Weston Journals

The State Born of the Civil War, Part III: Weston

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A September 2005 trip to Weston by kjlouden

Inside Blakers Mill Photo, Weston, West Virginia More Photos
Quote: We tour Stonewall Jackson’s boyhood home, two mills, and log cabins and learn about flax near Jane Lew; walk the historic district and battlefield at Bulltown; and hear stories of Indian massacres, Confederate mistakes, and recent preservation projects of the Army Corps of Engineers in West Virginia.

The State Born of the Civil War, Part III: Weston

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Overview

Inside Blakers' Mill Photo, Weston, West Virginia
Quote:
The original Jacksons in these parts immigrated from Ireland, so the Irish and Scottish ballads WV Public Radio plays on Sunday mornings are particularly appropriate today. Colonel Edward Jackson’s 1,500-acre plantation, boyhood home of Stonewall, became the first 4-H in the United States, then West Virginia University’s 4-H state Conference Center. I have been here (near Weston) twice before, once for a conference and once for the annual juried arts and crafts fair on Labor Day weekend, but not to tour cabins and mills that WVU has lovingly restored and never--no, never--to buy ramp dressing! (Visitors can purchase some, along with other WV homemade food products.) Our g...Read More

WVU's Jackson's Mill

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Attraction

WVU's Jackson's Mill Photo, Weston, West Virginia
Quote:
Signs along I-79 point the way to Jackson’s Mill, 8 miles from the Interstate. It’s an idyllic spot where three generations of Jacksons operated gristmill and sawmill and ran the farm begun in 1801 by Colonel Edward Jackson, Stonewall’s grandfather. Edward’s mill and home burned long ago, and so did the home built here by his eldest son Cummins, inheritor of his father’s land and business. Burned also was the first mill built by Cummins, but his second mill stands today and is the three-story Jackson family museum. As a boy, Stonewall worked in this mill and lived on the property until he left for We...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 27, 2005

WVU's Jackson's Mill
160 WVU Jackson Mill
Weston 26452
(304) 269-5100

Cunningham Farm

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Attraction | "Cunningham Farm at Bulltown"

Cunningham Farm Photo, Weston, West Virginia
Quote:
Our first stop at Bulltown is the Visitors Center Museum, which displays artifacts the Army Corps of Engineers recovered from Cunningham Farm after they bought it in 1976. The original farm was 1,500 acres of Henry Cunningham, who had long ago parceled out most of the property to his 10 children before the Army Corps bought the last 150 acres to preserve farm, turnpike, trenches, battlefield, and other historical structures they would move here. In the museum, we see a collection of arrowheads, some of which date from the Early Archaic Era prior to 5,000 B.C. Some are from the Adena people, West Virginia’s famous mound-builders, and some are Huron. More recent ones are Delaware. ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 27, 2005

Cunningham Farm
Bulltown Historic Area
Weston

Bulltown Historic District

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Attraction

Bulltown Historic District Photo, Weston, West Virginia
Quote:
I imagined a town with streets. Boy, was I wrong! Bulltown was a farming settlement with only paths leading from one property to another until 1858, when the Weston-Gauley Bridge Turnpike was finished. The turnpike linked the north with the southern portion of the state below the wild Gauley River. During the Civil War, the aim of Union forces was to keep Confederates south of the Gauley and prevent them from gaining access to the railroad, which led to Parkersburg and the Ohio River--and Wheeling, a Union stronghold in West Virginia. The turnpike is now a dirt hiking path through second-growth forest....Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 27, 2005

Bulltown Historic District
Near the Burnsville Dam and Lake
Weston
(304) 853-2371

Lower Trenches Dug by Moses Cunningham's Son Photo, Weston, West Virginia
Quote:
On October 13, 1863, Confederate forces moved north on Weston-Gauley Turnpike under cover of early morning darkness. We start our walk on the turnpike (now a trail), where Major Kessler and his men approached Cunningham Farm. Commanded by Stonewall Jackson’s first cousin, Colonel William L. Jackson, two detachments intended to take this fort and march on to the Ohio River, destroying or controlling railroads along the way and eventually taking Wheeling, the new capital on the Ohio in the northern panhandle. Jackson’s plan was to somewhat copy the Jones-Imboden raid in the spring of the year, which did little to disrupt the northern railroad, anyway, though Imboden did blow up a ra...Read More

Romancing Blaker's Mill

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Story/Tip

Blaker's Mill at WVU's Jackson's Mill Photo, Weston, West Virginia
Quote:
Blaker’s Mill is no run-of-the-mill gift, even to a large university, so when WVU was given the now 209-year-old mill-to-beat-all-mills, the institution was determined to take good care of it. It’s a story that is just about as perfect as a mill seems perfect--doesn’t it? Isn’t a mill just a perfect thing? I’d be willing to admit that we may have idealized mills too much at some point in the past--perhaps sometime around the barbershop quartet era--if I hadn’t seen Blaker’s Mill. It is ideal. Robert Hockman Blaker of Wilmington, Delaware gave it to West Virginia University so that they would p...Read More

About the Writer

kjlouden

kjlouden
West Virginia, United States