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|
|Cockayne Farmstead Oak||This pen was crafted from wood from the Cockayne Farmstead. The larger house (on the National Register of Historic Places) was built in 1850. The smaller one is pictured in a 1877 print but may have been used as the family home while the larger house was being built.|
|WV State Penitentiary Pine||The West Virginia State Penitentiary is a gothic-style prison located in Moundsville, West Virginia. Now withdrawn and retired from prison use, it operated from 1876 to 1995. This wood was collected from areas being renovated on the grounds of the facility|