Part 2, More Mysteries and Histories of our Museum in Pocahontas County
In Part one of our Interview with the Pocahontas County Historical Society’s Secretary, Dr. Denise McNeel, she described the pioneer beginnings of our county when Andrew Lewis, Jacob Marlin and Stephen Sewell first explored here. If you missed it, you can hear it on our webpage, alleghenymountinradio.org. In this second part, Dr. McNeel starts with what came next here, then she describes some of the other exhibits in the museum and the stories they tell about our county’s history.
“The land then went to the Poage Family, and the Poage lady was married to a Price” said Dr. McNeel. So, the Price family bought up her brother’s share and then they owned absolutely everything in this valley, on both sides of the river all the way up to Campbelltown and of course, Price Hill, where you can see we have Kee Run. And the land thereafter went up to the top, and the Kee Family had the big flat area which saved our lives after the great flood.”
“In the room next to the entrance hall, we have a variety of things having to do with the Civil War -not only the Civil War, we also have a lot of instruments. We also have swards, we have guns, but most importantly we have documents, and this is really, really essential. So many original documents that it is stunning. So, we can find out what was happening. That we had our own militia. We have orders to the local militia. We have letters, we have money which was created during the Civil War. We have stamps which were captured. These were personal collections.”
“I should not go past without mentioning the thing that changed Pocahontas so radically, which was the coming of logging after the civil war, when the northern companies were trying to catch up with their European rivals and wanted to industrialize because they had lost four years of their time. So, they came -not to us at first but to Pennsylvania, but then they found Pocahontas County. Soldiers, many, many soldiers, had been in this area (during the Civil War) and so the information was passed on and they logged and they logged and they logged. In the Log room, you will see absolutely everything. Tons of pictures, but also the things used by the people in the logging companies.”
“Down on the bottom floor we also have a research room for anybody who wants to investigate their family. We’re also hooked up with the Price Library, which was put into the new McClintic Library where we have the digitalized Pocahontas Times. So, I do urge everybody, these are the places where you need to start to check out your family. We also have these burial books. So far, we have done nine (which) you can buy from us or from the Pocahontas Times. A section of the Historical Society set out to try to cover all the graves in Pocahontas County. so, there is tons of stuff.”
“A lot of people remember particularly the music. We have various (music) machines that were donated -all by local people. We have won a melodia (music box) which went back to the opening of the Buckeye Country Store in 1887. And Mr. Kee of the (Kee) cabin was the winner of the prize, which was the melodia. We also have many, many other things, which includes an English piano, which came with the English settlement. We have a wonderful record player, which goes back to the turn of the century, and a lot of the music was made for the First World War. That is absolutely a favorite, but, of course, the Williamsburg Swiss Music Box, which is huge and lived in Doctor Susan Price’s colonial house in Williamsburg. And this came to her sister when she died. And her sister donated it, as well as selling this house (the museum) for a song because the Price Family were really keen on this becoming a place for future generations to see their history.”
Keep listening to Allegheny Mountain Radio for more stories by Dr. McNeel about the histories and mysteries of our county as told by the exhibits in our museum.