A Town that Time Forgot, The Heritage Center of Beverly West Virginia

Often when people travel by car they are so busy trying to reach their destination they never take time to stop and enjoy little towns along the way. Beverly, West Virginia in Randolph county is a  mountain town that time forgot. It is a place to enjoy walking on historic streets, take educational tours and shop and eat in places that remind us of our struggles,our victories as a country and a state.

Driving to Beverly a person leaves the more modern world of strip malls and congested traffic and  returns us to a quieter time. This town is mostly residential, built around a central plan of main street businesses that are all within walking distance. The historic district surrounds a small green town square that is hub of activities even today. The city has added to the historic downtown over the years, investing in other old structures, moving them from other areas in Randolph County.

Cloudy day in Beverly WV looking down Main Street from the Heritage Center

Cloudy day in Beverly WV looking down Main Street from the Heritage Center

As a visitor my first stop was at the Beverly Heritage Center to take the tour of the largest and most important buildings in the Historic District. It is hard to miss the Bank on the corner of Main Street ( US Rt 250/219). I feel in love with its white brick and decorative exterior the minute I drove past. Built in 1900 by  the local Dr. Humbolt Yokum, it was the town’s only bank for 33 years. It is the first of the four buildings that connect as The Beverly Heritage Center.

Main Street Bank Beverly, WV Circ 1900

Main Street Bank Beverly, WV Circa 1900.

Rounding the corner off of Main Street on to Court Street, visitors are able to view the other buildings in the collection and enter the parking area at the back of the buildings. The next building on the side street is the most notable of the four buildings. It is the former Randolph County Courthouse. The Courthouse completed in 1815 is one of several buildings used as a County Courthouse. The location of the county seat would move  back and forth from Elkins to Beverly several times over 84 years. Finally the city of Elkins won the battle for the county seat in 1899 leaving this building to serve other purposes.

Beverly Heritage Center, Beverly WV, Bank, Courthouse, Store and House

Beverly Heritage Center, Beverly WV, Bank, Courthouse, Store and House.

The Courthouse connects with the next building in the row, the Hill building. The Hill building was constructed in 1912 for use as a store, pool hall and bar, it has the smallest footprint of the four buildings.The bar inside is said to have even survived the prohibition era with ease.Then connected to the Hill building is the Bushrod Crawford House Circa 1850. The building housed a family until General McClellan needed a headquarters during the civil war in the summer of 1861. The home was an important location to the General because it’s close location to several battlefields, it had electricity and could supported telegraph communications. The historic value of this simple looking home is priceless to anyone interested in the history of our country.

Beverly Heritage Center Sign

Beverly Heritage Center Sign

In back visitors see the main entrance of the  Heritage Center. Here you are able to take a tour,enjoy a gift shop and look through a collection of found items from around Randolph County and the Rich Mountain Battlefield.

The quality of this restoration project and unique way the four buildings connect into a single unit is flawless. Visitors move seamlessly from a modern addition where offices and tour guides lead you to the historic buildings. Tour Guides explain the history of each room as you pass from one room to the next room through natural looking passages. The tour actually starts in the rear of the Courthouse and passes to the Bank and back to the store/bar then to the house. At the end of your tour you return back into the entry area through a second doorway.

Each of the buildings are handicap accessible and the flooring in all the rooms of the center are of traditional hardwoods. Each of the buildings contain a collection of items that would have been found in a building of this style and age. The Courthouse has a courtroom display that made me think of what it must have been like for a judge in such a rural area in the 1800 hundreds. Thoughts of the of crimes and what judges would have to rule about drifted into my mind.

inside old Randolph County Courthouse, Beverly Heritage Center, Beverly WV

Inside the old Randolph County Courthouse, Beverly Heritage Center, Beverly W.V.

After leaving the courtroom visitors are lead into the Beverly Bank. The inside restoration is just as  wonderful as the masonry work of the exterior. The shiny tin punched ceiling and the arched windows make me almost want to go back into banking. The displays in this room are a collection of found objects that were found on or around the Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike that passed through Beverly. Many of the items are things that would have been part of wagon or team of horses. There’s also a lovely desk covered in banking papers reminding me of the importance a bank has to a small community.

Desk with bank papers underglass, Beverly Heritage Center.

Desk with bank papers under glass, Beverly Heritage Center.

McClellan style saddle, used during the Civil War and would have been seen along the roads in Beverly WV

McClellan style saddle, used during the Civil War area Beverly WV

 

Beverly Bank interior with tin ceiling, Beverly Heritage Center, Beverly WV

Beverly Bank interior with tin ceiling, Beverly Heritage Center, Beverly WV

When visitors finish enjoying the Bank, they pass back through the courtroom into the Hill building. This building is home to a beautifully restored bar and pool hall area with a storefront window that has two mannequins who appear to be running for some sort of county office.

Bar Room in the Hill Building of the Beverly Heritage Center.

Bar Room in the Hill Building of the Beverly Heritage Center.

Mannequins about to shake hands in typical 1800s dress, Beverly Heritage Center.Beverly WV.

Mannequins about to shake hands in typical 1800s dress, Beverly Heritage Center, Beverly WV.

Finally the tour heads into the Bushrod Crawford House circa 1850 where the Heritage Center has a civil war display area. My favorite portion of the collection is a corner display of a civil war camp site. Making thoughts of long cold nights in the Appalachian woods and the sounds of rifle fire slow my pace through the tour. Visitors also enjoy the story of General McClellan’s use of the house and how important the telegraph was to the battles in this area of West Virginia.

Civil war encampment display at the Beverly Heritage Center, Beverly WV.

Civil war encampment display at the Beverly Heritage Center, Beverly WV.

When finished with the Civil War display visitors pass into another area of the house that has a fireplace and furnishings that remind you that at one time this was a home. Visitors then can shop for handmade gifts and toys popular in the 1800’s in the last room on the tour. Quests slowly make their way back to the modern entry where the tour of these buildings comes to an end.

Fireplace and upright piano in dining area in Crawford house, Beverly Heritage Center.

Fireplace and upright piano in dining area in Crawford house, Beverly Heritage Center.

The continued exploration of the historic district should be seriously considered while visiting. The Heritage Center Staff have walking tour booklets and other information to help you continue to enjoy the town of Beverly West Virginia. Below are some more of the wonderful places I photographed that day.

Bosworth Store/ Museum across street from Beverly Heritage Center, Beverly WV

Bosworth Store/ Museum across street from Beverly Heritage Center, Beverly

Green grass city Square Beverly, WV

Green grass city Square Beverly, WV

Randolph County Jail 1813

Randolph County Jail 1813

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This town has so many  interesting stories and I have only begun to explore them all. My trip to the Beverly Heritage Center was a morning well spent. I will be back and will be taking more time to learn about this wonderful little town that time has forgotten.It was such a pleasure to spend a day with people enjoy old buildings as much as I do.

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Categories: Beverly West Virginia, Civil War, Country life, Elkins West Virginia, ghost stories, historic locations, history, Randolph County, rural life, Travel, traveling | Tags: , , , , , , | 23 Comments

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23 thoughts on “A Town that Time Forgot, The Heritage Center of Beverly West Virginia

  1. wendy bynum

    I enjoyed your tour of Beverly very much.

    Like

  2. I wonder what it is about “old” well-preserved things that we find so appealing. We don’t wish for those times back and yet they seem to be treasured. Great pics!

    Like

  3. Sandra Miller

    It’s been many years since Harold and I visited Beverly. We will definitely go again as it seems there is a lot more to see now. Thanks for your post.

    Like

  4. Thanks for taking us along with you. The pictures are amazing,

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  5. Brenda

    thank you for the History lesson, its so nice that someone cares enough to preserve our history as beverly has for decades, i myself and my husband reside in beverly, and to tell you the truth ive lived in alot of places in my life but NOTHING compares to living in beverly, , its quiet, friendly and for me when i walk into one of the old historic buildings, i can just feel the history of the place surrounding me i love it here

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Laura Davison

    Isn’t the green grassy town square part still owned by the UK????

    Liked by 1 person

    • interesting queston Laura… I will have to get back to you… as far as I understand it is still owned by a family trust that states that it will be owned by the trust for perpetuity
      Will ask a friend who work at the center and see what she knows

      Like

  7. This was a very good article. Very interesting and informative.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Edith S West

    Did I miss any mention of the Hart Family, Edward son of John Hart signer of the Declaration of Independence. George Washington attended his marriage to Nancy Stout and Edward crossed the Delaware with George.

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    • Edith you did not miss it I was unaware of this connection… I an just a visitor and may have missed this information thank you for adding it.

      Like

  9. Brian Lee

    We had a great time visiting Beverly, also thought the writings on the walls at the antique store by the Civil War troops was quite fascinating, being preserved all these years. Also not too far is a Historic Civil War site on Rich Mountain, mind the chickens when you reach the top.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Good article but I doubt General McClellan took the Crawford House to serve as his headquarters in 1861 because it had electricity….telegraph yes but not electricity

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    • Thanks for your correction… surprising that the Beverly staff did not catch this mistake…. I will make the correction asap

      Like

  11. I really enjoyed this wonderful article, comments, and pictures. I want to plan a visit soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. HEY, WHAT A GREAT TOUR! My son, Patrick Corcoran, and I have visited Beverly many times. We were captivated by it even before your well-done restorations took place. In an antique store (which looked like the Old Jail), we found a rare biographical history of the 1930s, with portraits of important historical figures from all over the state, including McDowell, Wyoming, Greenbrier, Pocahontas, Mercer and Gilmer Counties where we have lived. So, Beverly holds many treasures, if only motorists would stop and look.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. micahmcmurry1961

    Beverly West Virginia has always been a favorite place of mine to go to, along with Elkins. So much to see and the country side is so peaceful. Your article was very informative. Brings back memories of when I would travel through that little town.
    Do you write for a living?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Micah… I write about WV for fun and for my work… most of the things I write about are press releases and things for our websites and fb but this blog is all about me and my home

      Like

  14. Jayne Harris

    Very nice, my husband and I enjoy the peaceful walks in town.

    Like

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