Stover's sons, Jeff, 46, and Phillip, 44, often drop in to chat with visitors or lend a hand.
Like Thornton's handcrafts, recipe booklets from the West Virginia Department of Agriculture disappear quickly. Stover already has had to order more.
A book by Pamela Pierce-Sim, "We Love To Tell the Stories: The Pictorial History of Putnam County," has sold well, she said. And there are the usual maps, postcards, brochures, and other local memorabilia for visitors, along with displays of old photos, a treadle sewing machine, quilts and other displays to peruse.
Despite its location on two-lane W.Va. 62 a number of miles from U.S. 35 and even farther from an interstate, the welcome center gets plenty of traffic. Its registration book shows signatures of visitors from nearby communities and from Ohio, Virginia, Illinois and New York who have stopped this summer.
The New York visitors, residents of Buffalo, already had visited a Kentucky municipality of the same name and wanted to take home a historic souvenir of the Putnam town. They were looking for more than Stover could offer.
To accommodate them, she made arrangements for a member of the Buffalo Historical Society, which maintains the historic the 162-year-old Buffalo Academy adjacent to the welcome center, to open the former school and its gift shop.
They chose $34 worth of mementos, Stover said with apparent pride.
Visitors drop in at all hours, she said. "I was surprised. There's somebody here every day. On the Fourth of July this place was full. You could hardly walk in here."
Comments by signatures in the guest book testify to visitor impressions. "I've never been here before," wrote a local resident. Others were complimentary. "Lovely," "A great place" and "Very clean and inviting."
"Phil keeps it clean," said Stover, whose family also includes son Larry, daughter Patty, six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Stover's position is funded for 20 hours a week by the federal Senior Community Service Employment Program, commonly referred to as Title V.
To check if the center is open, call 304-937-3088.
Contact writer Evadna Bartlett at eva...@dailymail.com.