National School Breakfast Week 2018 will soon be upon us here in Sugar Grove. Last year was epic in every way thanks to the Sugar Grove School Alumni Group, community churches and organizations. We managed to deliver the largest haul of prize giveaways in the county for the event and also in the history of our school’s hosting this event.
This year, the event will be March 5th through 9th and we hope to deliver again when it comes to prize giveaways. A wishlist has been posted here. All items have been re-listed so that we don’t have too many repeats from last year. The items this year include STEM toys, games, and more! Most items are under $15 each with many being less than $10.
All items purchased from this wishlist are shipped directly to the Sugar Grove School Cafeteria for the event. Our efforts will continue until February 25th. This will give items time to arrive at the school prior to the event. We currently are in need of more items this year to meet the minimum needed to host the event.
If you are part of a church or community organization who would like to sponsor the purchase of bicycles, please let Sarah know at SarahRCombs@gmail.com so that delivery of these larger items can be coordinated.
The new Dollar General is well on its way to completion. At the end of July, the grounds were cleared and prepped for construction. We have seen quite a few changes over the past two months take place at this spot in our community. The beginning of August, the store began going up and within a day or two, was a skeleton of what will become a Dollar General. A week later, the building had walls and is beginning to look like a DG store.
In more recent days, we have seen periodic closures of Flat Ridge Road off Sugar Grove HWY due to the new drains and water works taking place to accommodate the new store.
This past week, we noticed one of the three crosses had been taken down presumably due to the installation of new drains and hopefully will be placed back as it was when they are finished.
As it turns out, little is known about the three crosses alongside Sugar Grove Highway. These three crosses are one of many sets that pepper the highways across more than 29 states, the Philippines and Zambia. Placed by Reverend Bernard Coffindaffer the first of which were erected about 65 miles north of Charleston in 1984.
Coffindaffer was a WWII Veteran who served in the Marines and fought in Iwo Jima
Our crosses here in Sugar Grove were placed September 25, 1986. The site is #424 according to documentation.
The Sugar Grove Farmers Market will be opening soon for the 2017 season! We have all new vendors lined up and some returning vendors from previous seasons! You won’t want to miss what we have in store for 2017.
If you are a vendor and would like to offer your merchandise at our market, please contact management at SugarGroveVirginia@gmail.com with inquiries and a description of the merchandise you’d like to offer.
NEW THIS SEASON, we will be offering hand crafted furniture from Duble A’s, USDA certified organic pork products from B&R Farms and a variety of other locally sourced items with more arriving as the season moves forward.
The Sugar Grove Farmers Market strives to provide locally sourced, high quality merchandise and create a high standard for both vendors and customers. This year is no different. You will find that our all new online shopping experience will make even more of the great products we have to offer available to you. This year, we are partnering with vendors from other local markets to broaden the variety of merchandise.
The Sugar Grove Farmers Market was established in 2013 and has grown exponentially since. The market began as a small setup at a physical location. As time went on, we found new ways to serve our customer base while working with vendors in a manner so as to grow the market and offer much more to our community. While we aren’t your everyday conventional farmers market, we are doing something good in our small rural community that will hopefully come full circle for the greater good of our community.
The Sugar Grove Farmers Market is scheduled to open on May 15. Please check back for updates on how to shop!
Donations for Sugar Grove School’s National Breakfast Week event are ONGOING! This means that you can still be part of our community effort and the effort of the Sugar Grove School Alumni Group to make this a memorable event for our students. Presently from now until the last week in February, the school cafeteria will be accepting donations of items to be used as giveaway incentives for the children to eat a healthy breakfast during the program.
Already, two bicycles have been donated to the school along with a selection of smaller items, these items were provided by the efforts of members of the alumni group. We are now challenging and inviting the community to also participate by selecting one or more items from the wish list to be shipped directly to the school cafeteria. —WISH LIST HERE— We are reaching out also to any churches or community organizations who would also like to contribute as well as the Sugar Grove School PTO.
If shopping local fits your schedule better, please feel free to do that too–simply drop off your items at the school office before the event. For more information please see our page here.
Last August, 2016, Sugar Grove Alumni hosted a gathering at Sugar Grove School that was attended by approximately 200 people, all having ties to the school. A special alumni edition of “The History of Sugar Grove School” written by Sarah R. Combs especially for this event was part of the ticket price. Everyone who purchased a ticket received a copy of the book with the opportunity to purchase extra copies at a special price at the event.
The alumni edition copies have officially sold out! Only 195 copies were printed prior to the event for purchase. This makes the original alumni edition now a collector’s item. Recently, it’s been noticed that copies of the book have even turned up for sale listed on ebay for prices upward of $50 and some even outside the country! (who would have thought our school would be of interest internationally!)
Over the holidays, several made inquiry as to how they may obtain a copy for themselves. 2nd edition copies are available from Create Space, Amazon and Books A Million.
What’s the difference in 1st and 2nd edition copies? The 1st edition copy features a special Sugar Grove School Alumni page with green lettering in the front cover and the alumni logo. The 2nd edition features a title page with plain black & white lettering and no alumni logo. Only 195 “Alumni Edition” copies were printed. They were printed and sold exclusively at the August 2017 event at Sugar Grove School with all extra copies now sold.
The Abijah Thomas Octagon House is not only a historic home located in Smyth County but it is an educational and interesting site to visit if you’re passing through. The home is located at 801 Octagon House Road, Marion VA (Thomas Bridge Community) and in recent years was purchased by Derek Orr. Since then, he has formed the Octagon House Foundation in hope of restoring this once spectacular 1857 Civil War era octagonal home.
The Octagon House has a fascinating history locally and is on the register of historic buildings. The house has been the topic of historical research as well as urban legend and is thought to be haunted. Contrary to popular urban legends that claim that the house is haunted by slaves who were beaten and died at the hands of their owner, Abijah Thomas was actually documented to treat the slaves he owned very well–so well in fact that a number of them returned to work for him after slavery was abolished.
Today, the Octagon House Foundation hosted its 2nd Annual Open Window Tour fundraising event. This event allows people to come out and see the home with the boards removed from the 1st floor windows so that the interior of the house can be viewed in a walk around tour. The window tour features several historians and docents who provide information about each window you come to so that you may get a better idea of what the house once was. We filmed a short teaser at the beginning of the tour today to give people an idea of what they could expect when they attend this wonderful event. In the area of the first window on the tour, a sign is posted where fingerprints of a small slave child can be found in the brick of the home.
The rest of the tour continues around the house showcasing the parlor area, bedrooms, the winter kitchen, dining room and office of Abijah Thomas accompanied by lots of historic facts and research. The tour is loosely guided but at your own pace. You can take as long as you like at any area, photos are permitted and questions are encouraged. This is all included for a $5 donation to the Octagon House Foundation.
After the main attraction of the window tour, you can spend some down time just relaxing on the beautiful lawn. At one time this location was known as Mountainview, likely because of the beautiful view of the mountains it overlooks. There were tents, tables and chairs set up in various locations across the property, merchandise was sold to benefit the restoration of the house that included a variety of t-shirts, original prints of the Octagon House, Christmas ornament pre-purchase, and even some of the original nails from the house that were collected in cleanup. Other volunteers had tables set up displaying artifacts that were found in and around the property thought to be original to the home in the era in which it was constructed.
Food and drinks were available for purchase and a bluegrass band was on site to entertain throughout the day. At the other end of the yard, a confederate camp display was set up to pay tribute to the historic significance of the Civil War in our area.
Here’s another clip of some of the music and happenings at today’s event
An interview was conducted with Derek Orr, owner of the Octagon House –he says there’s more to come! Check out the interview below!
If you are interested in becoming a member of the Octagon House Foundation, please see information provided at the link above. Donations also accepted online via PayPal.
The Sugar Grove Farmers Market was created in 2013 and has taken place during Spring and Summer months on the parking lot at Sugar Grove School. This location provided a great place for a farmers market in recent years however, we did face some challenges that made it difficult to operate at this location. At this location, we only enjoyed one market day each month, weather permitting. Some Grovers expressed schedule conflicts or that they would like to see the market grow and expand. I am happy to say that these concerns have been addressed and that the perfect solution has been found for both!
Beginning in June, you will start seeing our market listed daily on our community calendar. You can access the Sugar Grove Farmers Market now online at https://sugargroveva.locallygrown.net/ to view the available items listed. Some items have limited availability, some are made to order and others are continually listed depending on availability and their vendors. We are currently working toward getting new vendors and their products listed and expect many more items to be available to the general public soon.
This new online option works well to meet our community’s needs because it allows vendors to sell and deliver on their terms and those of the purchaser by working together. It still facilitates the support of local groups, organizations, farmers, individuals and businesses in the same manner the physical location did–this one’s just a little more accessible to a broader audience and there’s no setup, weather concerns or worries that people just may not show up–we’re always online!
Because we are going to be open 24/7, new vendors always have the opportunity to sign up and offer their products. Merchandise is still approved by management and examined for quality in order to maintain existing high standards. The same selling guidelines still apply to online selling as applied to physical location selling.
If you want to be a vendor, you simply need to go to our online market site and sign up as a “grower” to get started. From there, you will be reviewed and approved by management and your merchandise can then be listed. It is best to have photos of your items as well as detailed descriptions for each.
For the 2016 season, vendors will continue to keep 100% of their profits earned at the Sugar Grove Farmers Market.
The online farmers market concept is relatively new in our area however, the Independence Farmer’s Market decided to follow suit and give it a try as well. They have since been successful in their endeavors and we strive to do the same. Aside from bringing about a new experience in the digital age, this also allows vendors who may be committed to one market to also offer their merchandise at multiple markets maximizing their profits and production and also creating stronger local support for locally sourced merchandise.
It has been more than 25 years since Sugar Grove School’s famous “Gathering of the Maple Leafs” reunion in 1990. According to the local newspaper, more than 1500 people attended the event and it was lauded as the biggest event ever held in Sugar Grove and likely the largest school reunion in the county. Now, in 2016, Sugar Grove School Alumni will once again get the opportunity to gather and enjoy an event in the community.
This highly anticipated event is set for Saturday, August 27, 2016 beginning at 11 AM until 3 PM at Sugar Grove School. This year’s event will take place in the school cafeteria dining room rain or shine. Ticket purchase in advance is required for this event. Each ticket includes 1 catered meal, beverage, and an event exclusive souvenir book “The History of Sugar Grove School” which is a full color publication in 7 x 10 format. **PURCHASE TICKETS HERE**
“The History of Sugar Grove School” was originally written in 2014 to document the history of the school in our community when we learned that our school faced closure or consolidation and eventually a name change. This original version was published for a while on our community website until which point it was further researched and revised for the purpose of this event.
The book features a collection of historic photographs as well as recent documentation of the 2015 Alumni Luncheon and more. There’s even a memories section in the back for you to write down your thoughts, friends contacts, etc.
Four Seasons Bakery from Marion will be providing the catering for our event this year and will be serving Pulled Pork BBQ, 2 sides, bread, salad, desert and beverages.
Tickets for this event are $20 each and will be on sale until July 1, 2016. You may purchase tickets securely here. For more details about the event, please visit THIS SECTION of the page.
The 2016 season of the Sugar Grove Farmers Market is quickly approaching launch time and we’re ready to kick it up a notch this time around and offer many more options through available technology.
A necessity to review the success, operations and structure of the existing market taking into consideration other local events, community organizations and vendor concerns came about in 2015. This resulted in what should create a much improved experience for both customers and vendors who have enjoyed the Sugar Grove Farmers Market since its establishment in 2013.
For the 2016 season, vendors will have the option to sell their wares online via https://sugargroveva.locallygrown.net and customers can likewise make purchases online OR in person. Merchandise delivery terms are completely left up to the vendor. The current options are in-person pick up or delivery locally or shipping goods and merchandise. We are also inviting other vendors participating at other local farmers markets to participate in our online market to broaden merchandise options and provide a larger vendor opportunity for the future success of our market.
If you are interested in using our online market, you will need to visit https://sugargroveva.locallygrown.net and set up an account. This is free of charge for the 2016 season just like our physical farmers market has been in the past. If you have questions you can e-mail Sarah Combs, Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Sugar Grove Farmers Market invites local businesses, organizations and individuals to participate and to partake in our opportunities for local business networking, to promote products and services and enjoy a community event.
The Sugar Grove Farmers Market is not affiliated with Rye Valley Ruritans.
The Sugar Grove Farmers Market was established in 2013 and since has shown measurable progress in our community and has been enjoyed by all who have participated. We have overcome several barriers during this time and constantly strive toward improvement with each season.
In the 2015 season, we struggled a bit with some issues beyond our control however, we overcame those issues and ended up with donations from the community that funded the purchase of some beautiful new banner signs that were unveiled at the end of the season last year (thank you!) as well as a hand made sign that was donated in the absence of our original sign.
While we can’t give up all of the secrets just yet, we can say that the Sugar Grove Farmers Market will continue during the 2016 season as planned and will boast some new features that are designed to make merchandise available from around the area right here in our community from a larger variety of vendors.
If you are interested in becoming a vendor at the Sugar Grove Farmers Market please contact management at SugarGroveVirginia@gmail.com as soon as possible so that we can integrate you into the new and improved market plan. As always, the Sugar Grove Farmers Market not only encourages individuals to participate but we also welcome the participation of area groups, businesses and organizations. The Sugar Grove Farmers Market aspires to be a strong community function that everyone can enjoy and benefit from.
*The Sugar Grove Farmers Market is not affiliated with the Rye Valley Ruritans