Last fall my Mom and I had discussed visiting my Grandpa during the holidays. However, when she became sick due to a staph infection we had to delay our plans until she was back to her old active self. This past Friday we made the seven-hour trek to Clarksburg, WV which turned into a nine-hour drive along beautiful, curvy, scenic routes through a few quaint towns.
While still in North Carolina we passed Baldwin Beef, who raise natural grass-fed beef, on Hwy 86. We were surprised by the number of baby moo cows in the large pastures as we zoomed by.
Once in Virginia we stopped at the very cute and clean Paint Bank General Store.
They had the best restrooms along our route to Grandpas house. We discussed stopping by there on our way home so we could knit while sitting in the rocking chairs on the front porch. Across the way was The Depot Lodge, which peaked our interest for a future stay.
We came across Old Sweet Springs a resort and spa supposedly designed by Thomas Jefferson and established in 1792.
The history of the site intrigues me. It seems a couple purchased the property with intentions to reintroduce it as a resort and spa, but the site was in such disrepair it didn’t look like any work was currently being done.
I can only assume the economy had something to do with the delay. Hopefully they’ll find renewed passion and funds to bring life back into such a wonderful setting and historic gem.
Per the New Deal Festival About page: Arthurdale was founded in 1933 as the nation’s first New Deal Subsistence Homestead Community by President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration. The community provided jobs, education, and modern housing for impoverished, unemployed miners living in destitute coal camps in West Virginia. It also served as a laboratory for new educational, industrial, and farming techniques.
The festival included a little something for everyone: old cars, trucks and tractors, historic sites to tour, crafts and live music. Grandpa loves old trucks from the 30s and 40s so we took our time admiring the various makes and models.
While walking through the craft market I watched Molly Hunt spin fiber with her Lendrum spinning wheel.
We explored five of the six historic buildings including the Esso gas station and shop, and inn where a quilt show was taking place.
Mom and I left early Sunday morning for the long trip home, which ended up taking us about 10 hours since we took a longer scenic route. What a great trip. Love ya Gramps!