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By J.R. Brower

There was much to celebrate in Venetia on Saturday, May 20 and Sunday, May 21.

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WUMC Members and their families who participated in Heritage Days (l to r) Cassie and Lyla Greaves, Katelyn Greaves, Grace Reidenbaugh, Kelly Greaves, as well as Tara and Mike Reidenbaugh, who helped organize the arts and crafts fair.

On Saturday, Wright’s United Methodist Church held an arts and crafts fair with 14 participants to commemorate their 194th anniversary. On Sunday, the church celebrated their 1823 founding with worship, special music and a spaghetti dinner in the church and outside on the lawn. The historic Peters Township church reunited with old friends and welcomed new ones who attended the special festivities.

Next door, the Venetia Heritage Society honored the founding of the old Venetia Elementary School, which was built in 1926. Participants included members of the Senior Citizen Center, several Girl Scout troops, the Peters Township Rowing Club and the Dare Model Railroad Club. Throughout the weekend, activities included a Chinese raffle and flea market as well as picnics on the grounds. Fundraising efforts are underway to replace windows, doors, plumbing as well as the heating system in the three-story brick building. Those interested in preserving the historic school are encouraged to get involved and visit the group’s website at www.venetiaheritagesociety.org.

Across the street, the bicentennial of the historic Enoch Wright House was commemorated both days with pioneer and Civil War re-enactors, museum tours of the two-story home, log cabin exhibits and quilting displays. Enoch Wright was the son of Joshua Wright, who arrived with his brother James and their families around 1772, when this territory was claimed by both the commonwealths of Virginia and Pennsylvania. The Wright House, built in 1816-1817, is listed on the National Historic Register and is cared for by the Peters Creek Historical Society, whose website is www.peterscreekhistoricalsociety.org.

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History buffs Willy Frankfort and Dan Kernen were on hand at the Enoch Wright log cabin to discuss how the pioneers lived in this area.

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