POINT PLEASANT — Though a part of the late Carolin Harris will probably always live on, down on Main Street, that part has moved on, or rather up one block to the World’s Only Mothman Museum.
Harris Steak House’s famous soda fountain, along with the stools, chairs, menus and iconic sign which hung outside the diner, have been donated by Carolin’s family to the Mothman Museum. Museum founder Jeff Wamsley even got the screen door and an antique newspaper rack which held copies of the Point Pleasant Register.
All of these items have been put on display in the museum in the media room, which visitors frequent to watch documentaries about Point Pleasant and the Mothman.
As to why he felt the items belong in the museum, Wamsley pointed out the important role Carolin played in helping establish (and grow) the Mothman Festival, as well as her unwavering support of downtown Point Pleasant. He talked about how she had become a fixture for all those people who visited Point Pleasant to investigate the mysterious creature. As he pointed out, many of those people, who return each year for the festival, will discover only then, that Carolin has passed away. Now, part of her memory will live on at the museum.
Wamsley’s daughter Ashley Watts, helped create a large poster of Carolin, displaying information about who she was and what she meant to the Mothman Festival and downtown. The poster talks about where the restaurant was located, how it was opened in 1969, how it reflected a bygone era in Point Pleasant. Of course, it also talks about Carolin’s trademark hospitality.
“Carolin has played a very important role in the life of Main Street and in many ways was the heartbeat of its existence for almost 50 years,” Watts said. “We simply wanted to keep her memory alive and pay tribute to all she’s done for Point Pleasant.”
Wamsley admitted it’s strange to see the empty storefront Harris’ had occupied for so long, where he’d often see Carolin sitting at the counter as he drove by on his way home. He said after her passing, he knew people who frequented her diner would stop in just to sit down and be in that place, though she was long gone. Now, a part of that place lives on and so does Carolin.
This year’s Mothman Festival will be dedicated to Carolin’s memory.
Beth Sergent is editor of Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at [email protected]