Tamarack West Virginia

One Tamarack Park, Beckley West Virginia

Exit 45 off of I-77

My first visit to the Tamarack was in 2000 and it immediately became one of my favorite places to stop.  Kind of surprising as I really dislike shopping or browsing.  The Tamarack is different as a visitor is able to see the best of what West Virginia artisans create, write, or cook. 

The Tamarack opened in 1996 with no tax dollars or toll money used.  Every item inside the Tamarack is approved through a jury process where the artist’s product is critiqued by their peers.  The artists must currently live in West Virginia to be considered. 

My first stop is the book section and one of my favorite authors lives in West Virginia.  James Alexander Thom, has many books and I have read them all. My favorite is “Follow the River” and is about a pregnant pioneer women and her two children who were stolen by Indians. The book is about her journey to get back home to her husband and the author tried to recreate her journey and was not able to do it.  Fantastic book and his information was based on the stories she told her grandchildren.  Another subject I like to read about is Chuck Yeager who is from West Virginia.

Next I like to watch the glass artists as they create unique items.  I have a snowman that is precious to me as I watched him being made.  Each year he makes an appearance around Christmas and I remember how amazing the artisan was to watch.  That is also a unique part of the experience is often while there getting to watch the artists at work.

My all-time favorite item is this tree trunk with the raccoon at the top.  This piece has been in the Tamarack since my first visit and I smile every time I see this smirking raccoon and the frustrated coon dogs. 

When I am asked about my favorite places to visit in the United States the Tamarack always makes my top five list.  Enjoy the short video of walking around with a little glimpse into what the Tamarack has to offer. 

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