Friday, March 21, 2008

Almost Heaven West Virginia, Oak Grove Farm

Hello, welcome to my blog. I’m new to the blogging world and thrilled to be here. I thought a good place to start is with my beloved farm in West Virginia called "Oak Grove". My husband and I purchased this farm in 1988, we were the third family to own the property. We did some research on the property and found that the ground was purchased first by Thomas Ellis in 1833. At that time WV was still a part of Virginia. Thomas Ellis was born July 4, 1776. He moved to WV after purchasing the property and marrying. WV became it’s own state in 1863. In 1916 the farm was purchased from the Ellis family by the Linger family. Over the years the Linger family purchased other land tracts to make the farm a total of 250 acres. When we purchased the farm in 1988 in was in very bad shape but we loved the ground and decided we would take on the challenge of the pre-civil war house. The house had no electric or plumbing. The outhouse still existed and was in use when we purchased the farm. Below are some before and after pics of the farm, we still have a lot of work to do, I still want to gingerbread it up and turn it into a Country Victorian Farmhouse!

The two pics above were taken around the turn of the century. You can't see it in the pic but the front has two doors, it seems it was a custom brought over from the old country.

The next 4 pics are before and after, 1988 when we purchased it and 1993 after we did some of the renovations.

This cemetery is on the property, the first owner Thomas Ellis is buried in this cemetery.

Deeds to the property that were given to us by the Linger Family.

This pic of Alex Haley’s house was our inspiration while restoring our home. His home looked just like ours before and after the restoration. The built ins on the inside of his home were also like ours.
This is one of the barns on the property, our son turned the loft into a bachelor pad.

This pic was taken from the farm over the hill from us, our friends have since purchased that property. You can see our house in the lower right of the pic.

This is a mountain on our property called Pine Knob. One of the highest mountains in the area. I haven't walked up to the top of it yet but my husband and son have. It gets very thick with brush so I have not braved it yet.

The only things we found on the property were a trunk and an iron bed. They were both found in the barn and we believe they were owned by the Ellis Family. The trunk below had a broken leg and we had a new on made then refinished it. The antique tapestry was something I added to it.

You can see a corner of the iron bed in the bottom left of this pic. I am refinishing the bed now for a cottage chic guest bedroom. I hope you will stop back in to see the adorable bedroom! I have alot of cute ideas in the making for this room.

The out house was still in use when we purchased the property. It was a two seater!!! Can you imagine!!! We moved it and now it’s a garden shed.
This old one room school house was on our property. The clipping below the school house is from a book published on the history of Lewis County in 1992 we were named as the owners but when we moved in the school house was not here, rumor was it was moved by one of the gas companies to use for storage.
History states that on our property was, Oak Grove School, Oak Grove Cemetary, and Oak Grove Church, so when it came time to name the farm we thought Oak Grove Farm would suit it just perfectly. Two years ago the 911 emergency services wanted to give street addresses to all rural areas so of course we picked Oak Grove Lane. Thank you for taking the time to look at my blog and I hope you will come back, I have so much planned and would love to share it with you!!! Shirl


Connie said...

This is really interesting! Especially since I was born in W.V. and only lived there for about 18 mos. Your place is lovely with those mountains around you. Great post, chickadee!!

Anonymous said...

Shirl, welcome to the world of blogging. some interesting info on your property. Gosh what pretty views. Will be checking back frequently to see what is new here.

Again, welcome my friend.

Katie said...

Shirl your blog is lovely! I enjoyed the history of your home. You and I are so lucky to have our "almost Heaven" properties aren't we? I look forward to your future posts!

Amy at Bunny Rose Cottage said...

Shirl, thank you for all the wonderful info! What a stunning, peaceful retreat you live in! I love it. So beautiful! I want to come and visit you!!!!

Welcome to blogland, yoru gonna love it!!

Love ya,

Stephanie said...

Shirl, your pictures are simply breathtaking! Oh, what views & your house is just lovely.

Very interesting hearing the history of your home & the cemetery. I enjoyed this post so much.

Now, come visit mine, it's about.....YOU!!

Big Easter Hugs & Love,
Angelic Accents

Secondhandrose said...

Up and running. Good for you! Thanks for the interesting history can tell you love your house and farm. Can't wait to read more.

celestina marie said...

Hi Shirl, WOW your farm is incredible and your pictures beautiful. You sure have been busy and is shows. Very interesting story and what a wonderful place to start your brand new blog. Welcome by friend. It is great to have you with us. I look forward to visiting often. Wishing you a Happy Easter.
La Rea Rose

Bertie said...

Fascinating information, Shirl! I just love the history of homes..not so much people...just the homes they lived in and how they lived.

I'm sure you'll agree that it's wonderful to live in an historic home. Mine was built in 1848, so it's a little younger than yours. But, Michigan was settled a little later that WV.

Aunt May's Cottage

Jennifer said...

Mom everything looks great!Welcome to Blog land.You did a great job for your first post!Love Ya,Jen

Anonymous said...

OMG this is wonderful, and guess what I live on a farm in the UK & it is called The Grove,


Rue said...

WOW! I'm in love with a farmhouse here in Ohio and I thought it would be a lot of work until I looked at what you did.

I can't believe that everything was left untouched by progress. Although, after living in VA, I knew that there were still homes out in the mountains that didn't have electricity or plumbing, but it still amazes me. I will definitely be back to visit!

rue :)

Anne Fannie said...

Shirl, I came back to your blog this morning to read the story and history of your farmhouse. What a fantastic story and history you are living in! The before and after shots are amazing! Your land is gorgeous! I have lived in California my whole life there are no old homes here like there is in the Eastern US. We only make them to look old! LOL Thank you for sharing your wonderful Oak Grove Farm,I will add you as one of my favorites and I will be back again!

Anonymous said...


Pastor Debbie Malec said...

I descend from Thomas Ellis and David Linger!! I was so surprised to view your blog! Thank you so much for the pics of his tombstone. I was just there this summer and walked up the hill to the Oak Grove cemetery where all my Burkhammer family is buried - we go there about every year. I have story pages for each of my ancestors and would be happy to send you the one on Thomas Ellis. Thanks again for preserving the property and the name Oak Grove.

Ledell said...

People should read this.

Pearl said...

Hi Shirl, I loved the history lesson, how fasinating to have such a place so perfect! Beautiful old trunk you have, I like the picture you put in side. The house looks amazing, where do you get the energy? Just wonderful

Elizabeth said...

I love your farm house! I look forward to reading more about it!