Tim Nealeigh with his wife Katheleen on an ice cream break.

Local weaver spins wool at The Great Darke County Fair for nearly 50 years

GREENVILLE— If you ventured down to the north end of The Great Darke County Fair this week, you may have seen Greenville native Tim Nealeigh.

Nealeigh, GHS class of 1961, has demonstrated various types of thread-making in front of the Domestic Arts building since around 1974.

“I come out in the afternoons and I do wool spinning,” Nealeigh said. “I bought the fleece down at the Sheep Barn a couple of years ago. I’m usually out here between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. spinning, and explaining how the spinning wheel works, what’s involved, and making yarn, and just demonstrating it.”

He does something of the nature every year. Last year, he spun flax and made it into linen thread. He’s also done several different types of lace making in the past.

“I was raised here, then taught in Northern Illinois after university, then we moved back here in 1973,” he said. “If you’re raised here, you have to go to the fair. She’s from the city [His wife Katheleen] and had no idea what this was. The first time we came down from Illinois, I had to explain to her what hogs were.”

For almost 50 years, Nealeigh has attended the fair and performed thread-making demonstrations of some kind.

“[It’s been] almost since we moved back,” he said. ” In 1974, we were in the basement of the coliseum. We were in the center section between the staircase that comes down on the side. We had rented that spot. We were there every day, all day.”

In addition to performing demonstrations, Nealeigh also enters projects into the fair.

“They usually ask me [to demonstrate],” he said. “Because I enter things into Domestic Arts. I’m around, I’m retired, I like being at the fair, so, why not?”

Abigail Miller / Editor

Abigail Miller is a Greenville native, Kent State graduate, writer, shopaholic and friend. Contact Darke County Now Reporter Abigail Miller at amiller@darkecountynow.com.

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