Wednesday, July 2, 2014

In the Mountains of West Virginia, Part 2: The Museum

I took a couple hours to tour the local historical society museum in Marlinton, Pocahontas County, WV. 

Outside the museum is a this odd structure called a "river ark". These structures followed the huge flotillas of logs that passed down the rivers to the mills; the men slept and ate in the ark in between working long hours to keep the logs moving smoothly downstream past obstacles like rocks and rapids, deadfalls, etc. It was dangerous, hard work and I can imagine how tired and hungry they would be after a day--or-night--of it.

This unassuming sign tells a sad story--beyond it in quiet green graves lie an unknown number of Confederate soldiers who dies of measles in the first year of the war.

 I was surprised to see the strange shadowy light on the side of this photo. I suppose it is a trick of the sunlight.

One of the surprises inside the museum was this fascinating music box. It's huge! It is played by cranking the handle to the left; the drawers below contain more metal rollers with different songs on each one--not paper like player pianos, but metal like music boxes. It still plays beautifully.The box belonged to the family that once owned the home that currently houses the museum.

An American-made record player, this one has a device that lifts the needle arm so the record is not scratched. It also plays very well.

I asked if there were any ghost stories connected with the house and was told there were not, but this room had a strange feel to it, almost as if someone or something had been interrupted when I came in.

I don't think it was the mannequin that caused the feeling, although she must give passers-by on the road a jolt if they happened to see her in the window.

A family graveyard on the property holds graves that pre-date the Civil War; some birthdates are as early as the early 1700's.

An iron coal chute door tells of how the house was once heated. The coal furnace is no longer in use, although my tour guide remembers when it was still the heat source, and she had to go to the creepy basement to load it with coal.

I did not get the story behind the log cabin on the grounds, as the guide had to attend to new visitors.

I found the notching intriguing; it is a different style than the cabins on this side of the mountains. The glass in the window has some really wavy panes.

Old tools rest quietly by the cabin wall, a testament to the ways of the past.

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.

1 comment:

Celia said...

Glad to be taken along on your visit this Museum. Imagine living in that ark. The photos of the cemetery are intriguing and sad.

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