Chester prepares to mark Teapot Day
CHESTER –From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 13, area residents and tourists will gather at the entrance into Chester, W.Va. from the Jennings Randolph Bridge end to celebrate the city’s annual Teapot Day. The event celebrates seven years of Teapot Days with music, food and craft vendors and raffles.
The 2022 Fiestaware holiday ornament also will be available for purchase at the event, which was held for the first time on Saturday, Aug. 8.
Two decades have passed with normal wear and tear as the community turns its attention towards upkeep of the “World’s Largest Teapot,” which sits between elevated U.S. Route 30 and the Chester city exit.
For six months in 2014 and 2015, Susan Hineman oversaw a fundraising campaign that resulted in its complete renovation and spearheads the event to continue its maintenance.
Originally the Chester Teapot had been built more than eight decades ago by William “Babe” Devon from a “gigantic wooden hogshead barrel for a Hires root beer advertising campaign. Measuring 14 feet high and 14 feet in diameter, Devon purchased the barrel in Pennsylvania and had it shipped to Chester, W.Va., where it was set up on Carolina Avenue, which also is state Route 2. A spout and handle were added at this time and the wooden barrel was covered with tin to form the teapot’s shape. A large glass ball was placed on top to make the knob of the “lid.” The teapot stood in front of Devon’s pottery outlet store. Local teenagers were hired to sell concessions and souvenirs from inside the Teapot.
During the mid-1940s and late-1960s, World War II gas rations caused a decrease in traffic, so the Teapot and Devon’s pottery business was sold and food was sold out of the Teapot until 1971, when the new owners sold pottery and gift items from it for many years.
In 1984, it stood abandoned until C&P Telephone purchased the land and donated the Teapot to the City of Chester, which eventually moved it to its current location in the early 1990s.