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Grand marshals selected for Apple Butter Festival parade

September 20, 2010
  • A trio of women devoted to local history have been selected to serve as grand marshals of the Apple Butter Festival parade in Berkeley Springs, W.Va. At left is Nancy Edwards, representing the Morgan County Historical and Genealogical Society; seated is Julia Linaweaver, representing the Daughters of the American Revolution; and at right is Betty Lou Harmison, representing the Museum of the Berkeley Springs.
Submitted photo,

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. -- Three Berkeley Springs women representing three Morgan County historical organizations were selected to serve as grand marshals for the 37th annual Apple Butter Festival parade on Saturday, Oct. 9.

"The parade committee decided to make Marching through Morgan County History the parade theme," Beth Curtin, festival coordinator, said in a press release. "It seemed appropriate to have the local history groups provide the grand marshal."

The parade starts Oct. 9 at 9 a.m.

The three women who are scheduled to ride in the parade as grand marshals are Betty Lou Harmison, representing the Museum of the Berkeley Springs; Julia Linaweaver, representing the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR); and Nancy Edwards, representing the Morgan County Historical and Genealogical Society.

"They were joking that they were chosen because they were the oldest," Curtin said. "In fact, they all have a long record of preserving and valuing local history."

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Ye Old Towne of Bath chapter of the DAR was established in 1932 as part of the bicentennial celebration of George Washington's birth. One of the club's first projects was to mount a historical marker on the town lots that Washington owned in Berkeley Springs.

Linaweaver joined in 1989, and has served on the board of the local chapter and was a state regent.

"The DAR is about love of God, home and country, and that's for me," Linaweaver said in the release.

Constitution Week is her current project.

"I'm so pleased about the display at the courthouse," she said.

The Morgan County Historical and Genealogical Society was established in 1977. The group maintains an archive of local history and families at the public library.

Edwards is a past president of the historical society and now serves on the board. She and her husband, Clyde, were instrumental in assembling the Morgan County Schools book.

This is Nancy Edwards' second time in an Apple Butter Festival parade.

Harmison was one of the founders of the Museum of the Berkeley Springs in 1984, and has remained on the board ever since. She created a hotels exhibit for the museum, and has contributed artifacts, images and information for every exhibit there.

Harmison was named a state History Hero in 2008 based in part on her earliest publication, the bicentennial signs and walking tour of original lot owners in the town. Her most recent recognition is the upcoming Woman of Distinction from the regional Girl Scouts.

Retiring parade director Nancy Sostaric was pleased that the tradition she established of honoring local people was continuing.

Parade entries still are being taken at the Chamber of Commerce office on Fairfax Street. Call 304-258-3738.

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