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Remember When

By Randy Rutherford - Staff Writer | Aug 18, 2021

Paden City Miss Labor Day Mary Ann Feldmeier

Let’s do a little time traveling. How about drifting back to a simpler time where on an exciting Sunday evening, September 5, 1954; Mary Ann Feldmeier received the great honor of being crowned the first “Miss Labor Day” queen reigning over the Labor Day Festival in Paden City. Queen Mary Ann along with her court, second place winner Delores Virden and third place winner Lea Ann Haythorne, would see over festival activities and represent the city throughout the valley.

Clean-cut local young men had the honor of driving these three beauties perched on the back of convertibles through the middle of town in the Labor Day Parade. Each winner received many gifts such as luggage, watches and cameras that were donated by the merchants from Paden City, Sistersville and New Martinsville. In later years pageant winners received trips to Paris, Hawaii and the New York City World’s Fair to name just a few of the exciting prizes for the new queen. The contest was sponsored by the F.O.E. Auxiliary #2281 in Paden City, and the winner was chosen by “a penny a vote”.

Each contestant worked hard to collect the most votes by conducting baked sales, canvassing their town for donations, contacting relatives, friends and neighbors with letters asking for support. It was an exciting time.

Pictures of this historic event and the winners in following years can be viewed at the Paden City Museum located at 105 W. Main Street in Paden City. The museum is a project of the Paden City Foundation. Come visit us and travel back in time to the good old days at the Paden City Museum on Thursdays from 1 – 3 p.m.; Fridays from 1 – 3 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 – 11 a.m. See you there.