History of Chocolate Exhibit at the North House

Ever wondered who the first people to eat chocolate were or where the idea for the first chocolate Easter bunny came from? Do you know how many Hershey’s kisses are produced each day or how much chocolate the average American eats per year? Well you are in luck! The Greenbrier Historical Society will host its “History of Chocolate” exhibit on Saturday April 13th from 10am to 4pm as part of the 7th Annual Chocolate Festival in Lewisburg, West Virginia.  Stop by the North House throughout the day to learn a little about the history of chocolate and how it is made from Cacao trees. The North House is also an official tasting location with Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Banana Bread by the West Virginia Department of Agriculture and Hidden Springs Farm.

The earliest known consumers of chocolate were the ancient Maya of Central America who drank chocolate as a spicy beverage rather than eating it as a sweet candy. By 1200AD, the ancient Aztecs were also consuming chocolate, as well as using it for trade and as tributes to their gods. In 1521, Spanish explorer Hernando Cortes conquered the ancient Aztecs and brought chocolate back to Europe.

Aztec sculpture holding a Cacao Pod circa 1200-1500AD

Aztec sculpture holding a Cacao Pod circa 1200-1500AD

By the 17th century, chocolate was a popular drink throughout Europe with Chocolate Houses (similar to the coffee shops of today) becoming fashionable places to socialize. Innovations in technology soon allowed for chocolate to be more efficiently produced, and by the early 19th century chocolate could be found solid as well as liquid form. In 1847, the Fry Chocolate company in Bristol, England took credit for the first chocolate bar created for widespread consumption. In 1867, Henry Nestle, a maker of condensed milk, and his friend Daniel Peter created the first Milk Chocolate while experimenting with ways to make chocolate less bitter.

Although popular in Europe, chocolate did not come to the United States until 1765, when Irish chocolate-maker John Hanan imported Cacao beans from the West Indies. With the help of Dr. James Baker, he set up the first chocolate mill in Dorchester, Massachusetts and produced the famous Baker’s Chocolate.

Advertisement for Baker's Chocolate

Advertisement for Baker’s Chocolate

Visit the Greenbrier Historical Society’s display on Saturday April 13th from 10am to 4pm for more fun facts about the history of chocolate!

The Greenbrier Historical Society, located at 301 West Washington Street in Lewisburg, West Virginia, is open Monday – Saturday from 10am to 4pm or by appointment. For more information, contact 304-645-3398 or info@greenbrierhistorical.org. Or like us on Facebook.

New & Renewed 2013 Memberships – January, February, and March

The Greenbrier Historical Society would like to recognize those who renewed their 2013 Membership or became first-time members in January, February, and March 2013. Thank you for continuing to support the Greenbrier Historical Society – North House Museum and Archives!

  • G.R. Abbott
  • Julian Arbaugh
  • Houston & Beverly Arbuckle
  • John & Eleanor Arey
  • Erna Akers
  • Thomas & Janet Anderson
  • Aviagen Turkeys Inc
  • Dr. J. Jay & Debra A. Baker
  • Margaret Baker
  • Timothy Barber
  • Inez Berg
  • Jeanette Bodurtha
  • Dale Boggs
  • James S. Bonny
  • Rita Bostic
  • Franklin T. Brackman
  • Delores Brandon
  • Sandra Brown
  • Donna T. Browning
  • Amoret Bell Bunn
  • Mary R. Burdette
  • Joe & Cathey Buttram
  • Dr. R. L. Caldwell
  • Joyce A. Carney
  • Charlotte & Karen Carr
  • Robert & Georgia Clemens
  • Mr & Mrs George Collins
  • Catherine Coppersmith
  • Jim Costa
  • Stephen Crislip
  • William Davis
  • Theresa Estes
  • Karen Fankhauser
  • Allen T. Feamster III
  • Jewell Harvey Field
  • Jack C. Finks
  • First National Bank
  • James E. Fleshman
  • Vicki Ford
  • Genevieve Friedman
  • Steven Gardner
  • Thomas George
  • Max & Vivian Gibson
  • Jay Goldman
  • Helen Graves
  • Tom & Nancy Greenstreet
  • Carol Grissett
  • Kenneth R. Handley
  • E. Sterling Hanger, Jr.
  • Judith Hanson
  • Jane Harmer
  • Peggy Harper
  • Harold E. Hinds, Jr.
  • Walter E. Holcomb, Sr.
  • Lanny Howe, Jr.
  • James Humphrey
  • Ronald Hunter
  • George & Patricia Hutchinson
  • H. Frederick Hutchinson, Jr.
  • Billie Jean Hutsenpiller
  • Thomas & Elizabeth Isaac
  • John & Susan Jarrett
  • William Johnson
  • Bobbie Jones
  • Sara Jones
  • Virginia Kavage
  • Dale L Keairns
  • John W. Kesler
  • John Kight
  • Glenda C. Killen
  • Ron & Janie Kirk
  • H. Moffett & Louise Knight
  • Clair & Ann Law
  • Linda Layman
  • Charles C Lewis
  • Emory F. Lewis
  • Jane B. Lewis
  • W.J. Livesay
  • Charlotte A. Lucas
  • David & Mary Lou Lumsden
  • Sara Marcum
  • Nanci Markusson
  • Marie Martin
  • William & Gloria Martin
  • T.A. Mashburn
  • C.P. McAllister
  • Kim & Stephen McBride
  • Douglas McCartney & Family
  • Rick & Ann McClung
  • Curtis C. Meador
  • Lexanne & Chris Meldrum
  • William Mellin
  • Sandra Menders
  • Constance A. Metheny
  • Caroline Miller
  • Linda L. Miller
  • Joan Montgomery
  • Carol Moody
  • Mary Sue Napier
  • Sidney Nelson
  • James W. Nemitz
  • Marie Nickell
  • Anice Nolan
  • Toni & Howard Ogden
  • Allan & Carol Olson
  • Herbert & JoAnn Pearis
  • Tay Petrie
  • Judith Polan
  • Lin & Mason Preston
  • Melba B. Purkey
  • Wanda Rodgers
  • Ruth Rossow
  • Karen Royall
  • Alan Rudley
  • Carolyn Rudley
  • William Satterfield, Jr.
  • Mitch & Liz Scott
  • Gladys See
  • Jane Semrau
  • Keith Shaver
  • Dr. James C. Shires
  • Truman Shrewsbury
  • Richard & Nada Smith
  • Roger & Courtney Smith
  • Ronald & Suzanne Snyder
  • Mary Eleanor Spencer
  • Rod & Donna Stoner
  • Vera Tinney
  • Alice Carol Tuckwiller
  • Frank & Barbara Tuckwiller
  • Jean Tuckwiller
  • Lynn McClung Tuckwiller
  • Sam & Mary Lou Tuckwiller
  • Gary Watts
  • Marilyn P. Weigand
  • Bill Weikle
  • Angela Whited
  • Gaye M. Whitehead
  • Dr. & Mrs. S.R. Wiersteiner
  • Twila K. Wilfong
  • James & Edith Arbaugh
  • Clifford & Patricia Baker
  • Thomas & JoLynn Ball
  • Cheryl Bircher
  • W. Marlene Borgstrom
  •  Judy Coffman Bray
  • Richard Brockway
  • Lynne Brown
  •  William & Soile Burns
  • Carol Campbell
  • James Lee Campbell
  •  Sterling Coffman
  • Ronald Cooper
  • Robert C. Crane
  • Michael & Linda Cruse
  •  Patricia Daugherty
  • Debra Davis
  •  Larry Davis
  • Miriam Deolloqui
  • Ethel Detch, John Eary
  • Donna Fabian,
  • Dorothy Feamster
  •  Vicki Ford
  • Julian G. Frasier, III
  • Seldon  & Anne Fuller
  • Helen Garner
  • Julia & Allen Gaston
  • Douglas Wayne Harvey
  • Larry Heffner
  •  Lynn Hill
  • Maynard Hinkle
  • Sharon Hobart
  • Betty Jo Howard
  •  Lanny Howe, Jr.
  • Marilyn Kay Hunter
  • Nancy G. Jackson
  • Glenville & Carol Jewell
  •  Dean & Vicki Johnson
  • Mr. & Mrs. John Kay, Jr.
  • John W. Kesler
  •  Chester Delynn Lewis
  •  Fred Long
  • Judith Loughhead
  • Barbara McHale & David Lowrie
  • Mary Martin
  • C.P. McAllister
  • Bruce & Terry McClung
  • Margaret McCormack
  • Herbert & Crystal Montgomery
  • Herbert & Katy Montgomery
  •  James Gray Montgomery
  • John Solomon Montgomery
  • John  & LeAnn Montgomery
  • Betty Moutray
  • Thomas & Marie Murtaugh
  • Carol Nall
  • Kenneth Napier
  • Evamaria Neumaier
  • Todd Ninnemann
  • Howard & Toni Ogden
  • O’Sheas – All About Beauty
  • William Phillips
  • Dreama Rhodes
  • Salli Rice
  • Sue & Ed Rock
  • Cheryl Rodgers
  •  LeeAnn Rodgers
  •  Elaine Roeseler
  •  Norman Rowe
  • Patricia Sergent
  • Jon & Joanna Skaggs
  • John C. Taylor
  • Jackson K. Tuckwiller
  • W VA University Library
  • Sue Walkup
  • Homer & Amaryllis Walkup, Jr.
  • Elizabeth Wall-Cadle
  • Gary & Carol Waple
  • Leslie Weddle
  • William Weikle
  • Dr & Mrs S.R. Wiersteiner
  • Donald & Sallie Williams
  • Douglas Williams
  • Larry F. Willis
  • Charles D A Wilson
  • Wisconsin Historical Society
  • Frances Zicafoose
  • Fred & Barbara Ziegler

As the society’s first president said: “Membership is not limited to those who live in Greenbrier County and the Greenbrier Valley. We want members regardless of residence, if they have interest [in history]. History has never been contained by county or state lines, or by any other boundary lines.”

Interested in joining? Members receive a free copy of the society’s annual publication, The Journal of the Greenbrier Historical Society. Keep up with upcoming events and recent news through the society’s quarterly newsletter Appalachian Springs.  Member benefits also include one free query in Appalachian Springs and a 10% discount in the Star Tavern Gift Shop.

2013 GHS Membership Form

2013 GHS Membership Form

The Seal of the Greenbrier Historical Society

In honor of the Greenbrier Historical Society’s 50th Anniversary, we thought we would share the following article describing the significance of the GHS seal with you. It originally appeared in the first issue of the society’s Journal in 1963. Hope you find it as interesting as we did! – Beth McMullen, Executive Director

The Greenbrier Historical Society Seal

The Greenbrier Historical Society Seal

From ancient times man has been aware of the advantages which accrue from the use of symbols representing his concepts and aspirations. They provide him a ready means for establishing and maintaining communication; and they may serve as standards around which like-minded individuals can rally to accomplish a common purpose. For these and other good and sufficient reasons it seems fitting that this Society devise and adopt for the use of its officers and members a symbol in the form of a seal, and such a symbol is represented herewith.

This seal may be described as follows: The two concentric outer circles represent the limits of the universe within which human thought and action are confined. Between these circles and the inner circle, which represents the confines of the areas of interest of the Society, is the name of the organization, its date of birth, and the artist’s concept of the plant from which the area derives its name.

Three straight lines drawn to subtend equal segments of the inner circle form a triangle, which represents the span of life, bounded by youth, maturity and senescence. Prominently displayed across the base of the triangle is the word “VERITAS”, to emphasize the ultimate objective of the Society. Immediately above this slogan, in a central position, is pictured a lighted silver lamp; designed by a Mexican artist of Mayan ancestry, it symbolizes man’s capacity for combining art and utility in his quest for the truth and its promise of freedom. Above the lamp, in the apex of the triangle, is pictured an open eye surrounded by a halo. This is symbolic of the alertness, perception, knowledge and wisdom required for the discernment of the elements of truth.

Surrounding the triangle, in each of the three arcs is a word representing one of the major activities by which the Society seeks to attain its goals — Research, the effort to locate, verify and codify the evidences of man’s presence and his reaction to his environment; Education, to transmit to others current knowledge and understanding of this and other cultures; and Preservation, to maintain for future generations the heritage of the present and the past.

In each of the arcs is also a small symbol, one of which represents the human male, another the female, and the third is the generally accepted symbol for Eternity. These ancient characters invite our respect for the accomplishments of our ancestors; and serve as a reminder that life is short but art is long; and we are its masters.