Community, Latest News

The Ferry House to act as a ‘creative conduit’ for the community

Prior to the construction of the first Star City Bridge in 1951, residents crossed the Monongahela River by ferry. Following the bridge’s construction and the declining need for the ferry, the site of the ferry’s landing was used in various ways, including a tavern and training facility.

Beginning this year, the Maidsville property now serves the community in a brand-new way — as a community workshop space and art gallery named for its rich history, The Ferry House.

Eddie “Spaghetti” Maier and Talia Wight have been active in the community for over 20 years, creating and inspiring an appreciation for art. Maier studied art education and printmaking at WVU and is well-known for his woodcut, printmaking and mural works. He has shared these skills with others through classes at the Monongalia Arts Center, The Co-op, the Morgantown Art Association, Zenclay Pottery Studio and more. At the end of last year, Wight stumbled upon an online listing for the historic ferry landing location and inspiration struck.

The vision for The Ferry House is one of community engagement, connection with art and nature and discovering new forms for self-expression. Visitors are first met with the sign declaring “The Ferry House,” then an interior boasting a comfortable workspace and gallery room fit for classes of nearly two-dozen attendees. The back deck overlooks the Mon River and treats visitors to a cool breeze, birdsong and the bustling ambiance of the surrounding community. Below the deck, the riverbank offers a potential location for future canoe launching or watching musical performances. This is just one example of ideas sprouting all around The Ferry House. The location’s potential is nearly overwhelming, said Maier and Wight, but with the support of one another, their family and the community, plans are coming to fruition.

“We’ve been fully supported by the community,” said Wight. “It’s scary, taking a risk, but people have shown up.”

The building’s previous owner, Tom Stockdale, taught mining and electrical safety classes, and was glad to pass it along for further enrichment of the community.

“Once we walked in, it was so perfect, and [Stockdale] liked the idea of it moving to another generation to teach art classes and help the community,” said Maier.

The natural world is a prime source of inspiration for Maier and Wight, and the building’s location offers a snapshot of the wild and wonderful beauty seen only in West Virginia. The pair are looking forward to being stewards of the historic land and the wildlife that can be seen along the Mon River. 

The Ferry House has seen rehearsals for the Scott’s Run Choir and Aristotle Jones, a product photography workshop, plexiglass engraving, 2024 vision board creation, a batik workshop and more. Maier hosts some classes, and others invite guest artists to pass along their unique skills and knowledge. Classes have held turnouts of attendees of various ages and skill levels, which is exactly who The Ferry House is intended to serve: everyone from lifelong professional artists to folks looking to casually learn something new.

“I hope that they’re inspired to make art on their own, and appreciate nature,” said Maier. “I make it very simple; I simplify everything to be like, ‘Look, this is easy, you can do this.’ So, it’s just to re-stimulate their creative minds.”

Whether you’re looking to expand your artistic skills, discover a new hobby, experience something new with friends or engage in your community, Maier recommends a class at The Ferry House to step out of your shell and nurture your inner artist.

“Don’t be intimidated by it. If you think you’re not an artist, it’s not about that,” said Maier. “It’s about allowing yourself to give it a try. I really believe everybody is an artist, especially when they’re young. Then somehow we lose touch with it because we become self-conscious. Art is for everybody.”

The Ferry House will have an open house in April — ideas for the event include quick crafts, take-home art activities, food and live music. Further details will be announced on the center’s Facebook page.

Upcoming events include a magical garden painting class on March 27. To register for classes, visit For more information, visit the center’s Facebook page, The Ferry House. The center is at 88 Lazzelle Union Road, Maidsville.

TWEET @DominionPostWV