1928 - Alderson High School - 1968
ALDERSON MAIN STREET - NEWS RELEASE P.O. Box 117, Alderson, WV  24910 November 14, 2016 Contact Alderson Main Street Improving The Community One Project At A Time
Building   on   the   success   of   last   year’s   event,   which   sold   out,   Steve   and   Kath   Rose   are   again   opening   their wonderful   home,   the   Cedars,   for   a   Christmas   Tour   and   Tea   on   Sunday,   December   4   starting   at   1:00   p.m. A   fund   raiser   for   Alderson   Main   Street,   the   timed   entries   will   be   at   1:00;   2:15;   3:30;   and   4:45   p.m.   Timed tickets are available for $12 from Bridge Walk Shops and the Visitors Center in Alderson. The   Roses   have   been   working   hard   over   the   last   year   to   make   changes   to   the   Cedars.   The   kitchen   was torn   off   and   completely   rebuilt   by   son-in-law   Austin   Nichols.   While   the   whole   project   is   still   a   “work   in progress”, visitors will see a lot of progress from last year. Because   an   English   Tea,   with   small   sandwiches   and   sweets,   will   be   served   in   the   ballroom   as   part   of   the event,   visitors   are   urged   to   purchase   their   $12   tickets   in   advance   to   insure   entry   at   their   preferred   time. The   event   consists   of   a   tour   of   the   house,   dressed   for   Christmas   in   Kath’s   signature   style,   followed,   in   the ballroom, by tea and a special musical performance. Kath   Rose   has   been   planning   this   tour   and   tea   in   her   mind   since   the   huge   success   of   last   year’s   event. She   excitedly   said,   “I   have   found   more   tea   cups   and   have   a   whole   new   decorating   plan   for   the   ball   room. Just   wait   until   you   see   my   “package   trees”!   This   year   we   will   put   the   tea   cakes   and   sandwiches   on   the tables and serve the tea which may make it easier for some of our guests.” Kath   joins   a   romance   novelist,   a   Congresswoman   and   Ambassador,   and   a   lover   of   boxwoods   as   the latest   “lady   of   the   house”   at   The   Cedars.   This   wonderful   property   has   a   long   and   interesting   history.   The Cedars   was   placed   on   the   National   Register   of   Historic   Places   in   1978   through   the   efforts   of   Mr.   and   Mrs. Robert McCormack, the owners at that time. According   to   the   National   Register   nomination,   The   Cedars   was   begun   in   1881   when Alexander   McVeigh Miller   brought   his   wife,   Mittie   Point   Miller,   to   10   acres   land   in   North Alderson   which   had   been   given   to   him by his father, W. G. Miller. The   Millers   began   construction   on   a   small   unit   of   the   house   which   grew   into   a   large   Victorian   farm   house. It   was   likely   built   of   the   fine   hardwood   lumber   then   available   in   abundance   from   the   old   growth   forests   in the   area. The   cornices   above   the   interior   doors   and   windows   in   the   entry   hall   are   apparently   from   that   era and are Victorian in style. Mrs.   Miller   lived   there   for   many   years   and   continued   to   write   “romance   novels”,   a   career   which   earned   her the   huge   sum   of   more   than   $100,000   by   1910.   Copies   of   some   of   her   novels   will   be   on   display.   She   was the   real   breadwinner   in   the   family   as   her   husband   never   found   a   career   in   which   he   could   be   successful and   had   meager   earnings   as   a   schoolteacher.   He   did   serve   in   the   West   Virginia   State   Senate   from   1901 to 1909. She divorced him for infidelity in 1908 and moved to Boston. The   Cedars   was   unoccupied   for   a   time   until   it   was   purchased   in   1939   by   Ruth   Bryan   Owen   Rhode   and her   husband.   They   lived   there   for   5   years   and   made   changes   to   the   house   to   remake   it   from   a   typical Victorian   farmhouse   to   a   more   elegant   and   classical   style   home.   They   moved   two   old   buildings   to   the   site to   be   used   as   a   guest   house   and   horse   barn.   They   also   added   the   large   garage   with   the   recreation   room above, known to locals as the “ballroom”, to the west side of the house. Mrs.   Rhode   was   the   daughter   of   William   Jennings   Bryan   and   was   one   of   the   most   prominent   women   of this   nation   in   her   time.   In   World   War   I,   she   served   as   a   nurse. After   the   war   she   had   a   successful   career as   a   college   teacher   and   lecturer.   In   1933,   she   was   elected   to   the   United   States   Congress   from   Florida. President   Franklin   Delano   Roosevelt   appointed   her   as   Minster   to   Denmark   where   she   is   likely   to   have met her second husband, Captain Borge Rhode. The   next   owners   were   Mr.   and   Mrs.   Andrew   McThenia.   Mrs.   McThenia   focused   her   attention   on   the landscaping   of   the   estate.   Beginning   in   1945,   her   planning   and   work   involved   the   growing   and   use   of hundreds   of   English   boxwoods   throughout   the   grounds.   Remnants   of   her   efforts,   including   what   may   be the largest cypress tree in West Virginia, can be seen. After   being   sold   by   the   McCormacks,   The   Cedars   passed   through   many   hands   before   being   bought   by the   current   owners,   Steve   and   Kath   Rose,   who   live   there   now   with   their   daughter,   son-in-law,   and   two beautiful   grandchildren.   Steve   Rose   said,   “We   fell   in   love   with   West   Virginia   and   bought   a   cabin   in   Grassy Meadows. Then we saw this wonderful old house.” Many   other   events   will   be   taking   place   in   Alderson   this   weekend   starting   on   Friday,   December   2,   with   a bonfire   just   west   of   the   Historic   1896   C&O   Depot   beginning   at   5:00   p.m.;   the   Annual   Christmas   Parade line-up   beginning   at   6:00   p.m.   and   the   Parade   and   Grand   Illumination   starting   at   7:00   p.m.   The   parade will   travel   through   the   historic   downtown   of   Alderson   before   proceeding   across   the   Alderson   Memorial Bridge   where   the   Queen   of   the   Lights   will   wave   her   magic   wand   illuminating   the   bridge.   The   parade   will end   at   the Alderson   Community   Center   for   the Arts   and   Humanities   where   the   young   and   young-at-heart will be able to visit with Santa and have a treat. Alderson’s   shops   including   the Artisan’s   Gallery;   Wolf   Creek   Gallery;   Bridge   Walk   Shops;   and   the   historic Alderson’s   Store   will   be   open   for   Christmas   shopping   on   Friday   night   until   8;   10-5   on   Saturday;   and   on Sunday   from   1-5.   The   Johnson   Memorial   United   Methodist   Church   will   be   holding   its   Annual   Bazaar   on Saturday   from   9-4   and   Sunday,   noon   to   3.   In   addition   to   craft   items,   the   Bazaar   offers   a   soup,   sandwich, and   dessert   lunch   for   $6   on   both   days.   A   model   train   show;   Guided   Walking   Tours   of   Alderson’s   historic properties;   a   chili   dinner   at   the Alderson   Volunteer   Fire   Department;   a   community   sing;   and   a   cantata   are all taking place in December. Tickets   for   the   tour,   tea,   and   special   music   at   the   Cedars   cost   $12   and   are   available   from   the   Alderson Visitor   Center,   Bridge   Walk   Shops   (Tue-Sat   10-5),   and   Alderson   Main   Street   members.   Call   304-646- 9199 for more information. Please purchase in advance. PHOTO CAPTION: Kath Rose serving tea at the 2015 Christmas Tea at the Cedars.