Monday, September 13, 2010

In Calhoun County, part 2: Heritage Park

When we were wandering around Calhoun County this weekend, we saw a banner over Route 16" "Calhoun Days." And it was happening as we read. So we moseyed up to the park to see what was going on.

As it happened, it was relatively quiet when we arrived, although I'm sure that changed later on. The Heritage Park itself was one of those delightful surprises we sometimes run into on our travels--a collection of old-time, restored or being restored buildings.

There was a one-room schoolhouse, for example...

complete with desks, slate chalkboard, maps and books,

and a great potbelly stove. The desks are from all eras, from the all-wood ones to the wood and metal that we had when I was in school.

Then there was the Oka Store, which, like the schoolhouse, was moved intact and restored. I didn't get a photo of the outside, but the inside is perfect:

Many of the original fixtures came with the store--shelves and counter and cash register. What a find.

You can see in the photos in the display case how the store looked before it was moved and restored. The Calhoun County Historical Society has done a lot of work, and it's all good.

This is a roll of original wrapping paper from the store. The family had kept it stored away for years so it's in perfect condition. The store was in the family of Sybil Jarvis Pischke, who wrote Sybil's Legend of Mammy Jane. If you haven't read the book and you are into small farming, canning, gardening, homesteading or history, it's a must-read. The writing isn't the best as far as grammar and punctuation but the story is spellbinding and you soon get used to the writer's style.

The book is based on the true story of a woman who married a man with many children when she was very young (I'm thinking she was about 15). How Mammy Jane made ends meet, her hard work and dealing to become a woman of some wealth and repute in the rough country of the late 1800's-early 1900's is a truly inspiring story.

I'll have more photos from the park tomorrow. If you are traveling on the byways of West Virginia and find yourself on Route 33 or Route 16, consider a trip to Grantsville to see this little jewel of historic preservation.


Country Whispers said...

What a neat little place to come across in your travels.

Granny Sue said...

It was, Jessica. We had no idea the park was even there, although we've been through Grantsville several times.

Peggy said...

A great place to add to my want to visit list!

Janet, said...

That would be a place I would stop at if I was in the area. I read "Mammy Jane" and she was quite a woman.

Granny Sue said...

You would find it really interesting, Janet, especially the old housewares and fabrics still on the bolt.

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