The rustic charm of the old Pioneer Farm bathes in the soft glow of twilight, with autumn leaves blanket the ground like a multicolored quilt and cords of firewood piled high on the porch, serving as an unmistakable herald of winter's impending arrival.
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
November 2nd, 2023
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