The farmstead exudes a feeling of seclusion. The sloping hills and towering oak trees dwarf the modest structures barely seen peeping above the rows of young crops. The log cabin resembles a fairy tale cottage, with its chimneys stained by smoke and walls slightly askew. Nature reigns supreme here. Everything is peaceful yet also subdued by nature's grip. Even the domestic touches have been left to nature's whims.
When the West Virginia Twin Falls Resort State Park's lodge and facilities were under construction, the Park Superintendent, Smokey Harsh, was tasked with dismantling an old 1915 farmhouse that resided on the property. Hidden within the walls of that farmhouse was a log cabin built around as the home was enlarged.
Seeing it as an opportunity to develop the cabin as a park attraction. Harsh set about rebuilding the cabin and recreating a pre-World War II farmstead. Just as any settler would have done, the project remained true to historical methods. The picket fences and roof shingles were hand-hewn from area chestnut and oak trees. Authentic farm buildings were collected, dismantled, and reconstructed on site.
Ultimately, what Smokey created was one of the most accurate recreations of an 1830s farmstead found anywhere, and the log cabin dating to 1835 is considered one of the top two or three oldest homes left in the state.
Copyright 2023 Susan Rissi Tregoning
October 30th, 2023
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