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GRIST REAL ESTATE ASSOCIATES

ALWAYS THERE FOR YOU.

Serving Monroe, Greenbrier, Summers, and Pocahontas Counties 695 Jefferson St. S Lewisburg, WV 24901 304.645.5000 www.GristRealEstate.com

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"At the end of the day, our success comes from our care and compassion for our clients, and our genuine interest in helping them best achieve their real estate goals."

-PAUL GRIST, BROKER PAUL GRIST, BROKER PICTURED WITH CADBURY GRIST, ORIGINAL LEAD CHASER AND FOUNDING PAW-TNER

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CONTENTS

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Our Rich Heritage

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Covered Bridges

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Mills

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Recreation

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Bicycling

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Moncove Lake

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Alderson

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Peterstown

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Union

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Homegrown Fun

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Map

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Appalachian Trail

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Heritage, Arts & Culture

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Hanging Rock Observatory

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Dining Directory

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Lodging Directory

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Advertisers Index

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Welcome travelmonroe.com

Allison Tomlinson Director, Monroe County Tourism (304) 772-3003 office info@travelmonroe.com PUBLISHER Country Media, Inc. Phillip Vaught WRITER Joanne Anderson ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Sabrina Sexton PHOTOGRAPHERS Bob Bell/DrivingBackRoads.com Nathan Cooke Photography Brian Hirt Stacy Eskins Sheena Pendley Design Stacy Eskins Hashtag WV M.C.C. Photography John Turner Tonia Fullen Sweet Springs Resort Park

Cover Image: Cook’s Old Mill By Bob Bell/DrivingBackRoads.com

Monroe is a place to enjoy unspoiled natural beauty, a place to slow down to open your mind and invigorate your senses. Whether you are visiting or living here, there are many ways to free yourself from the burdens of everyday life. I consider myself blessed to have grown up here and live in a community where people look you in the eye and take time to chat. The people of Monroe are warm, hardworking folks with an inherently optimistic perspective on life. They are as genuine as the places you can visit or stay. As a lifetime local, I truly feel like I am living in #almostheaven. Drive to Monroe and not just through. Enjoy the rural routes and the history, charm and hospitality of Monroe County, West Virginia. As you linger here, enjoy the uniqueness of our three towns and numerous communities that are home to lodging, history, dining, shopping, and recreation. There are numerous opportunities to center your family

vacation, reunion, or wedding in this part of southeast West Virginia. Residents of this farming county have been living harmoniously with the land since the late 1700s. Visiting Monroe and the surrounding region offers a picture of life in rural, agricultural communities, which in many ways, retains the character from the efforts of previous generations. Enjoy the best of rural lifestyles in Monroe, 473 square miles with no stoplights or fast food restaurants, and more cows than people. My hope with this guide is that you become more connected with the people and places of this great county. This applies whether you are a lifelong resident or are just finding us. Thanks to the nonprofit, Friends of Monroe and advertising businesses for their financial support that made this guide possible. Time to enjoy this place called Monroe. Allison Tomlinson Director, Monroe County Tourism

© 2021 Country Media, Inc. Country Media, Inc. will not knowingly publish any advertisement that is illegal or misleading to its readers. Neither the advertiser nor Country Media, Inc. will be responsible or liable for misinformation, misprints, or typographical errors. Paid advertising does not represent an endorsement by this publication. Content cannot be reproduced without written consent from Country Media, Inc. All rights reserved. Real Estate advertised in this publication is subject to the Federal Fair Housing Act of 1968.

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A Rich Heritage The rugged spirit of independence and freedom that shaped our country is responsible for West Virginia’s place in history as well.

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colonial days, some 2,000 residents signed a petition requesting that the Continental Congress designate all of what is West Virginia in addition to parts of other states as a 14th colony named Westsylvania. Eight years later, they asked for Westsylvania to be the 14th state in the newly expanding country, but that didn’t fly either. The first state name floated out was “Kanawha” to honor the river and Native Americans of the same name, but West Virginia prevailed, and on June 20, 1863, it became the 35th state, flanked by Kansas before it in 1861 and Nevada the next one in 1864. The capital was in Wheeling until 1870 when it moved to Charleston. It relocated back to Wheeling five years later and was voted by residents in 1877 to be back in Charleston where it became permanent in 1885. It would take the Civil War, which for a time split the country, to finally split Virginia, separating the economic engine in the east from the agricultural bedrock in the west. On June 20, 1863, it became the 35th state, flanked by Kansas before it in 1861 and Nevada the next one in 1864. The first state name floated out was “Kanawha” to honor the river and Native Americans of the same name, but West Virginia prevailed. The capital was in Wheeling until 1870 when it moved to Charleston. It relocated back to Wheeling five years later and was voted by residents in 1877 to be back in Charleston where it became permanent in 1885. Monroe County was founded in 1799 out of a piece of Greenbrier County and named for the then-governor of Virginia, James Monroe. He would go on to become elected the 5th president of the United States.

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The rural terrain of Monroe County does not change much, and across the decades, it has drawn many a hiker, fisherman, traveler, camper, history buff, bird watcher and simple life seeker. The country roads are charming. The small towns and enclaves retain a gentle character and country flair that embodies rural America. Old Glory waves from street posts, commercial and government buildings and front porches. This idyllic, rustic, yet wired, county is - in the opening words of one of the four Mountain State songs - Almost Heaven.

Monroe County encompasses 474 square miles of

rolling hills, flowing valleys, beautiful mountains, abundant free-flowing streams, forests, trails, bicycle routes and country roads. There are three charming incorporated towns - Peterstown, Alderson and Union – along with 33 unincorporated communities with interesting names like Zenith, Bozoo, Cashmere, Crimson Springs and Hollywood. Community spirit runs high in these parts with fairs, festivals, cookouts and gatherings sprinkled throughout the area. The three popular signature events are: o o o

Farmer’s Day Alderson’s 4th of July Autumn Harvest Festival

Farmer’s Day is held in Union on the first Saturday of June each year and honors the farming heritage and current day farm enterprises. Events run the entire weekend starting with a Friday night dance. Saturday begins with a pancake breakfast and 5K run. There’s a parade, of course, and a horse show, mega raffle, food, fun and mingling for all ages. The Independence Day Celebration in Alderson

rivals that of small town and small cities anywhere. It even has its own website: Alderson4th.com. There are pageants, kids night, all American baking contest, arts and crafts for sale, the amusing Throttle Throbs Car Show, hot dog eating contest and much more before the Grand Fireworks Display. Sometimes there’s a horse show, canoe race, river events and gospel sing. The Alderson folks know how to celebrate freedom in a big way.

Autumn Harvest Festival is a fun-for-all-ages event

celebrating the agriculture though the ages. Arts and crafts and a flea market open mid-morning, and you’ll find – and enjoy - a kiddie tractor pull, corn hole tournaments, hay bale throwing contests, music, antique tractors and farm equipment. The food is great. Art and quilt exhibits are popular, and everyone has a rollicking good time.

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Wherever you roam in Monroe, you are likely within sight of expansive Peters Mountain, and usually just a stone's throw from a stream, as there are about 1100 miles of flowing water.

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Covered Bridges Covered bridges conjure up warm, fuzzy feelings of bucolic countrysides and the simple life of yesteryear, which was anything but simple, considering modern conveniences. The bridges themselves, however, are the most practical for having been made out of wood and then adding sides and a cover to preserve the wood bridge surface. Both bridges are owned by the Division of Highways in the West Virginia Department of Transportation.

Indian Creek Covered Bridge on U.S. 219 near Union was constructed over this yearround creek around 1900 – some sources say 1898 and others early 1900s – by teenagers Ray and Oscar Weikel, one 16 and one 18 years old at the time. The span is just a whisker over 49 feet and 11 ½ feet wide. It is on the National Register of Historic Places, and pedestrians are permitted to walk through it. Laurel Creek Covered Bridge holds the

record for the shortest covered bridge in the state at 24 ½ feet long and just over 13 feet wide. Built in 1912 for $365, the bridge has a galvanized metal roof and the sides are painted red. It is on Laurel Creek Road near Greenville and also is on the National Register of Historic Places.

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MILLS Grinding corn, wheat and other grains into flour and meal with water power was essential in early America. Farmers delivered grain to a mill for grinding, paying a “miller’s toll” with the processed grain. There were many gristmills because everyone needed bread, and transporting grain more than even a few miles was cumbersome and time-consuming. In Monroe County, there are three surviving gristmills, though Reed’s Gristmill is the only one still operational.

Cook’s Old Mill This mill was constructed in 1857 where another mill had been since 1796. It sits on a 3.5-acre park property where visitors and residents alike come for picnics, fishing in the mill pond, photography and relaxation. Special tours of the mill and artists who enjoy plein air can connect with the current owners to arrange a tour. This is private property, and it is a privilege to have it available for enjoyment and a walk down history lane. [Route 122, ¼ mile west of Greenville, 304-832-6060]

Reed’s Gristmill This National Historic District mill building was constructed around 1791 and added onto in 1949. A concrete mill race carries water to the turbine which then moves the grinding wheels. There were once several mills along Second Creek, as they all need a reliable water source to operate. Old-time broom factory on site. Available for tours and product purchase by appointment. 1331 Second Creek Road, Second Creek, WV, 304-772-5665, 304-667-7412.

McClung’s Mill This old mill was relocated to Zenith and is not open to the public. It did grind grain up into the 1960s over in Virginia, and retired to the quiet, lovely landscape of Monroe County in West Virginia. Like some people.

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Recreation

Old Rehoboth Church and Museum This historic, log cabin is the oldest remaining Protestant church building west of the Allegheny Mountains. Edward Keenan, a Roman Catholic from Ireland donated the land for the church and cemetery. It was completed in 1786. It was only 21-29 feet but it was larger than the log homes in which the congregation previously met. The building is protected by a shelter over it placed for preservation in 1930. Rehoboth is on the National Register of Historic Places and there is a small museum next door. it is located just one and a half miles east of Union, WV just off of state route three.

Monroe County is a haven for recreation – from soft adventures like birdwatching and photography to thrills of kayaking, golfing, cycling and overnight hiking and camping. Simply relaxing in a local B&B or mountain cabin may be the best way to clear the mind, contemplate life and re-connect with those you love. Natural beauty is the mainstay of Monroe County, and every country road delivers more of it around every bend and over every hill.

Fullen’s Excavating, LLC

Union, WV 304-772-5381 or 304-646-8436

Septic installs and repairs, new construction development, driveways ,drainage, demo, and so much more!

WE DIG FOR YOU!

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Bicycling in Monroe County

The 2-wheel bicycle is perhaps the best way to experience Monroe County up close and personal-like, and the country roads off U.S. 219 are not crowded or speedy. While not as mountainous as other counties, Monroe has its share of climbs. A slightly more gentle side of cycling is a welcome diversion even for the most hardy of cyclists. Cyclingscenicwv.com Here you’ll find a list of 21 cycling routes ranging from 4 miles to 47 miles. Each ride is rated according to this formula: 0.5 per 10 miles 0.5 per 1000 feet of climbing. A ride of 10 miles with 1000 feet of climbing receives a rating of 1.0. A ride of 30 miles and 1,500 feet of climbing receives a rating of 2.25. A ride of 50 miles and 5,000 feet of climbing receives a rating of 5. A ride of 100 miles and 10,000 feet of climbing would receive a rating of 10. Ride descriptions are comprehensive and the site cyclingscenicwv.com is a bicycle rider’s dream for having information, maps and photos. With cabins, camping and B&B lodging options in the county, it’s the perfect weeklong adventure in one of the most beautiful slices of rural America. 20

o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o

You can ride a bike anytime, anywhere (that includes Monroe County!). Anyone from 6 to 100 years old can ride a bicycle. It is a great way to spend quality time with family. Riding a bicycle is a perfect “me-time.” It is a great way to commune with nature. Biking is a very flexible form of exercise. It is friendly to your joints and muscles. Biking is a great social activity. It is a perfect way to discover the local community or a new place. It is a worry-free form of going back to childhood. Biking makes eating desserts guiltless. You can give your bike a name. It makes getting lost fun and thrilling. You do not have to be a pro to ride a bicycle. You can recycle your bicycle when it gets old. Biking in the rain gives you an almost-inexplicable feeling.

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Moncove Lake State Park

Flora and Fauna Luscious flora and fauna are everywhere in Monroe County – the natural beauty of the region envelops all who take a country road into the county from any direction. One of the best ways to get up close and personal with nature is walking along the Allegheny Trail or Potts Valley Rail Trail. The latter is a 4.5-mile dirt and grass path is bounded by state secondary route 17 [Waiteville Road] and CR 15/5 [Rays Siding Road]. There are historical and interpretive signs, along with a stream or two to cross. The Allegheny Trail runs 287 miles ending where it meets the Appalachian Trail on Peters Mountain a whisker over the WV state line with Virginia.

When it comes to being unplugged from technology to experience oldfashioned outdoor recreation, camping, swimming and fishing, Moncove Lake State Park is the place. More than 160 bird species frequent the 500-acre wildlife management area in which the park occupies 250 acres. The lake is especially serene as motors are not permitted, and in season, you can rent rowboats, kayaks and paddleboats.

Slaty Mountain Preserve, owned by The Nature Conservancy, comprises 153 acres of a dry hardwood and pine woodland, along with a shale barren community and unique ecosystem. There’s a unique shale barren evening primrose, shale barren ragwort, poverty oatgrass, smooth sunflower and hairy wood mint. A couple of rare species of butterflies reside here like the Appalachian grizzled skipper. Slaty Mountain Preserve is open year round for walking and hiking only on the dirt roads. It is a short ways up Cove Creek Road off Sweet Springs Valley Road.

Among the statuesque pine trees, there are four dozen tent and trailer sites with picnic tables, fire rings with grill surfaces and drinking water. A central bathhouse offers showers, and firewood is available for purchase. Kids ride bikes all over, and calm, relaxed, clear heads and minds enjoy the tranquil days and evenings. Campsites in this coveted, peaceful Monroe County state park can be reserved online, by phone or at the campground office when open spring through fall. [304-772-3450]. Note that cell service here at the state park ranges from unreliable to nonexistent, making it one of the very best places to really kick back, hang out, enjoy nature and r-e-l-a-x.

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Alderson Visitor Center can be found across from the river and Memorial bridge on Riverview Avenue on the Greenbrier County side of the town. Visitor information and food by Fruits of Labor are available here.

In the 1890s, a traveling circus left behind a lion cub which was adopted and raised by a local Monroe County resident. “French” wandered at will until he frightened a salesman who jumped, fully clothed, into the Greenbrier River. A wonderful metal sculpture and marker have been placed along the river in Alderson to commemorate this hometown kitty.

Alderson In 1777, 12 years before George Washington took his oath of office as the first President of the United States, a frontier missionary named John Alderson settled this small, charming, river town. It was incorporated 104 years later. In the early 1900s, there were three places of higher learning, including Alderson Academy and Junior College. The town takes seriously that the sugar maple is the state tree with both a Maple Street and Maple Avenue, running parallel a block apart. Small settlements on the edges of town include Palestine, Griffith Creek and Half Way – which is found along Route 63, no doubt half way between two places or somethings. The Greenbrier River slices through town, then curves on the north end like the arm of a benevolent giant. Monroe County lies on the west side of the river; the other part of Alderson is in Greenbrier County. This tributary of the New River is 162 miles long and part of the watershed of the mighty Mississippi River. It is the longest untamed river east of the Mississippi and flows through Monongahela National Forest. More than 75% of 24

Alderson’s Store

the watershed offers spelunking, trout fishing, camping and recreation. Nicknamed the “Gem of the Hills”, Alderson’s population does top 1,000 by a couple hundred. The first federal women’s prison was constructed here in 1927and operates today as Alderson FPC [federal prison camp]. It has hosted a few well-known females like jazz singer Billie Holliday, home and business tycoon Martha Stewart and Kathryn Kelly, wife and accomplice of George Kelly Barnes aka “Machine Gun Kelly”. It was during Stewart’s incarceration that the facility was dubbed “Camp Cupcake”. The 159-acre tract was designed similar to a boarding school, and it remains a minimum security facility. Architecturally, many nice houses built in the late 1900s remain in mint condition, and the town retail outlets serve not only residents, but also vacationers who enjoy camps and have summer homes along the Greenbrier River. Country roads in and around the town showcase its natural beauty and agrarian communities.

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The name is simple, the history is vast, and the selection is eclectic, useful, whimsical, functional and interesting. For 134 years, this mercantile-style business has been open and operated by the same family. It’s the oldest retail store in the entire state, opening in 1887 as J.M. Alderson General Merchandise next to the railroad and river. Across the decades, each generation of family proprietors tweaked the inventory to reflect shopping habits of its patrons and merchandise in demand. It was the first store in the region to stock ready-made women’s dresses in the 1920s. The original wood general store burned down late in 1930. Space was rented temporarily to remain open, and the family engaged the same architect who designed the Governor’s Mansion in Charleston and the General Lewis Inn in Lewisburg. With a façade of Indiana limestone, much of the interior is crafted from walnut – paneling on the walls, display cases and shelves. It is a stunning example of Art Deco architecture. It has enjoyed recognition as runner-up for “Best Independent Bookstore” and a “Best Antique/Vintage Store” but those accolades pale against the experience of actually being there. Alderson’s Store is the kind of place everyone who shops there wishes was in their hometown for the selection, atmosphere, history and amazing merchandise. Mo n ro e Co u n ty, W V

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Fountain Springs Golf Course 93 Fountain Springs Drive Peterstown, WV

Peterstown

This full-service, 18-hole course features 6,278 yards of golf and offers a par of 71. Opened in 1998, the golf course has a slope rating of 120. The facility is public and welcomes people from anywhere, anytime, any skill level.

Like many small towns in America, Peterstown has a Church Street and a Maple Street. Like several others, there’s a State Line Road delineating those on the east or Virginia side of the pavement from those on the west or West Virginia side. And the hamlet has fun names like Bee Tree Drive and Bozoo Road. Peterstown always has out the welcome mat for the first incorporated town in West Virginia to greet visitors arriving on U.S. 219, a 535-stretch from 2 miles south of Peterstown to West Seneca, NY.

numbers, today’s population may be in the 700s. The 2010 census recorded 653, and the 2020 census was slightly sidelined by a pandemic.

The town was chartered in 1803 by the Virginia General Assembly but not incorporated until 1892, the first year that shredded wheat breakfast cereal was sold to restaurants. It was also the year that the first official basketball game was played in Springfield, Mass. The town is named for the U.S. Revolution soldier Christian Peters who settled near here when that war was over.

There are no traffic lights, but going slowly is advised for foot traffic, side streets entering the main drag and so not to miss anything of interest. Lots of people brake for antiques, a home cooked meal, consignment shop look-see, a candy bar, ATM at the bank, ice cream or anything else of interest.

While there may not be any great growth spurt so far, the community has been expanding, if slowly. And there’s nothing wrong with life in the slow lane; in fact, many folks running in the fast lane long for a slower pace. Population in 1900 was approximately 167. A century later, it had more than doubled to 499, and while not yet breaking the 4-digit 26

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Department and the West Virginia State Police have jurisdiction in the .32 square mile town, which is governed by a mayor and council. The Peterstown Fire Department is a volunteer fire and rescue organization.

And should you want to move to Peterstown, you’ll find very reasonably-priced real estate and a cost of living below the national average. There are charming, small homes under $100,000 on a decent size lot, like half an acre and more. Others can find a luxury home on the golf course with panoramic views for half a million dollars. And land is abundant, like a 342-acre parcel of gorgeous, rural, pastoral countryside for $1 million or more.

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It was in Peterstown that a Grover C. Jones and his son, William “Punch” Jones discovered a big diamond, in fact, the largest alluvial diamond ever found in North America. An alluvial diamond is one which is not longer situated in its primary source. Speculation includes that it washed here somehow, a bird carried it or a person dropped it. That will remain a mystery perhaps until the end of time. This bluish-white gemstone was more than half an inch wide, weighed 34.48 carats and held 12 diamond-shaped faces. Father and son were playing horseshoes in 1928 when one of Punch’s tosses hit something hard. They picked up the shiny object and tossed it into a cigar box in the tool shed, where it stayed for 14 or 15 years. In 1942, Punch took the “rock” to a geology professor at Virginia Tech who authenticated that it was a diamond. It then went to the Smithsonian Institution for more than 20 years, when the Jones family brought it home. A couple decades later, the Jones Diamond, also called the Punch Jones Diamond, the Grover Jones Diamond or the Horseshoe Diamond, was auctioned to an undisclosed buyer in Asia.

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Union It’s a very well-organized town where residents and business owners take pride in their heritage through ongoing historic preservation efforts. Homes and commercial structures have been restored and improved, and the quiet hamlet boasts several architectural designs and traditional styles. Families who have resided here for generations stand shoulder to shoulder with newcomers to maintain their connection to history while embracing technology that enhances and streamlines their home and work lives. The town serves as the county seat for Monroe County, though it was only raw land when the county’s first court went into session in 1799. A local guy named James Alexander offered to donate 25 acres with a lot for the courthouse and residential spaces. The court building and a jail were constructed in the center and the new town thrived being a stagecoach stop, county seat and recreational hub. In addition to the courthouse built in 1881, there are many historically-significant churches and buildings. The Union Historic District gained an official position on the National Register of Historic Places in 1990. It’s a very well-organized town with 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th streets emanating from the center to the north. Tree-lined streets feature brick retail buildings and several colonial houses in the traditional white exterior with black shutters. In summer, a vibrant mix of flowers spill out of boxes mounted on the railing of the open air gazebo near the entrance to the 2-story brick courthouse. The population in Union is similar to Alderson, in that it had more than 1,000 residents between the 1940s and 1980s, but is now less than half that. It is the kind of place many city slickers long for where [almost] everyone knows your name. Storefronts, businesses and many residents decorate seasonally, and the iconic Christmas lights strung above Main Street evoke a warm sense of nostalgia. With the telecommuting gig on the rise, Union is the kind of place to consider working from – real estate prices are very reasonable, as is rent. From cute ranches and enchanting bungalows to 2-story, 3-5 bedrooms houses and land on which to build, the cost savings is significant. All of Monroe County is immensely appealing for retired folks, young families and the new generation of telecommuters for the small town atmosphere and country quality of life. 28

Farmer’s Day is on the first Saturday of June each year in Union, though events run the entire weekend. There’s a Friday dance, a 3K run, tasty pancake breakfast on Saturday, Sunday activities and – of course – a parade!

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Homegrown Fun

Combining the first two syllables of “agriculture” with “tourism” has defined a new class of exciting activities. There’s so much to be gained from blending visitors with agrarian enterprises like wineries, farms and rural lifestyles which produce everything from pumpkins, wine and jam to milk, meat, crops and eggs. The benefits to farmers include a new revenue stream and the opportunity to educate people locally and globally on the intricacies of farming and joys and challenges of rural lifestyles. To steal a well-known phrase from the ad world, the advantages to the visitors “are priceless”. Driving the country roads of Monroe County is an agritourism experience all its own. Farms, barns, wildlife and livestock are omnipresent. Photo ops present themselves around every 30

Country roads are all you’ll find in Monroe County, and they traverse fields, mountains, towns and settlements as well as denote historical sites along the way. Plan ahead and call for a driving guide ~ 304-7723003 ~ or simply put away your watch and mosey all over the place. See the Backways and Byways Map here on page 35.

bend and over each hill. Every season brings forth some breathtaking scene and impressive landscape. Travelmonroe. com highlights several driving tours, or you can find your own way through picturesque valleys and along lofty mountain ridges. • • • • • • • • • •

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Rural Heritage Trail The Springs Trail Hillsdale Road Mountain’s Shadow Trail Farm Heritage Road Neff Orchard Road Salt Sulphur Turnpike Wolf Creek Backway AND several others! Check it out!

Quilts and quilt blocks evoke a warmth of home and hearth and Americana that is unrivaled. In Monroe County, quilt squares on barns along country roads number in the dozens and can be found by driving along in almost any direction. More than 60 of these timeless designs adorn barns and community buildings. Blending these stunningly colorful art blocks from centuries past with contemporary 21st century tech life, there’s an app for that! Use the smartphone app I-Treks to visit featured stops or find directions to each block on the Quilt Blocks page on the website:

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Sunset View Farm

Sunset Berry Farm and Produce

502 Sugar Run Road, Ballard Sunsetviewfarms.weebly.com, 304-660-9460

791 Laurel Creek Road, Flat Mountain, Alderson Sunsetberryfarm.net – 304-646-3784

From pumpkin bowling, the trike track and lil’ corn maze for the littles to a milking cow, hay bale maze, the barrel train, ducky races and more, this family farm presents tons of fun in the great outdoors. Group reservations available. Open Sat. and Sundays all fall. The Battle of the Bales is a school, round bale decorating contest of ultra-amusing creativity.

Pick your own strawberry patch, May and June. School field trips with pollination lesson, strawberry picking, sunflower planting, scavenger hunt, hayride. Sunflowers mid to late summer. Weddings and special events. Kids outdoor activities including a jump pad.

Byrnside Branch Farm

Old World Libations

170 Byrnside Branch Road, Union Find on Facebook - 304-772-3131

3483 Greenville Road, Union Oldworldwv.com - 304-992-8424

Hay maze, farm animals, barrel train tour for kids. Seasonal produce, bonfires, tractor tours. Twilight maze with glow sticks or flashlights. Groups welcome. Weekday field trips upon request. Corn maze and pumpkin patch in the fall, weekends Sept-Nov. Open Fri-Sunday.

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Farm winery specializing in meads and fruit wines made from the finest produce that nature offers. Overlooking Indian Creek, nestled in the heart of Monroe County, the winery’s new building has opened and tastings and tours are available Friday to Sunday. The owners are dedicated to growing the highest quality grapes and fruits and supplement home-grown with other local fruits and berries.

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Appalachian Trail

The 100th anniversary for the concept of the Appalachian Trail and organization of the AT Conference, now the AT Conservancy [ATC], is on the horizon ~ in 2025. Just a dozen years after the initial idea, which wasn’t really envisioned as a hiking avenue, a footpath was complete from Georgia to Maine, so 1937 is generally viewed as the anniversary date. A hurricane in New England and trail volunteers sidelined by World War II took a toll on the pathway. Three years after the war, to the sheer astonishment of many, including leaders and members of the ATC, a recovering veteran named Earl Shaffer completed the entire hike. He found enough of the damaged and overgrown trail to walk from Georgia to Maine in a single journey. No one thought this was possible, the hike, that is. That Shaffer accomplished this unexpected feat in 1948 is all the more amazing for his solitary walk. He and his buddy, 36

In 1965, this hardy Army veteran Earl Shaffer, from Pennsylvania on our northern WV border, hiked the AT again. He completed the trek this time in 99 days traveling north to south, the first person to have completed the 2,190-mile hike in both directions. In 1998, at the age of 79, Shaffer once again took to the AT and became the oldest person to hike the entire trail. Of all those who attempt to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail, some 75% or more do not achieve the goal.

Walter Winemiller, made plans to hike the entire trail before World War II. Winemiller lost his life in the Iwo Jima landings, and Shaffer fulfilled their dream, in his words “to walk the war out of my system.” He wore Russell Moccasin Company “Birdshooter” boots the entire way and carried an Army issue rucksack. He had no tent or stove. Averaging 17 miles per day, he completed his trek in 124 days.

So, the 29-year-old Shaffer walked through West Virginia along Peters Mountain eight years before the fire watch tower that is now Hanging Rock Raptor Observatory was built. Likely, the underdog in the U.S. presidential election that year, Harry S. Truman, was energetically campaigning among throngs of voters, while Shaffer found his solitary way along the 2,000+ miles of an unkempt trail.

The precise mileage of the trail changes a little bit here and there as the path is tweaked and adjusted by trail maintenance volunteers when necessary. It ranges from easy to strenuous in terms of elevation and other factors, and goes through 14 states. While our eastern neighbor Virginia claims the most AT miles of any state at around 550, West Virginia lays claim to some of the most wonderful wilderness experiences on the whole adventure right here in Monroe County. Our state is also home to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy headquarters in Harper’s Ferry, dubbed the “psychological midpoint”.

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The 1961 ATC membership roster has expanded from 380 to more than 10,000 members. The last part of the trail to come under federal ownership occurred in 2014, a long-awaited and much celebrated goal of land acquisition. There is justifiably great pride in the 20-mile AT trail section shared with Virginia that reaches 3,956 feet or a whisker over 4,000 feet, depending on your source, at the summit of Peters Mo n ro e Co u n ty, W V

Mountain. West Virginia boasts the highest average elevation of any state east of the Mississippi River, and the AT trail here showcases some of the most rugged wilderness of the entire journey. It is not unusual to see black bears or coyotes or bobcats on the ground, while ravishing raptors spread their mighty wings overhead.

Access to the Appalachian Trial can be achieved by one of two ways. Park or shuttle to the Sugar Camp Farm near Peterstown and hike the Groundhog Trail to the ridge of Peters Mountain. Alternatively, utilize the southern terminus of the 287mile, Allegheny Trail.

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Heritage, Arts & Culture

The rich legacy of Monroe County is being preserved, painted and played out in several ways by people and organizations whose hearts embrace the journey through previous decades and centuries. Historic preservation is a vital link to the past and may conserve resources in stabilizing what already exists. Throughout the county, our past is a treasured, integral part of our present. Several organizations and individuals are teaming up with private and public entities to breathe new life into old buildings. The structures are then being used for a variety events and purposes, opening their doors anew for residents and visitors. The commitment to preserve the county’s historical places is a wonderful benefit for everyone now and in the coming decades.

Sweet Spring Resort Park Foundation [www.sweetspringsresortpark.org]

This historically-significant resort property includes a sprawling brick hotel based on designs by Thomas Jefferson. There are houses and a pool house at the natural warm water spring, which once attracted many guests for the medicinal benefits. The foundation staff is dedicated to restoring the property into a world-class conference center and health spa.

Peterstown Preservation Group, Inc. [www.facebook.com/peterstownpg/]

Revitalizing historic landmarks and structures and preserving the culture and heritage which builtPeterstown are the goals of this non-profit organization. They meet monthly to continue their efforts of using the historic E.I. Terry Building as a center for education, economic and cultural opportunities for residents and visitors. 38

Alderson Main Street [www.aldersonmainstreet.org]

This wonderful organization exists to preserve and promote Main Street – its small businesses and buildings - for a thriving small-town economy and community pride. Ice cream socials, community picnics, concerts and a strawberry festival are a few examples of events planned by this organization.

Monroe Arts Alliance [www.monroeartsalliance.org]

This organization was founded in 2002 to support Monroe County and regional arts and culture through assistance and promotion of events and performances. In addition to art shows and special events, the organization provides scholarships to residents pursuing art lessons. They continue to work to help the arts flourish right here in southeastern West Virginia.

Monroe County Historical Society [www.monroewvhistory.org] [304-772-4449]

Preserving much of the unique history of Monroe County falls to the historical society. Members meet quarterly and receive regular newsletters. Publications on the county’s stored history are available in the museum, an 1820 brick building on Main Street in Union. In addition to the main museum, visit their adjacent Carriage House and the ClarkWiseman and Neel log structures with showcase period furnishing entirely from Monroe.

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June to October Tues – Sat. ~ 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free admission

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Hanging Rock Observatory

Fire towers have been built all over the world for spotting fires from a high location in, around or next to forests, prairies and woodlands. The one on Peters Mountain, built in 1956, sits on the Eastern Continental Divide and offers a stunning 360-degree view. It was abandoned for fire purposes in 1972, yet long before any of this, a variety of hawks, eagles and other raptors had found their way to these mountains. Raptors are medium to large birds which prey on other animals, even small birds, for sustenance. Generally they hunt living critters like mammals, insects and fish and do not 40

dine off carcasses. Vultures are an exception. These birds of prey have incredible vision for seeing living food sources while in flight from on high. Their feet have talons which both capture and kill their meals. The word “raptor” comes from Latin where “rapio” means to “take by force”.

The observatory is near the Allegheny and Appalachian trails and can be accessed by the day-tripper on the country road named Limestone Hill [route 15] north of Waiteville. The hike is about a mile, less than an hour, with some short steep sections, but it’s well-marked and not difficult.

Their presence not only contributes to Mother’s Nature’s overall program, but also provides many thrilling moments of wonder to the human eye. Soaring with wing spans of 5, 6 and 7 feet, they glide so smoothly through the air and land so easily in a tree. They never bump into things or each other, and many offer extraordinary patterns and colors when their wings are spread for soaring.

The tower has a log for people to enter their visit, binoculars, information on the raptors and an outhouse. It is open year round and can easily be labeled “almost heaven” at 3,800 feet above sea level. Among the raptors recorded here are:

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o Red-tailed hawk o Black and turkey vultures o Cooper’s hawk o Golden eagle o Osprey o Bald eagle o Peregrine falcon o Northern harrier o American kestrel (smallest hawk in North America) o And more ………………

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Dining Directory

PICKAWAY BALLARD

GREENVILLE

PETERSTOWN

Huffman's Dairy Bar 6064 Ballard Red Sulphur Pkwy Ballard 304-660-7077 Tuesday-Saturday 12pm-6pm

Old World Libations 3493 Greenville Road Union 304-832-6811 Friday : 4pm-9pm Saturday & Sunday 1:oopm-6:00pm

Fiesta Mexicana 1816 Seneca Trail South Peterstown 304-753-4000 Tuesday-Thursday 11am-9pm, Friday 11am-10pm Saturday 12pm-10pm, Sunday 12pm-8:30pm

NanLee Farms 1181 Orchard Road Ballard 304-887-8800 Friday P/U 4:30pm 7pm

LINDSIDE

Hometown Restaurant 141 Market Street Peterstown 304-753-4788 Mon-Friday 7am-7:30pm Saturday 8am-7:30pm Sunday 11am- 3:30pm

GAP MILLS Cheese & More 8920 Sweet Springs Valley Road Gap Mills 304-772-5211 Monday-Thursday 9 am-5:30 pm Friday 9-7 pm, Saturday 9 am to 5:30 pm. A Taste of Eggcellence (Kitchen Creek Bakery until August 2021) 9841 Sweet Springs Valley Road Gap Mills 304-646-8400 Wed-Saturday 8-5 pm with Extended Summer Hours 42

Audrea's Shale Bank 8309 Seneca Trail South Lindside (304) 920-9143 Monday- Saturday 6am-7pm Sunday 11a-3pm

Nance's Pizzeria 21 Market Street Peterstown 304-753-5200 Tuesday-Thursday 3pm-8pm, Friday-Saturday 3pm-9pm, Sunday 3pm-8pm

C&C Diner 7919 Seneca Trail South Lindside 304-772-5972 Monday-Saturday 7am-8pm Sunday 7am-4pm

The Sandtrap Café 541 Fountain Springs Drive Peterstwon 304-753-9500 Wednesday-Monday 8am-6pm (Closed Tuesdays)

Linden Deli and More 8541 Seneca Trail Lindside 304-753-9300

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Sunfresh Market 116 Market Street Peterstown 304-753-6003 M o nr o e Co u n ty, W V

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Pickaway Pickins 3556 Seneca Trail North Pickaway 304-772-4500 Monday: Closed TWT: 11am-8pm Friday, Saturday: 11am-9pm Sunday 11am -7pm

UNION The Deli On Main 315 Main Street Union (304) 772-3354 M-Friday 10am-2pm Kalico Kitchen 305 S Main Street Union (304) 772-3104 Monday-Saturday 6:30am -8:00pm Sunday 8am-4pm Moco Diner 375 Main Street Union (304) 772-3834 Monday 7am-2pm, Tuesday-Friday 7am-7pm, Saturday 7am-2pm, Sunday Closed Queens Pizza 282 Main Street Union (304)772-4800 Sunday-Thursday 11am-10pm Friday/Saturday 11am-11pm t r a v e l m o n r o e . c o m

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Lodging Directory

Old Victorian Inn

Four Fillies Lodge

Mountain Shadow Cabin Rentals

Willow Bend Bed and Breakfast

The Ranch House at Elmwood

Peaceful Valley Cottage

Alderson 304-281-2507 oldvictorianinn.com 4 Rooms AIRBNB

Union (304)772-3454 willowbendbedandbreakfast.com 5 Rooms and an efficiency Cottage

Mountain Meadow Hunting Preserve Lake View Lodge - 20 guests - 9 bedrooms Mountain View Lodge - 12 guests - 5 bedrooms Buffalo View Cabin - 5 guests - 2 bedrooms Greenville (304)832-6635 mountainmeadowhunting.com

Larew Cottage

Greenville 304-832-6827 larewcottage.com 44

Four Seasons Retreat - 6 Guests - 1 Bedroom Moonshine Cottage - 4 Guests - 1 Bedroom Zenith 304-772-5382 AIRBNB

Peterstown 954-702-1647 fourfillieslodge.com 7 Cabins - 5-8 Guests each AIRBNB Union (434)422-0258 www.elmwoodestate.com 6 Guests - 3 Bedrooms AIRBNB

The White House at Three Points Farm

Grandview Cottages

Indian Creek Cottage - 10 Guests - 4 Bedrooms Hans Creek Cottage - 8 Guests - 4 Bedrooms Red Bud Cottage - 6 Guests - 3 Bedrooms Oakview Cottage - 6 Guests - 3 Bedrooms Greenville (304)832-6552 www.grandviewcottagesllc.com AIRBNB

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Ballard 304-887-4816 4 Guests - 2 Bedrooms AIRBNB

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Pickaway 304-772-3120 6 Guests - 3 Bedrooms AIRBNB

The Farm House

Pickaway (304) 646-7288 6 Guests - 3 Bedrooms AIRBNB

A Touch of Grace by Running Creek

Ballard 540-922-3999 Atouchofgrassbyrunningcreek.com KT House on Running Creek Farm - 4 Guests - 1 Bedroom Creek Side Cottage - 4 Guests - 1 Bedroom AIRBNB

Mountain View

Gap Mills 304-667-3999 6 Guests - 3 Bedrooms AIRBNB

Nest at Peters Mountain Gap Mills 304-633-1332 10 Guests - 5 bedrooms AIRBNB

Breezy Maple Homestead Pickaway 304-646-8424 6 Guests - 3 Bedrooms AIRBNB


Quick Facts

Advertisers Index

The state song: [there have been four] 1947 - “West Virginia, My Home Sweet Home” was declared the first official state song. 1961 - an edited and approved version of “The West Virginia Hills” was also made an official state song 1962 - “This Is My West Virginia” was named the official Centennial Song of West Virginia. 2014 – “Take Me Home, Country Roads” (John Denver, Bill Danoff, Taffy Nivert) released in 1971 was added to the state song list by the legislature.

Monroe County weather averages: 38” rain 22” snow 174 sunny days Average Monthly High and Low (°F) High Low January 42° 21° February 46° 24° March 54° 29° April 65° 38° May 73° 47° June 80° 56° July 84° 60° August 83° 59° September 76° 51° October 67° 39° November 56° 31° December 44° 24° 1863 - Coat of Arms of West Virginia 1929 – Flag 1863, 1872 – Motto, Montani Semper Liberi [Mountaineers Always Free] 1863 – Great Seal Animal, Black Bear Bird, Cardinal Butterfly, Monarch butterfly Fish, brook trout Flower, rhododendron Fruit, apple and golden delicious apple

Insect, honey bee Reptile, timber rattlesnake Tree, sugar maple Fossil, Jefferson’s ground sloth Gem, Silicified Mississippian Lithostrotionella coral Rock, Bituminous coal Soil, Monongahela Colors, Old gold and blue Official holiday, West Virginia Day, Tartan, West Virginia Shawl

According to bestplaces.net, the Monroe County cost of living runs about 20 points below the national average.

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AJ Reece Hardware

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Alderson's Store

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Bank of Monroe

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Broyles-Shrewsbury Funeral Home

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Byrnside Branch Farm

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Corner Market

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Elmwood Estate

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Fullen's Excavating

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Grandview Cottages

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Grist Real Estate

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Groves-Mann Funeral Home

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Kilcollin Dental

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Kittles Hardware

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Made U Look Digital

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McKlarney Insurance Services

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Monroe Insurance Group

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Mountain Meadow

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M-Rock Stone

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Nest at Peters Mountain

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Old World Libations

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Panucci Orthodontics

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Patina

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Sunset Berry Farm

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Sweet Springs Water

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The Cheese 'N More Store

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WHFI-FM

M o nr o e Co u n ty, W V

Coverage You Need, From Companies You Trust

1-888-902-8377

www.mybankofmonroe.com/insurance Mo n ro e Co u n ty, W V

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Profile for TravelMonroe

Monroe County Visitors Guide  

Monroe County, West Virginia Visitors Guide. Travel and business information.

Monroe County Visitors Guide  

Monroe County, West Virginia Visitors Guide. Travel and business information.

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