MAGNIFICENT VIEWS AND STONE GROUND GRAIN ON 2013 HOMES TOUR

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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.

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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.

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