The Observer focuses on the stories of Jefferson County and West Virginia, looking beyond the headlines to inform the public discusssion on important topics relevant to the community, including the local economy, environment, education, politics, and public health. We also spotlight local artisans, artists, musicians, businesses & community organizations.
Looking to enjoy some fresh air? Stop by The Black Dog Coffee Company at 8001 Charles Town Road in Shenandoah Junction on Saturday, September 12 from 11am to 5pm for an outdoor “Makers Market.”
Following the abolition of slavery, African American communities were rapidly established throughout Jefferson County. Churches were cornerstones of these communities — serving as houses of worship, schools, and community centers. The African American community in Kearneysville was known as Hartstown.
With its regular concert activities on hold because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the eastern panhandle’s Friends of Music organization is experimenting with technology to produce virtual concerts they’re calling “Musical Postcards,”
The last day to register to vote in West Virginia for the November election is October 13. If you are registered, you may request an absentee ballot anytime until October 28. Rules for absentee voting have been updated to allow any voter to claim Covid-19 as a health reason for requesting an absentee ballot
Pastoral landscapes may be easy on the eyes, but farming them is a hard life. Todd Hough of Oakwood Farm has been working the land since he was a child. He and his brother are the fourth generation to run the family farm in the Kabletown District of Jefferson County.
Whether or not you consider yourself an artist, there is no doubt that art touches your life. The arts tell our story, they are a beautiful legacy. Engaging people from an early age in the arts enhances their development by opening their eyes to different experiences, different voices, and uniquely personal ways for them to express their own dreams and visions.
When it comes to judging a book, titles can be just as deceitful as covers. With a title like F*ckface, one might expect Leah Hampton’s short story collection to be a brash set of tales rooted in hardscrabble Appalachia.
One hundred years ago, underneath the Old Opera House in Charles Town, locals and tourists danced the night away beside a crystal-clear lake inside a cavern filled with orchestral tones. Today, the Lakeland Caverns cave is quiet, all entries sealed off from the public.
Can you find something positive to remember about this summer, despite the lockdown and the quarantine? I shall remember this as the summer we rediscovered hummingbirds.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Peddle & Paddle in Shepherdstown is providing multiple avenues to get outside and be active while social distancing.
The Harpers Ferry Park Association bookstore in lower town has been closed since March due to COVID-19, but starting in September, the organization will have a pop-up bookstore outside on the green across the street from the bookstor.
There are two 138,000 volt transmission lines running through the southern portion of Jefferson County, both of which are suitable for connecting large-scale solar projects.
Cindy Dunn has owned The Vintage Lady shop since 2004, and she’s seen a lot of people walk through the door in the past sixteen years. That changed when the pandemic shut down her shop in March.
For Libby Powell, it started with a carnival-type popcorn popper that her kids got her as present. Thinking it might be fun to repurpose the popper to roast coffee, Libby began to experiment a quarter cup of beans at a time.
Ron Rash (1953) started out as a poet and short story writer in the ‘90s before he published his first novel, One Foot in Eden (2002) and the novel that catapulted him to national literary prominence, Serena (2008), later adapted into film. In his newest work, In the Valley, Rash returns to the short story form as well as to the characters of Serena in the novella that gives name to this collection.
We were talking and my wife suddenly stood with her mouth open, staring out into our distant hayfield. “That looks like orange butterfly weed!” she exclaimed, her eyes wide with surprise.
The Brian O’Neill Jr Foundation has a simple mission: to empower individuals and their families to help prevent suicide in youth and young adults. For Lee O’Neill, the president of the foundation, this mission is personal.
In 1995, Garth Janssen found an opportunity to realize his own vision when he saw a space being vacated by another shop-keeper and opened the Lost Dog. For 25 years, that vision was his life, his family, his community, his art.
Reidy observes that there is sometimes almost too much news coverage. “Every little new suggestion gets equal weight because it’s new — every drug that might work or something that might work. With new treatments, it takes time to find out what really does work — things like antibody testing and how long people are immune. It’s hard because we want answers now.
Shepherd University is moving forward with virtual and in-person instruction starting August 24, with an accelerated semester that reclaims Labor Day and Fall Break as instructional days and ends just before Thanksgiving.