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May Mart kicks off West Overton Museums' opening

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By Rachel Basinger
Thursday, May 9, 2013, 7:14 p.m.

West Overton Museums will officially open for the season on Saturday, kicking off with an annual May Mart, hosted by the West Overton Garden Society.

The event is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. It has grown so much over the years in sellers and buyers, that it hasn't been unusual in the last few years for most of the plants to be sold out by the time noon rolls around.

“It really has become a very popular event and a good fundraiser for us,” Garden Society member Jan Brubacher said.

She added that the day's proceeds will go toward the upkeep of the gardens on the museum grounds.

Because of weddings on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the big barn, where the event has been held the past few years, it will be held in the Overholt Room, below the Distillery Museum. There will be coffee and pastry vendors on hand and tables set up for visitors to sit and enjoy their goodies.

A swap table will be part of the day's events, where individuals can bring a plant to leave on the table and then take a plant from the table to take home.

Sunny Sprouts of West Newton will be selling bonsai, succulent and house plants as well as shrubbery. Herrington's Greenhouse will be selling heirloom and hybrid tomato plants. Gumtos of Renfrew will be selling annuals and hanging baskets. Witt Nursery from the Indian Head area will have a canopy set up outside selling perennials.

Brubacher said Oglevee's will be on hand with several varieties of geraniums and other plants. There will also be plants for ponds and water gardens available, as well as plants from the West Overton Gardens and plants from society members.

“It's going to be a really good day and a great place to get your Mother's Day flowers or just the plants you want for your own gardens,” she said.

The parking lot behind the museum will be blocked off. Parking will be available at the Amish Pantry and Deli, which should have sandwiches available for sale that day.

Jessica Kadie Barclay, spokesperson for West Overton, said the event is popular because it is the official opening of the tour season for the museum and, at the same time, it serves a need.

“Many come here to get their plants to get their homes ready for summer,” she said.

This summer, visitors to the museum will get to take in the renovated Distillery Museum, which educates visitors on the industries that were once thriving at West Overton, with a major emphasis on distilling.

The Homestead (Historical House), which has been closed since January 2011, will reopen this summer as well.

“With regard to events, we are in the process of planning some events for the balance of 2013 and we will be ready to make an announcement soon,” Kadie Barclay said.

West Overton Distillery Museum and Homestead will be open for tours Friday, Saturday and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. Tours outside of these dates and times require an advance appointment.

Admission is $5 to tour both the Distillery Museum and the Homestead, unless visitors are a member. Members of West Overton are admitted free. Memberships start at $15 for an individual and $30 for a family.

For further information, visit or call 724-887-7910.

Rachel Basinger is a freelance writer.



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