Tryon’s Toy Story event is well underway

Published 11:37 pm Thursday, July 2, 2015

September 26 is rapidly approaching. That date will mark the 100th anniversary of the Tryon Toymakers and Woodcarvers establishment in the Town of Tryon by two women, Charlotte Yale and Eleanor Vance.

Repairs to the Turner Shoals Dam at Lake Adger are part of current negotiations between Polk County and ICWD regarding sharing water resources. County commissioners held a public input workshop on Monday, June 29 and heard objections to the current 75-year water agreement from 29 residents. (Photo by Leah Justice)


The weekend events will feature walking tours, special exhibits in many of the galleries, a festival at Tryon Arts and Crafts School, a scavenger hunt, an evening gallery stroll with live music and a display of large toy replicas throughout the town. Several new books about the memorable time will be released to the public for the first time and there will be book signings of those publications.


Large colorful toy images are being prepared by the Tryon Toy Story Committee and have been adopted by several businesses and organizations to commemorate the event.  The acrobat was recently completed and is seen in the photograph with Tena Greene, the president of the Tryon Little Theater Board that has adopted it for display during the month of September.


The elephant seen here has been selected for display by Tryon Downtown Development Association and will be seen near their new location on Trade Street, near Burrell’s Fuels. Both of these images are based on puzzle images from the later period of the Toymakers when it was passed on to Moss Guilbert and then to Church Hearon.


On Sunday, September 27, at 3 p.m., a performance of a one-act play entitled, “The Village of Toys” written by John Calure, will take place at the Tryon Fine Arts Center followed by a video about early Tryon, an introduction of Tryon historians and toy collectors, and concluding with a festive reception including a show and sale of reproductions, and a live auction of the toy replicas.


Four locations where the two women who started the industry worked will be open for viewing during the weekend. One of these spots is the Toy Cottage on East Howard Ave. opposite Stott’s Ford that has been closed for several years but will once again be available for viewing of the handiwork, carvings and tile work created by Vance and Yale.


The efforts of the Toy Story Committee are all directed to bring attention to the grand opening of the Tryon Historical Museum taking place on the same date. The location of the museum is 26 Maple Street and it will soon have smart black and red awnings and signage, a new look to mark it as our newest museum. The museum is looking for interested persons to be “Friends of the Museum” and to help to contribute to the funding.  Please contact Happy McLeod at 828-283-1177 or

if you are interested.


Christine Mariotti, Tryon Toy Story Chairperson, is now requesting that interested people who wish to volunteer at the event contact her at 828-859-8392 or There are many spots for volunteers to help in downtown Tryon and at Tryon Arts and Crafts School on Saturday and Sunday of the event.
– Submitted by Christine Mariotti