ITEM OF THE WEEK – May 31, 2013


Trout Drawing
In collaboration with GVT’s production of the Greenbrier Ghost, this week we are highlighting this drawing by Trout Shue – the man who killed Zona Heaster, also known “The Greenbrier Ghost.” The drawing was done while Trout was in prison and some of the images are quite disturbing.



Lumber and the railroad fueled the development and growth of the Town of Ronceverte and the determination of its current citizens is fueling its rebirth.  Visitors are offered the opportunity to visit several historical sites during the Greenbrier Historical Society’s Lemonade and Lavender Tour to be held on Sunday, June 9, 2013 from 1 to 4:00 p.m.  Tickets for this tour as well as the traditional homes tour on Saturday, June 8 and the Gala at the Jarrett House on Friday, June 7 are available at the Greenbrier Historical Society’s North House, located at 301 West Washington Street in Lewisburg, the Greenbrier Convention and Visitors Bureau, located at 200 West Washington Street in Lewisburg.  Tickets for the Ronceverte tour will also be available at Edgarton Inn on the day of that tour.

IMG_5388  Thomas Edgar, the founder of Ronceverte, started building what has become known as “Edgarton” in 1810.  Col. Cecil Clay, who was instrumental in the incorporation of the Town of Ronceverte, lived there and Col. Best, superintendent of the St. Lawrence Boom and Lumber Company, added the Victorian embellishments circa 1885.  An excellent example of the Queen Anne style, it is now a Bed and Breakfast owned by Cathy King.  She will host visitors for lemonade and cookies as well as a tour of this interesting house.

The citizens of Ronceverte first gathered in outdoor public spaces such as the lumberyard for Sunday worship services.  On July 3, 1881, the Ronceverte Presbyterian Church formally organized under the leadership of Dr. M.L. Lacy (pastor of the Old Stone Presbyterian Church) on Monroe Avenue in Ronceverte.  Presbyterians, Episcopalians, and Baptists worshipped together in the church until 1882, when the Presbyterians purchased the interests of the other denominations.

In 1923, the congregation moved to its new building (and current location) on the corner of Locust Street and Greenbrier Avenue.   Major additions to the property include a pipe organ purchased by the congregation in 1950 from The Greenbrier Resort, a manse next door completed to house the minister’s family in 1958, and a Tiffany stained glass window behind the pulpit installed shortly after construction (additional stained glass windows were moved to this location from the original church building).


The Methodist heritage of the Trinity United Methodist Church goes back to at least 1784 when Methodism was first organized in the Greenbrier Valley at Rehoboth, near Union in Monroe County.  The Greenbrier Circuit of the Methodist Episcopal Church was established in 1787.  Split by the issue of slave-holding, the Methodist Episcopal Church was divided between north and south.    In 1939, Methodist union was accomplished when the Methodist Episcopal Church, the Methodist Protestant Church, and the Methodist Episcopal Church South united to form the Methodist Church.  In 1941, the West Main Street Methodist Church also merged with Trinity.

The building which Trinity now occupies was built by the Methodist Episcopal Church, South,  beginning in 1921 and was first occupied on September 17, 1922.  The new pastor, Rev. George Hazel reported on the new church saying, “It’s a compliment (sic) to our people and an ornament to the town.”

The Episcopal Church of the Incarnation was built in the tradition of mid-Nineteenth Century Episcopal Churches popularized by American architect Richard Upjohn.  This church features board and batten siding, Gothic-inspired bargeboard trim, and lancet arched windows.  The church dates from 1882, making it one of the earliest church buildings in Ronceverte.  In 1937, it was moved from Edgar Avenue to its present location.


The Town of Ronceverte is undergoing a re-birth.  Nowhere is this more evident than the restored businesses located on a small section of street known as Frankford Road.  Greenbrier Cut Flowers and Gifts occupies one of the three buildings.  It was originally a pharmacy and its  restoration included saving the original tile floor and stained glass windows.  Hersman’s Safety Products occupies the next storefront, which once housed the First National Bank, and an ice cream shop is planned for the third.  Walking around the streets of Ronceverte is a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.



Maple Hill, the home of James Jeter, certainly lives up to its name as one climbs a winding, one-lane, country road through some of the most beautiful farm land in the State of West Virginia to arrive on a hill top with magnificent views.  Maple Hill is one of the featured homes on the on the Greenbrier Historical Society’s Lemonade and Lavender Homes Tour to be held on Saturday, June 8, 2013 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Tickets for the home tour are available at the Greenbrier Historical Society’s North House, located at 301 West Washington Street in Lewisburg, the Greenbrier Convention and Visitors Bureau, located at 200 West Washington Street in Lewisburg or at each house on the day of the tour.

Mr. Jeter, a native of Charleston, WV has been involved in historic preservation and antique collection from his youth.  He restored the Putney house in Malden where his law offices were situated for many years.  It was decorated and furnished with fine antiques.

DSC02237Jeter restored and sold Grey Rock Farm, a historic home in Lewisburg. He then purchased his present charming 20th century house and 350 acre working farm with fabulous county views.  He has filled his home with a life-time collection of fine paintings and prints, children’s furniture, books and toys, unusual local furniture and rare items with unique provenances.

DSC02234He has added his own wainscoting and chair rail to make the house more architecturally appealing and cut as well as applied and painted his own unique stencils.  The tiny 1850 log house near the back of the property was moved from Fairlea and serves as space for reflection and refreshment.


Whether it is from the views from the back deck with a tree growing up through the center or the fabulous collections within, visitors will be breathless when they leave Maple Hill.

Back down in the valley along Second Creek is Reed’s Mill.  It was built in 1791 by Archibald McDowell.  He also built a saw mill and a blacksmith shop to provide services to his large holdings.  The mill remained in the McDowell family for over 100 years until it was bought by the Reed family.  It has been in continuous operation all this time grinding corn, wheat, rye, and buckwheat for frontier settlers and today’s gourmet cooks. The mill slowly grinds whole grain kernels on stone burrs turned by water power.

Today, Reed’s Mill, owned by Larry Mustain, offers native whole grains grown on local land and processed by hand with absolutely no additives or preservatives used.

In the back of Reed’s Mill is The Everette Hogsett Broom Factory, one of two in existence in West Virginia, with equipment manufactured in Schenectady, NY before the civil war.  Consisting of six machines, they clean the seeds off the broom corn, cut it into a uniform size, wrap it to the handles, soak the hurl, and clamp and stitch the broom.  Mr. Jack Fissori is the current broom maker producing whisk brooms, children’s brooms, hearth brooms, utility brooms and full sized brooms.

Visitors will want to pick up some buckwheat flour and a hearth broom as souvenirs of these wonderful visits.

Archaeology at the North House

Wagon House

On Thursday, May 30th, the Greenbrier Historical Society will host an archaeological team from the West Virginia Division of Highways. The team, comprised of Archaeologist Jen Williamson, Archaeologist Amanda Payne, Archaeologist Karen Reed, and Environmental Resource Specialist Karen Ebert Allen, will conduct testing as part of a Transportation Alternatives Grant to repair the Greenbrier Historical Society’s Wagon House in Lewisburg.  As part of the Wagon House project, the Greenbrier Historical Society is planning on installing a handicap accessible walkway from the North House to the Wagon House. The archaeological team will conduct a phase I archaeological survey on the areas where the proposed sidewalk will be constructed – including both shovel testing and metal detector work. This testing will ensure that the construction will not disturb any artifacts that may linger beneath the surface. The public is invited to stop by the North House, located at 301 West Washington Street in Lewisburg, throughout the day to watch the archaeological team. For more information, contact GHS at 304.645.3398 or

Item of the Week – May 24, 2013


IMG_2807 IMG_2806

May 24, 2013 – This week’s item is a ledger book from the Blue Sulphur Springs Resort. The ledger is from the 1830s and includes names of prominent individuals, such as John A. North.

Update: The ledger might also be from a store near Blue Sulphur Spring rather than the resort itself. The time period fit for it to be the resort, but the transactions make more sense if it were a general store or outpost. We LOVE that our “Item of the Week” sparks discussion and allows us to learn more about the items we have!

Recreating an Early Settlement

Storm and Montgomery Cabin 031

The Montgomery Cabin, a featured house on the Lemonade and Lavender Homes Tour sponsored by the Greenbrier Historical Society on June 8, 2013 from 10 to 5:00 p.m., is owned by Herbert and Katy Montgomery and is being developed as a late 1700s to early 1800s homestead by several generations of the Montgomery family.   Currently three buildings are on the property: the main house comprised of a reconstructed cabin using logs of two 1700s structures on the property, a barn, and woodshed.

The cabin was moved 1500 feet by Herbert Montgomery.  He and his sons used a log outbuilding to expand the original structure.  The imposing fire place, which dominates the living area, was constructed of stones not original to this cabin but from another structure on the farm.  A sleeping loft, part of the original structure, is in the main cabin.  An addition, which includes a kitchen/dining area, three bedrooms, and two baths, was added to the cabin.
Storm and Montgomery Cabin 038A striking feature is the large board and batten door which serves as the entry to the cabin.  A wrap-around porch is just the place to relax and the peeled log posts add a touch of whimsy.  Future plans include adding structures such as a smoke house, summer kitchen, and blacksmith’s shop.

Storm and Montgomery Cabin 040Dr. John Montgomery and his son, Herbert, purchased adjoining land in the 1970s which included 220 acres of a 400 acre grant given to John Hogshead/Hogsett.  At one time four log structures existed on the property.  Genealogical records of the Hogshead/Hogsett family show this family owned 9,000 acres at one time on Second Creek.

Storm and Montgomery Cabin 044In addition to touring the cabin, visitors will find members of the Fiber Network busily spinning on the porch and food being cooked on an outdoor fireplace.

Tickets for the home tour are available at the Greenbrier Historical Society’s North House, located at 301 West Washington Street in Lewisburg, the Greenbrier Convention and Visitors Bureau, located at 200 West Washington Street in Lewisburg or at each house on the day of the tour. All of the homes on the tour are located in the country and most are on narrow, winding one lane roads.  Please take appropriate care.

Storm and Montgomery Cabin 032

GHS Thanks April Members

The Greenbrier Historical Society would like to thank those who renewed their memberships or became first time members in April 2013.

  • Janie Ashley
  • Ruth Jackson Bailey
  • William Davis
  • Anice Nolen
  • Allan & Carol Olson
  • Mrs. Theodore Woodward
  • Jo Ann Yates
  • William O.E. Humphreys
  • Lynda Ann Azalde
  • Bill Harrah
  • Alison J. Simpson
  • Alfred & Ann Walker
  • Peggy Humphreys
  • S.J. Neathawk Lumber Inc.
  • Frances O’Brien
  • John & Floy Boyle
  • Virginia B. Blake
  • Dorsey Wilson
  • Michael & Genette Hill
  • Mary Fullen
  • Julia McDade
  • Alice Hanson
  • Larry & Frances Mustain

For more information on membership, contact the Greenbrier Historical Society at 304.645.3398 or The Greenbrier Historical Society and North House Museum, located at 301 West Washington Street in Lewisburg, WV, are open free to the public Monday – Saturday from 10am to 4pm.