GREENBRIER COUNTY, W.Va. (WVDN) — The Homes Among the Hills 2023 home tour, sponsored by the Greenbrier Historical Society, will showcase the Muddy Creek Valley’s history from prehistoric times through early settlement, the glamorous era of the Sulphur Springs and homespun entertainment.
Greenbrier Historical Society President Janice Cooley said the tour focuses on history and beautiful homes, as well as people lost to history, such as Native Americans and enslaved Black individuals.
The tour will feature “Fairhill,” a 1795 stone house built for the first James Jarrett to settle in the area. Local antique expert Jim Costa will curate the large basement fireplace where enslaved people cooked for the family. The house was constructed from stones found in the hills and valleys, and most of the original woodwork remains intact. The top two floors are lit by candles as they lack electricity.
“The Homeplace” has served generations of the Jarrett-Clay families and continues to do so. The home demonstrates the evolution from a simple log cabin to a larger frame addition that hosted neighborhood dances, eventually becoming a modern home with today’s expected luxuries. The tour will include the house’s vegetable garden and live music from the 1920s and 1930s on the porch.
Agriculture has been the backbone of the Muddy Creek Valley, with early “corn rights” allowing settlers to claim land by planting corn. The Tahoe Antique Tractor Club will display early tractors and equipment, with visitors given the chance to guess model years for prizes.
“View spots” between major stops will showcase locations or ruins with historical information provided in the driving tour book included with each adult ticket. These sites are for roadside viewing only.
The opening reception at the Law Library and Enslaved Quarters/Rhoda’s House on Friday, June 9, at 7:30 p.m. will feature building explorations, an art exhibit of Native American depictions, a portrayal of Judge Tucker and light refreshments.
The Blue Sulphur Springs Pavilion and Arbuckle Fort Preserve will offer food, drink, entertainment and fort tours included in the Saturday home tour ticket.
Visitors should be aware of curvy, country roads, some of which are one lane and gravel. Comfortable shoes are recommended for walking on uneven ground at working farms.
Tickets are virtual and available online and at the North House Museum at 814 Washington Street W., Lewisburg. Guests who purchase tickets online will check in at welcome tables at each location to receive wristbands, driving tour books, maps and event inserts.
All locations are accessible off Interstate-64 and Route 12 at Spring Valley Road and Blaker Mills Road between Alta and Alderson. Electronic signs will direct visitors, and phone map apps can be used with addresses found on the GHS website.
Margaret Hambrick, chair of the 2023 Home Tour Committee, encouraged families with children to attend, noting that schools cannot teach local history as deeply as the tour offers. She said children will enjoy the activities at the Blue and Arbuckle’s Fort, making for an exciting day out for families.