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|
|Blenko Glass Mold Cherry||This cherry was reclaimed from a mold used to make the world famous Blenko sheet glass. Blenko is one of two companies in the world which still makes the sheet glass. The mold was carved by Daniel Chapman who has worked for Blenko for about 40 years.|
|Culloden Elementary School Oak||This wood was reclaimed from a hand rail near the main entrance of Culloden Elementary School in the summer of 2014. The school has served area students since 1933.|
|Huntington Greyhound Terminal Pine||This wood was reclaimed from the Huntington Greyhound Terminal which still sits at 1251 4th avenue. It was built in 1953 and later condemned before being purchased by the Tri-State Transit Authority in 1994 and now serves both Greyhound and TTA buses.|
|Huntington Heavy Repair Shop Walnut||This old growth walnut was reclaimed from a building which was built in 1889 and has been known as the Huntington Store Room, the C&O Shop, and most recently as the Huntington Heavy Repair Shop. The building was demolished in the spring of 2017.|
|Marshall University Beech Tree||This wood was reclaimed from “The Marshall Beech Tree”. The Marshall Beech Tree and Old Main still mark the original site where the Marshall story started in 1837. It was struck by lightning and killed during Marshall’s 150th anniversary in 1987. A new beech tree was planted with hopes of living 150 more years.|
|Marshall University Campus Christian Center Ash||This wood was reclaimed from an original pew from the Marshall University Campus Christian Center, completed in 1961 on Fifth Avenue beside the Memorial Student Center. The pew appeared in the “We Are Marshall” movie.|
|Marshall University Morrow Library Maple||This hard maple was reclaimed from shelving from the Morrow Library on the campus of Marshall University.|
|Marshall University Morrow Library Walnut||This walnut was reclaimed from a chair in the Morrow Library on the campus of Marshall University.|
|Marshall University Old Main Walnut Tree Walnut||This walnut was harvested from a tree on the front lawn of Old Main on the campus of Marshall University. The entire tree including the root ball was harvested in 1996 by Jerill Vance of Jerill Vance Woodworks of Culloden, WV.|
|Marshall University Veterans Memorial Fieldhouse Maple||The Veterans Memorial Fieldhouse was an 8,500-seat (6,500 for basketball) multi-purpose arena built in 1950. It closed on February 10, 2012, and was demolished later that year. The Fieldhouse was the home of the Marshall University basketball teams until the completion of the Cam Henderson Center in 1981. This wood is a reclaimed arm rest.|
|Marshall University Science Lab Maple||This wood was reclaimed from a science laboratory on the campus of Marshall University.|
|Milton Covered Bridge Pine||The Milton Covered Bridge, also known as the Mud River Covered Bridge, was built in 1876 on Cabell County Route 25. In 2011, it was moved to The Pumpkin Park where it is perhaps the most “well-traveled” of WV’s seventeen covered bridges.|
|Milton High School Oak||This oak was reclaimed from the classroom of longtime coach and teacher, Mr. Lewis Ball. This wood was part of the frame from the chalkboard used by generations of Milton High School students.|
|Milton United Methodist Church Oak||This wood was reclaimed from an abandoned pew removed in a renovation of Milton United Methodist Church which sits at the corner of Smith and Church Streets.|
|Mingo Oak White Oak||In 1931, a large white oak tree growing on the Trace Fork of Pigeon Creek in Mingo County, WV was recognized as the largest and oldest living white oak tree in the world. It was felled in 1938 following its death. This wood was reclaimed from wainscoting in the Cabell County Board of Education offices.|
|Salt Rock Elementary School Oak||This oak was reclaimed from a teacher’s chair from Salt Rock Elementary School.|
|St. Mary's School of Nursing Maple||This maple was reclaimed from the gym floor at St. Mary’s School of Nursing. It was reused as the floor of the Generations Hall which was built in 2015 at Heritage Farm Museum and Village.|
|West Junior High School Poplar||This wood was reclaimed from West Junior High School on Jefferson Avenue in Huntington. The school was built in 1911. There were four additions to the building before its consolidation with Cammack Middle School in 2007.|
|WV Tamarack Tamarack||Three tamarack trees were harvested in 2002 and were used by Fred Friar to make a chair which remains on display at Tamarack: The Best of West Virginia in Beckley, WV. This pen was also made from wood from these three trees.|