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 Source||History of Wood||Wood Sample|
|The Blue Church Pine||This 1837 Greek Revival church is one of the few pre-Civil War buildings remaining in Wheeling, WV. It was consecrated as St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church on October 27, 1837. The church was later purchased by the First Baptist Church which used it for nearly 100 years. The building most recently was used by the Church of God and Saints of Christ.|
|West Liberty Cemetery Oak||This wood was reclaimed from a tree which grew in the West Liberty Cemetery located in West Liberty, Ohio County, West Virginia. This cemetery was formerly known as "West Liberty Military Cemetery." Many of the original 450 gravestones are either missing or they are illegible.|
|Woodsdale School Poplar||This wood was reclaimed from the first Woodsdale School which was moved about three blocks from its original location in the 1930s. The street was originally called Bellview but has been renamed Leawood Avenue in Wheeling.|