, Linda Adams, Joy Mullins, Dondi Stemple and Laura Dean Bennett \u2013 Wade, wearing his ubiquitous \u201cdress overalls,\u201d gave a few brief remarks.\r\n\r\nAfter welcoming one and all, thanking Sen. Bill Hamilton for traveling to be with the Pocahontas County crowd and wishing West Virginia a happy birthday, Wade turned things over to Dondi Stemple, who reprised her role as one of the \u201cschoolmarms\u201d of Huntersville School.\u00a0\r\n\r\nStemple handed out a West Virginia History fact sheet to all of her \u201cpupils\u201d and proceeded to ask history questions of the amused guests, whose eyes widened somewhat as she smacked a ruler in her hand and threatened to discipline those who were \u201ctalking in class.\u201d \u00a0\r\n\r\nHands went up after each question and HHT personalized pencils were awarded to each student who had a correct answer.\r\n\r\nIn all, 16 West Virginia history buffs who had answered their questions correctly were entered in a drawing for a $25 gift certificate, good for gas or merchandise at Huntersville\u2019s 39 Stop gas station and convenience store.\r\n\r\nSara Wagner Casto was the lucky winner of the drawing. \u00a0\r\n\r\nLocal band Mud Hole Control accompanied guests as they sang Happy Birthday to West Virginia and then followed up with every West Virginia crowd\u2019s favorite, \u201cCountry Roads.\u201d\r\n\r\nMud Hole Control kept control of the good mood all evening, as toes tapped and hands clapped to their special brand of bluegrass music. \r\n\r\nHuntersville Historical Traditions is known for its annual pie auction, held to raise funds for the continuation of its work in preserving the historical sites in Huntersville. \r\n\r\nThe pies were baked specially for the event by some of the county\u2019s most talented bakers and were bid on by some of HHT\u2019s most dedicated dessert lovers and generous supporters.\r\n\r\nApple Pie, baked by Mary Dilley was bought by Dave Buzzard.\r\n\r\nBanana Split Pie, baked by Alaina Watson, was bought by\u00a0John Wayne.\r\n\r\nPecan Pie, baked by Tim Duff, was bought by\u00a0Pendleton County Bank.\r\n\r\nFresh Strawberry Pie, baked by Mary Dilley, was bought by Tim Wade\r\n\r\nHomemade Minced Meat Pie, baked by Jean McClure, was bought by Sam Mitchell.\r\n\r\nPecan\u00a0Pie, baked by Tim Duff, was bought by Sen.\u00a0Bill Hamilton.\r\n\r\nPeanut Butter Pie, baked by Joy Mullins, was bought by\u00a0Dave Buzzard.\r\n\r\nCoconut Cream\u00a0Pie, baked by Vicky Smith, was bought by Ike Morris.\r\n\r\nA second Coconut Cream\u00a0Pie, baked by Vicky Smith, was bought by Dave Buzzard.\r\n\r\nPistachio Cake, baked by Margaret Burr, was bought by Dave Buzzard.\r\n\r\nBlueberry Cobbler, baked by Margaret Burr, was bought by Dave Buzzard.\r\n\r\nMaple Cr\u00e8me\u00a0Pie, baked by Rachel Taylor, was bought by Sen. Bill Hamilton.\r\n\r\nStrawberry\/Rhubarb Pie made by Connie Rose, was bought by Adam Taylor.\r\n \r\nAfter the pie auction, everyone was in the mood for dessert, so the two beautifully decorated and irresistible West Virginia birthday cakes were brought out.\r\n\r\nThe cakes were made by Jean McClure. McClure is known for her artistic cake-baking talents.\r\n\r\nAdam and Rachel Taylor\u2019s son, Bryce, invited everyone to come forward for a piece of cake and Sen. Hamilton gratefully accepted the first piece.\r\n\r\nHuntersville Historical Traditions, all-volunteer, 501c3 organization, is preparing for \u201cbig doin\u2019s\u201d during Pocahontas County\u2019s Bicentennial.\r\n\r\nBicentennial celebrations will begin October 1 during Huntersville Traditions Days, when the two day event will host a Pioneer Village and Civil War camp with 18th and 19th century re-enactors and demonstrators at the annual festival.\r\n\r\nAnyone interested in becoming a Friend of Huntersville is encouraged to get in touch with Tim Wade at 304-799-6468.\r\n\r\n\u201cYou don\u2019t have to come to meetings. We\u2019d just appreciate your time, your energy, maybe some financial support \u2013 if you\u2019re able \u2013 and definitely your moral support,\u201d Wade said.