Kanawha 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
Benedict Haid Farm ChestnutThis wormy chestnut wood came from the Benedict Haid Farm, a 163 acre farm with Civil War era log houses. The farm was formerly owned by the Girl Scouts and was known as “Camp Wheelgate” where hundreds of local girls camped in the 1960’s and 1970’s. Since 1985, it has been a unique private venue for weddings, family reunions and weekend get-aways.

Bowen Tavern - Six Mile House PoplarThe Bowen Tavern was built in 1835 on Tyler Mountain in Kanawha County, Virginia (now West Virginia). Also referred to as the Six Mile House, it served as a stagecoach stop.

Charleston Elks Lodge MapleThis wood was reclaimed from the dance floor on the fourth floor of the old Charleston Elks Lodge which stood at the corner of Quarrier and McFarland Streets. The building has since been demolished.


Charleston High School OakThis oak was in the auditorium of Charleston High School when it was demolished in 1989 following its closure when it consolidated with Stonewall Jackson High School to form Capital High School.

Evans Lumber Cabinetry MapleThis maple was reclaimed from a cabinet built by the Evan Lumber Company of South Charleston. It apparently was first used at Morris Harvey College (now University of Charleston) and later at South Charleston High School and Junior High.

Herbert Hoover High School OakThis wood was reclaimed from the original Herbert Hoover High School which opened in 1963 in Clendenin, WV. The building was damaged beyond repair on June 23rd, 2016 when the Elk River put 7 feet of water into the school. The building was declared a total loss and plans were laid for a new building expected to be open by the 2018-19 school year.

Office of the Governor - Desk MahoganyThis wood was reclaimed from a desk which bore inventory stickers indicating it was from the Office of the Governor.

Morris Harvey College MapleThis maple was reclaimed from a cabinet built by the Evans Lumber Company of South Charleston. It apparently was first used at Morris Harvey College (now University of Charleston) and later at South Charleston High School and Junior High.

Shelton College PoplarThis poplar was reclaimed from a tree which grew on the grounds of Shelton College on College Hill in St. Albans, WV. Shelton College closed its doors in 1887 after being in existence only 10 years.

South Charleston High School HawthornThis hawthorn was harvested by Jerill Vance of Culloden WV from the front lawn of the old South Charleston Junior High School which was previously South Charleston High School as the building was being demolished.

South Charleston High School MapleThis maple was reclaimed from a cabinet built by the Evans Lumber Company of South Charleston. It apparently was first used at Morris Harvey College (now University of Charleston) and later at South Charleston High School and Junior High.

South Charleston Junior High School HawthornThis hawthorn was harvested by Jerill Vance of Culloden WV from the front lawn of the old South Charleston Junior High School which was previously South Charleston High School as the building was being demolished.

South Charleston Junior High School MapleThis maple was reclaimed from a cabinet built by the Evans Lumber Company of South Charleston. It apparently was first used at Morris Harvey College (now University of Charleston) and later at South Charleston High School and Junior High.

South Charleston Public Library PoplarThis poplar is reclaimed shelving from the South Charleston Public Library which opened in 1943 and has undergone numerous renovations.

St. Albans High School MapleThis maple was reclaimed from the “Original Home Court” for St. Albans High School. This gym floor was in use at the high school from 1955 through 2001.

University of Charleston Eddie King Gym Maple This maple was reclaimed from the floor of the Eddie King Gym on the campus of the Univeristy of Charleston during the renovation of the gym which included the creation of the Innovation Center.

University of Charleston Hall of Fame CherryThis cherry was reclaimed from the Hall of Fame in the Eddie King Gym on the campus of the Univeristy of Charleston during the renovation of the gym which included the creation of the Innovation Center.

University of Charleston Riggleman Hall OakThis wood was reclaimed from a lectern used in a classroom in Riggleman Hall, the first building erected at the current location of University of Charleston.

William S. Gilliland Log Cabin PoplarThis wood was reclaimed from the William S. Gilliland Log Cabin which was constructed in 1847. The Gillilands resided there until 1868 when the Neale family purchased the property. It is situated at Louden Heights and Bridge Road in Charleston.

WV State Capitol Grounds Culture Center Pin OakThis pin oak was reclaimed from one of several trees which were removed from the grounds of the WV State Capitol in 2016 allowing repairs to Culture Center in the State Capitol Complex.

Sample unavailable
at this time.

WV State Capitol Grounds Parking Renovations Pin OakThis pin oak was reclaimed from a tree which was removed from the grounds of the WV State Capitol during a 2015 project to create a bus turning area and additional parking.

Sample unavailable
at this time.

WV State University MapleThis wood was reclaimed from a tree on the campus of West Virginia State University in Institute. The tree, near the football field, was destroyed during a storm in the summer of 2018.