Lewisburg, West Virginia, is certainly true to its name as the the coolest small town in America. It is a lovely community of pristine homes in a bucolic setting. Discovering the Greenbrier Historical Society North House Museum at the direction of a helpful visitor center employee made for the visit. The docent was informative, insightful, and much was learned about the area during this tour.
The North House Museum was formerly the home of lawyer John North, and his wife Charlotte. Here they resided for over a decade with their 4 daughters. North was a clerk of the County Court of Appeals. The home was a formal one with his children off limits to all formal rooms until presented at society.
Other pieces of beauty at the house..
Also interesting items unique to the era, a horse drawn carriage, a mail carriage and a collection of quilts. The first carriage was used from 1897 to 1900, by a local farmer who would drive her eggs and vegetables to market in the carriage. Local Amish craftsmen restored the carriage to its original state.
The US Mail carriage was the first Rural Free Delivery vehicle in the West Virginia postal system.
There is also a collection of antique quilts on display and a fascinating exhibit on black history at the museum.
The home became a tavern after the North’s departure. It was then sold and used as a college president’s home through 1950. In 1994, the historical society bought the home, and converted the property into a museum.
During the tavern era Robert E. Lee, and President Monroe, were visitors to the property. Lee was always seen with his horse Traveler, who was his constant companion during the Civil War.
President Monroe visited during horse season. He enjoyed gambling and often paid off his debts in china.
The Museum had an interesting diorama exhibit. This was created as advertisement for the local Caldwell General Mercantile Store. I had never seen anything as unique since a Connecticut museum visit where the paper dolls created by Zelda Fitzgerald were displayed.
Take a peek at this unique craftsmanship.
There are other places of interest in Lewisburg, however, due to covid sites have limited hours.
The Greenbrier Military School Memorial Museum traces the life of a cadet in the now closed academy. The property is currently the home of the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine.
Carnegie Hall – this was built in 1902 with a $33,000. gift from steel tycoon Andrew Carnegie. While originally built as a school for female education it now is a cultural center.
But perhaps one of the most interesting places in the town is the Confederate cemetery. Here the unmarked graves of Confederate soldiers are buried under a green mound of elevated dirt in the shape of a cross. An aerial photo is the only way this can truly be captured, however here it is. What a spiritual site.