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.

Recreating an Early Settlement

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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.

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Lemonade and Lavender Homes Tour: Spring Valley Farm

DSC02242Lemonade and lavender, the hallmarks of the Greenbrier Historical Society’s biennial homes tour, seem especially well suited to Spring Valley Farm.  During the tour on Saturday, June 8, from 10:00 a. m. to 5:00 p.m., visitors can imagine long summer afternoons drinking lemonade in the rocking chairs on the porch and almost smell the lavender in the air.  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 tour.

SpringValley 00365 (2)The Spring Valley Farm, placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974, is an elegant example of the evolution of a farmhouse. The first Richard Dickson settled just down the creek in 1774 on 190 acres of land.  His son, the “second Richard” bought additional land from John Knox who had decided he didn’t like the area and left his log cabin, constructed in the 1780’s, and moved on.  “Second Richard” built the main part of the house, finishing it in 1837.  He moved the Knox log cabin to the new house site using two teams of oxen and it became the dining room.  A kitchen was added, however, both the kitchen and dining room could only be entered from outside the main house.  A “new” wing was added in 1890 and bathrooms in SpringValley 003091916.   The house contained a unique “stove” room, now a laundry and office, where the stoves from the rest of the house were moved and stored during the summer.

Spring Valley Farm served as a stage coach stop on the route from White Sulphur Springs to Salt Sulphur Springs both of which were extremely popular with residents of the coastal areas of South Carolina before the Civil War.  “Second Richard” provided fresh teams of horses to the stage coach lines and charged visitors 50 cents in gold for breakfast.

SpringValley 00838 (2) SpringValley 00369The surrounding house dependencies and farm buildings are considered to be one of the most significant collections of late eighteenth to early twentieth century buildings in the greater Greenbrier Valley. Here are represented some of the valley’s best preserved examples of pioneer building, ranging from hand-hewn logs to the sophisticated braced frame constructed barns of the early twentieth century.

Page Dickson, owner, said, “It has been a privilege to live in this house.  I am looking forward to sharing it and its history during the tour..

 

Other events during this exciting weekend include a gala at the historic Jarrett House on Friday, June 7 from 5-7 p.m. and a tour of areas of Ronceverte on Sunday, June 8, from 1-4.  Call the Greenbrier Historical Society at 304-645-3398 for more information.

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Homes Tour Takes to the Country

The Greenbrier Historical Society’s biennial Lemonade and Lavender Homes Tour has been expanded this year and is featuring homes in the countryside of the Greenbrier Valley as well as the Town of Ronceverte.

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Being held on June 7, 8, and 9, 2013, the event will open with a gala held at the historic James Jarrett House at Fairhill.  From 5-7 p.m. guests will be able to tour the house by candlelight, observe a display and demonstration of historic carriages by Raymond and Lynn Tuckwiller, and enjoy refreshments, including wine provided by Watt’s Roost Vineyards, down by the pond and waterfall.  Advance tickets will be needed for the gala and are available at the Greenbrier Historical Society’s North House, located at 301 West Washington Street in Lewisburg, or the Greenbrier Convention and Visitors Bureau, located at 200 West Washington Street in Lewisburg.

FAIRHILL

                       FAIRHILL

On Saturday, June 8, the more traditional homes tour will include Spring Valley Farm—Page Dickson; The Montgomery Cabin—Herbert and Katy Montgomery; Maple Hill—James Jeter; The Cedars—Pamela Bergren and Border Crow; and the James Jarrett House at Fairhill—Margaret and David Hambrick.  The Second Creek Mill and broom factory will also be open for exploration and the purchase of local products.  Most of these properties are on working farms and located on one lane country roads so care should be taken while driving and visiting.  Tickets will be available at each location as well as the North House.

Spring Valley Farm

                Spring Valley Farm

Maple Hill

                             Maple Hill

A CD providing history of the area will be available as an addition to the tour on Saturday.  Compiled from information in the Greenbrier Historical Society Archives by Kyle Mills, Americorps worker, and narrated by volunteer Lanny Howe, the various tracts will provide a historical setting for the areas through which visitors will pass on their way to the homes.  The CD will describe two loops—the Blue Sulphur Loop and the Second Creek Loop—and is arranged to begin in the parking lot of the Greenbrier Historical Society/North House Museum.  It will be available where tickets are sold.

On Sunday afternoon, the Homes Tour will feature the Town of Ronceverte.  Tickets, available in advance or at Edgarton, where tours are available and lemonade and cookies will be served, will provide admission to the sanctuaries of 3 historic churches as well as a self-guided walking tour of the town.  Visitors will be invited into the newly restored businesses to see how historic preservation can be economically viable as well.

Margaret Hambrick, President of the Board of Directors of the Greenbrier Historical Society, said, “There are interesting, historic, and elegant homes, churches, and businesses throughout the Greenbrier Valley and we are so pleased to be able to share these.  We are grateful to the owners and volunteers who are making this homes tour possible.”

For more information, contact the Greenbrier Historical Society at 304.645.3398 or info@greenbrierhistorical.org or Like us on Facebook!