The Shopping Gem of Webster County

Webster Springs, the county seat of Webster County, is also the town of Addison, incorporated as such in 1892. Yet, Webster Springs (the name of the post office) is the name better known to many. But no matter which name you prefer to use, this is a prime shopping spot for the upcoming holiday season.

Webster Springs may seem like an out-of-the-way shopping location, but if you are looking for unique gifts for the holidays, the gems of Addison make it worth the drive.

The diamond shopping location of Webster County is actually owned by the town. The Addison Visitor’s Center and Gallery, (home town Addison, mailing address Webster Springs) is a must-stop shopping experience. Offering creations from West Virginian artisans all over the state, this shop is as beautiful and cultural as Tamarack, in many ways, even more so. Organized over 17 years ago by mayor Randy White, the visitor’s center and gallery is a fine example of municipal ingenuity.

The collection of hand crafts, fine art, books and foodstuffs within the gallery can be overwhelming. Cedar birdhouses and feeders hang from the ceiling, scented soy candles fill the air with sweetness; products and creations are displayed floor to ceiling, like candy for the eye. Candy for the mouth is near the check out counter, where that sweet candle scent doubles the temptation to buy.

From primitives to painted glass to polished wood and metal; with clothing and caps and hair bands and jewelry; sauces and molasses, jellies, spices and mixes; books and beads, fish flies and toys — this shop certainly has something for everyone. Over 200 artists are represented in the gallery, and Evon Snyder, gallery director, is always looking for more.

Recent additions include ceramics, Dolly Sods prints, “Sweeteez” candy, additional W.Va. wines and hand-made purses. The gallery also includes pottery from nearby Riffle Pottery, and rocking chairs by Denzil Hamrick of Webster Springs. Featured are crafts by Nancy Arthur, purses by Midge Parker, baskets by Rose Ann Cowger, pottery by Brian Van Nostrand, quilts by Kimberly Adkins of Boone County and W.Va. glass.

The large book collection includes only W.Va. authors and books about W. Va. heritage, traditions, history. Over 200 titles are available.

You will also find wine, gourmet foods, coal sculptures, wooden toys by Dan Culver of Weston, wind chimes from Howie’s Crafts, and much more.

The visitor’s center is also full of information about the region. A historical timeline by local resident Daniel Moran highlights the geologic, industrial, and cultural development of the area and offers visitors a look into Webster County’s past. Brochures and fliers about local features and events are close to the hot coffee pot, and many of the photo prints adorning the walls are of the beautiful locations throughout Webster County.

While in the area, visitors should at least pop into other nearby shops, including the ‘Twice as Nice’ thrift shop across the street, and Carpenter’s Five and Dime a few doors down.

Walking into Carpenter’s Five and Dime feels like walking into an old Woolworth’s. The wood floors, affordable products and basic shelf presentation brings on a feeling of nostalgia.

Carpenter’s, like the gallery, is filled to capacity with merchandise — you can even get copies of your keys made. Carpenter’s 5 & 10 is an affordable place to cross off a few names on that holiday shopping list or just to pick up scotch tape. When finished there, you can pop into the new pawn shop next door. When you get hungry, hit The Custard Stand’s walk up window for a hot dog with sauce from an 80-year-old all beef hot dog chili recipe (with no additive or preservatives). Or visit one of the sit-down restaurants in the area.

The Addison Visitor’s Center and Gallery is located in downtown Webster Springs at 110 South Main Street. They are open from 10 am – 5 pm, Monday through Saturday, but will have a Christmas Open House on Nov. 30 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The town’s Christmas parade is the same evening at 6 p.m.

You can reach the Addison Visitors Center from I-79 by taking exit #67 at Flatwoods and following Route 15 East into Webster Springs. From the only traffic light, the gallery is the fourth building on your left. For those traveling Route 19 from Summersville, take Route 41 East which becomes Route 55. Continue on Route 20 through Craigsville following the signs to Webster Springs. At the traffic light, turn right.

For more information about the Addison Visitor’s Center and Gallery, or submitting your work, call 304- 847-5404.