Walk in your West Virginia ancestors' footsteps at these sites.
• Arthurdale Heritage New Deal Museum
Route 92 south of Route 7
Arthurdale, WV 26520
Established in 1934 to aid displaced coal miners and their families, this rural community has homes, shops, a forge and a vintage service station. Museum exhibits show local life, work and products of the 1930s.
• Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine & Youth Museum of Southern West Virginia
513 Ewart Ave.
Beckley, WV 25801
Behind the popular Youth Museum is a model frontier settlement where interpreters depict life in early West Virginia. Nearby, tour an early 20th-century coal camp and venture underground to the mine.
• Harpers Ferry National Historical Park
US Highway 340
Harpers Ferry, WV 25425
This riverside town is the site of John Brown’s 1859 armory raid and the 1862 Battle of Harpers Ferry. The park encompasses the town and includes museums in restored 19th-century buildings, battlefields and a research library (open by appointment).
• Heritage Farm Museum and Village
3300 Harvey Road
Huntington, WV 27504
Preserving the heritage and history of Appalachian mountain residents is the focus of this park, where you can see cabins, shops, a country store, a log church and a one-room school. The Progress Museum features the dramatic changes inside the American home from 1850 to 1925.
• North House Museum
301 N. Washington St.
Lewisburg, WV 24901
At this 1820 home and its grounds, see period furnishings, decorative arts, a Conestoga wagon and artifacts from the Revolutionary and Civil wars. The on-site Greenbrier Historical Society library contains photographs and documents from Lewisburg’s past.
• Prickett’s Fort State Park
Fairmont, WV 26554
Prickett’s Fort was one of the many log stockades early settlers built for refuge from Indian attacks. Now a living history site, the park features a reconstructed fort and blockhouses where interpreters demonstrate 18th-century crafts and trades.
• West Virginia State Farm Museum
off SR 62, north of Point Pleasant
The Mountain State’s rural heritage is preserved here, where you’ll find an early farmhouse, barns, gardens, log cabins, a working blacksmith shop and more displays that relate life in earlier days. Check the online schedule for special events, including festivals and living history days.
• George Washington Heritage Trail
West Virginia routes 9, 51 and others
A young George Washington was so taken with the scenery while surveying the future West Virginia’s eastern panhandle that he later bought land there. Drive a 112-mile loop linking five 18th-century towns and sites such as Throgmorton’s Inn, where the president-to-be stayed in 1784, and Prospect Peak, offering his favorite vista of the Potomac River.
Visitor Information for West Virginia
• Division of Tourism
90 MacCorkle Ave. SW, South Charleston, WV 25303, (800) 225-5982, <www.wvtourism.com