Upshur County

Note:  No two pieces of wood look alike.  Within a board, two sections can have different coloration. The wood samples below are generic swatches to give you some idea about whether the wood is dark or light. The actual woods may vary in color. 

My collection of woods represents WV woods with historical or sentimental significance.  As a retired educator I have a special place in my heart for schools and especially schools that are no longer in operation.  As an example, I live in Taylor County and through school consolidations over the years, we only have five schools left but I have wood from 13, some of which date to the pre-school integration era. 

At fairs and festivals, I use a banner that states that I have “Hundreds of woods with two stories – 1.  Where did the wood come from? and 2. How in the devil did I get it?”  I have become fascinated with the rich history of our great state as it is told through the amazing structures scattered across the state and the wonderful people who have given me wood from around the state.  Oh, if you give me a piece of wood I want for my collection, I will make you a free pen made from that wood or others in my collection.

I have developed a fondness for wood collected from our colleges and universities, courthouses, schools, covered bridges, battlefields, and other places of note.  I challenge people to pick up one of my pens, show it to me, let me read the little tag that identifies it and get prepared to hear the answers to the two questions above.  It surprises even me to see an old math teacher become so fascinated with the history as told by the woods.

Wood SourceHistory of WoodWood Sample
Buckhannon First Baptist Church PineThis wood was reclaimed from a door into the pastor’s office of First Baptist Church which stands proudly on the corner of Florida Street and Hart Avenue in Buckhannon, WV. The church was dedicated on October 8, 1911.

Buckhannon -Upshur Middle School PoplarThis wood was from a classroom of the former Upshur High School which became a branch of Buckhannon-Upshur High School in 1933 and, after an extensive renovation in 1958, became the only high school in the county for all students in grades 10-12. It became Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School in 1977 upon the completion of the new high school.

Buckhannon-Upshur High School (Current School) MapleThis wood was reclaimed from the gym floor of the Buckhannon-Upshur High School when the floor had to be replaced due to a sprinkler leak which rendered the floor unusable. The school opened in 1977.

Buckhannon-Upshur High School (Old School) PoplarThis wood was from a classroom of the former Upshur High School which became a branch of Buckhannon-Upshur High School in 1933 and, after an extensive renovation in 1958, became the only high school in the county for all students in grades 10-12. It became Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School in 1977 upon the completion of the new high school.

Buckhannon-Upshur Regional Airport PineThis wood was reclaimed from the Pilots’ Lounge at the Buckhannon-Upshur Regional Airport. The airport has served Upshur County and the surrounding area since it opened on September 13, 1971.

Central School OakThis wood was reclaimed from the former Central School which was the black school in Upshur County prior to school integration and then served elementary students from northern Buckhannon and is now owned by West Virginia Wesleyan College.

Colonial Theatre/Cinema V MapleThis maple flooring was reclaimed during a 2018 renovation of the Colonial Theatre on Main Street in Buckhannon, WV. The theatre was housed in the White Building which was built in 1924. The theatre entertained people from Upshur and surrounding counties until the mid-1970s.

East Main Street School PineThis wood was reclaimed from the former East Main Street School which now houses the Stockert Youth Center and in its new role continues to serve the youth of the Buckhannon area.

French Creek United Methodist Church Walnut The original church was moved from the First (United) Methodist Church in Buckhannon and reassembled on the current site in French Creek in 1911.  This walnut was the facing of a window removed in 2013 from the choir loft during sanctuary renovation. 

G.C. Murphy Store (Carpenter Building) OakThis wood was reclaimed from the Carpenter Building in downtown Buckhannon. The building housed the G. C. Murphy store for many years and served as a cornerstone of the business district.

Home Hardware ChestnutThis old growth chestnut was reclaimed from original shelving from the site of Home Hardware building in downtown Buckhannon. The building now houses Artistry on Main which opened in April 2014.

Home Hardware OakThis old growth oak was reclaimed from an original baseboard from the site of Home Hardware building in downtown Buckhannon. The building now houses Artistry on Main which opened in April 2014.

Indian Camp Normal School ChestnutThis chestnut was reclaimed from the Indian Camp Normal School which served as a Teacher’s College from 1913 when it was built until 1918. Upon its closure, it was deeded to the trustees of the EUB church for church and community use.

Lorentz School - Cherry TreeThis cherry is from a tree that was cut in 2013 from the fenceline of the schoolyard of the Lorentz School which was one of the last one-room schools in Upshur County and served students from the area for generations.

Lorentz School - Floor Beam White OakThis white oak was reclaimed from a large floor beam removed during repairs to the Lorentz School which was one of the last one-room schools in Upshur County and served students until the late 1960s.

McVaney Building OakThis wood was reclaimed from a baseboard in the McVaney Building which housed Opal’s Dress Shop for many years and served as a cornerstone of the business district.

Post Mansion Barn OakThis oak was reclaimed from the barn (circa 1860) adjoining the Post Mansion on the Island in Buckhannon, WV. The Mansion, built in 1860, and property were used as part of the Underground Railroad.

St. Joseph's Hospital RedwoodThis redwood was reclaimed from the wooden water tank at St. Joseph’s Hospital as part of a major renovation in the mid-1960s. The tank was replaced with a much more modern steel tank.

Stockert Youth Center PineThis wood was reclaimed from the former East Main Street School which now houses the Stockert Youth Center and in its new role continues to serve the youth of the Buckhannon area.

Upshur County Courthouse PineThis pine was reclaimed from the clock tower of the Upshur County Courthouse which was built in 1899. The Courthouse is part of the Buckhannon Downtown Historic District which is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Upshur County HickoryThis tree was harvested in 2002 from the farm of Charles J. Johnson in preparation for drilling a gas well. The farm is located 5 miles west of Buckhannon in Lorentz at the intersection of Sauls Run Road with Routes 33 and 119.

Wesleyan Administration Building OakThe Administration Building was constructed in 1906 on the same site as the original 1890 Seminary Building, which burned in a Saturday morning fire in February of 1905. The name was officially changed in 1953 to acknowledge Judge Charles W. Lynch and John Raine, both of whom were chairmen of the Board of Trustees, as well as benefactors of the College.

Wesleyan Agnes Howard Hall Pine Formerly known as Ladies Hall, Agnes Howard Hall is the oldest surviving building on Wesleyan’s campus, and is believed to be the oldest continuously used residence hall for women in the state. The original wing was constructed in 1895. C. D. Howard provided funding for the Meade Street wing. The building was renamed Agnes Howard Hall in memory of his daughter in 1920.

Wesleyan Annex Building PineThe Annex Building is the second oldest building on campus, dating from 1902, and has served a myriad of purposes over its lifetime. Originally constructed to house the School of Music, the “Music Box” (as it was known) was filled to capacity with relocated classes after the February 1905 fire that destroyed the main academic building. Today it houses Wesleyan’s English department and Writing Center.

Wesleyan Atkinson Chapel - Auditorium White OakConstructed in 1906 and connected to the rear of the Lynch-Raine Administration Building, the chapel was named for George W. Atkinson, tenth governor of West Virginia and a member of Wesleyan’s Board of Trustees, after Atkinson gave $3,000 toward the installation of a pipe organ in 1922.

Wesleyan Benedum Campus Center Bowling Alley MapleOpening in 1963, The Benedum Campus Center was complete with a swimming pool, a six-lane bowling alley, billiards room, music listening studios, lounge space, a coffee shop, and a large social hall. The building was renovated and repurposed slightly in 1997 leading to the removal of the bowling alley and the reconfiguring of lounge space into administrative offices.

Wesleyan Jenkins Hall PineConstruction of Wesleyan’s second residence hall for women took place from 1957-1959, and the building was dedicated May 24, 1959 and named in honor of Edna Jenkins, who staunchly supported Wesleyan in numerous ways throughout her life.

Wesleyan McCuskey Hall PineMcCuskey Hall was constructed as the second residence hall for men and was named for Roy McCuskey (Sem. 1905; College 1908), who was the eighth president of Wesleyan and who ostensibly kept the College operating through the Great Depression. Construction began in 1956, and the building was dedicated in 1958.

Wesleyan Pfeiffer Library ChestnutPhilanthropist Annie Merner Pfeiffer committed funds in 1944 toward the construction of a new library (dedicated in 1953) with the caveat that two buildings of equal value be constructed simultaneously.

Wesleyan Wesley Chapel - Flor Carvings ChestnutThis chestnut was part of the logs used in 1968 to create the carvings of the twelve apostles carved by Wolfgang Flor, a world famous sculptor who lives in southern Upshur County. The wood was reclaimed from an antique barn in Sutton in neighboring Braxton County.

West Virginia State Wildlife Center (formerly French Creek Game Farm) Pine In 1923, the Game and Fish Commission purchased property in Upshur County and created the French Creek Game Farm. In September 1986, new wildlife facilities and exhibits were dedicated and the facility was renamed the WV State Wildlife Center.