By Rosalyn Queen Alonso | May 07, 2013
This past Saturday we made our monthly trip to the Parsons Country Inn to enjoy the monthly seafood buffet.  Over the last several months as we made this trip to Parsons, we passed a landmark in Barbour County. I wanted to share this with you. It is the Valley Furnace. and is located on Route 38. It was built in 1848 and was used for six years.  It was used to melt iron ore.  It was first operated by water power and then by steam engine.  Charcoal was the fuel that was used.  Each day approximately 9,000 pounds of ore was melted and it would be  hauled by mule teams to Fairmont and loaded on steamers.  The furnace stands on a seam of cal which was not used for fuel.  At one time it appears that there was a nice park area surrounding the furnace.  It is now in need of repair, but in my opinion it is a land mark that contains a lot of interesting history.  There is still a road side sign there with important information on it and there is a picnic area that could still be utilized.  Once again, I encourage you to make that trip to Parsons and to look for this historical landmark. I still have a lot of unanswered questions that could be answered by a little research.

May certainly brings a lot of activity to our area.  The Scottish Festival was a huge success and I congratulate all those who worked so hard to put it on.  There will be many high school graduations this month and it will mark the end of the school year.  There will be a lot of children on the road so please be extra careful and keep an eye out for them.

I never quit singing the praises of my favorite Italian newspaper LaGazzetta.  This month I learned some interesting facts about Calabria, the area where most of the Italians in our area came from.  here are four items that Calabria is know for and they are the pepperoncino, a spicy chili pepper used in many dishes.  Next is the red onion.   There are three different varities and are a delight not to pass on.    The bergamotto, a fragrant fruit is another rare find in Calabaria.  The actual fruit is not eaten but can be found in teas, juices and liqueurs and lastly there is Vecchlio Amaro del Capo, a famous digestif.  This after dinner bitter is produced with 29 different Calabrian aromatic herbs and roots.  So it you are returning to San Giovanni or making your first visit be sure to partake of the above mentioned specialties.

I have a bit of exciting news for the area.  The Grapevine will be appearing on line at Connct-Clarksburg.  I have had so many inquiries as to  how individuals can receive it, but if you are reading this than you do receive it but help me pass the word to all those individuals who do not get.  Look for it in the very near future.

I think we can safely say that it is time to start planting.  As I told you last week I am one step ahead and I am enjoy fresh Swiss Chard from the garden. Just a reminder that if you do not have space for a garden use some planters or pots.  You can at least plant some herbs such as basil.  they grow well in pots and how wonderful they will be in that first tomato salad.

Take care, keep in touch and until next week "Now You Have Heard It Through The Grapevine.

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