We were driving north on US 219 Saturday afternoon through Slatyfork in Pocahontas county when we saw this:
For once I didn't have to ask Larry to turn around--he did it on his own. Well, you know, a car and a rare one at that, was bound to turn his head.
As we pulled in the door of the store opened and owner Tom Shipley came out to greet us. "It's a Bantam," he said, "made in Pennsylvania around 1940."
I'm not what you might all a car buff, but I liked the look of this little car. I bet it got good gas mileage too.
Of course, we had to go inside the store. It was like stepping back in time. Tom told us that he had inherited Sharp's Country Store, which had been opened by his great-grandfather in 1884.
Little had changed inside since his grandfather's time. The counters and shelving are original as are many of the other fittings in the store.
As we chatted, Tom mentioned that there was a log cabin out back that had been the original home; he'd removed some of the clapboard siding to expose the logs.
That, of course, got us talking about our two log cabin projects, and Tom invited us to look around inside the cabin. We jumped at the opportunity.
Check out the size of these logs.
Inside the cabin the fireplace dominated. It's lovely stonework.
I noted the blue paint--an old-time remedy to keep witches and evil spirits out. Or maybe the blue and gold was a WV color scheme?
Larry liked the way the stairs were built,
but the area out back that was probably a kitchen at one time attracted me.
When we went back to the store, Tom said that Confederate General Robert E. Lee had stayed in the cabin twice as the guest of his great-grandfather during the Civil War. (The cabin outdates the store by a good many years.)
There is much more to see at Sharp's. I can imagine the difficulty of operating such a place in these times, and I hope Tom can keep this piece of history open. We will certainly return, and should you ever happen to be in Pocahontas county, visiting Snowshoe Resort, Cass Railroad or the many other attractions, I hope you'll take time to stop in. You won't be disappointed.
Just don't let this guy scare you. He's just hangin' around.