Chester celebrates Teapot Day

Seven-year-old Eva Nurmi and her mother Laura sell teapots Eva made out of plastic beads for Teapot Day Saturday. (Photos by Julie Riedel)

CHESTER, W.Va. — Honoring the world’s largest teapot with the fifth annual Teapot Day, a few hundred people gathered to celebrate Saturday.

“We’re here to celebrate our teapot, which is as far as I’m concerned is our main attraction and it was put here to celebrate our local pottery industry,” said Tom Paisley, Chester council member, during opening remarks.

The 14-foot tall teapot was bought by William Devon in 1938, and originally it was a wooden hogshead barrel for a Hires Root Beer advertisement. Devon added a handle, spot and a glass ball to the top turning it into a teapot. Devon used it as a concessions stand outside his pottery store. Later, owners also used the teapot as a store selling pottery and novelty items out of it. Now, the teapot sits on state property on Carolina Avenue. The landmark opens once a year to sell food and drinks during teapot day.

“We sent a proclamation to the governor to make an official teapot day in WV,” said Randy Swartzmiller, West Virginia House of Delegates representative. “I did it for city and the teapot is a big deal to the city of Chester. It’s also a great tourist attraction, it’s just nice.”

Susan Hineman is the planner of Teapot Day and is responsible for the upkeep of the attraction. She oversees that the grass is cut and that the teapot is preserved.

Hineman is assisted by a group of community members who are equally dedicated to the teapot and to the community of Chester.

“People are good to me, and I appreciate the community and all the help I get,” said Hineman.

Teapot Day is always the second Saturday in Aug. For the 2019 Teapot Day there were raffles, a Fiesta Ware dime toss, tee shirts and 20 vendors selling food and crafts.

The teapot sold hot dogs and the Chester Lions Club sold patrons popcorn and snow cones. There were also approximately 300 Fiesta Ware teapot ornaments available for $15 each.

All proceeds raised is for the maintenance and upkeep of the teapot and the patch of land it sits on. One notable addition to the teapot this year is the monarch butterfly way station Stacey Adkins added through an Heritage Thermal environmental grant.

“I grew up with the teapot, then I got married and got away from it,” said Hineman. “But I got involved in giving back to my community and got back to the teapot.”