2021 Mid-Eastern Road Trip Part 9B

10 Nov

A Slice of Life

Onisha Ellis

Day 9 – 7/20/2021 (Continued)

Across the street from the main entrance to the WV Penitentiary, there in Moundsville, is the Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex, which houses the Delf Norona Museum and is a research center for the Moundsville Adena Burial mound.  This museum displays artifacts related to the history, research, and excavations of the largest Adena burial mound in the area.  This 69-foot high, 295-foot diameter mound is thought to have been constructed in successive stages by the Adena people between 250 BC and 150 BC.

Photo Credit:Bill Lites

The next 65 miles south on US-250 from Moundsville to where I finally picked up I-79 were some of the most beautiful, but adventuresome, stretches of highway I had been on so far during this trip.  It was mile after mile after mile of two-lane highway that wound its way up one side of the mountains and then wound its way down the other side.  I was worn out by the time I arrived at the West Virginia Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) Camp Museum located in Mount Clare, WV.  This museum displays artifacts and exhibits relating the history and effectiveness of the West Virginia CCC camp (just one of 1600, that employed over 3-million men nation-wide) and operated from 1933 to 1942. 

Photo Credit:Bill Lites

Now it was 20 miles south on I-79 to visit the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum (TALA) located in Weston, WV.  The Weston State Hospital was originally authorized as a Kirkbride psychiatric hospital in the 1850s.  However, the need for more room initiated the building of a larger facility, and TALA was built and opened in 1858.  This facility operated until it was closed in 1994 due to patient over-crowding and changes to their patient treatments.  Just try to imagine some of the mental health techniques used on patients in the Mid-1800s.  Very scary!

Photo Credit:Bill Lites

Now I headed southwest 95 miles on I-79 to visit the Craik-Patton House located in Charleston, WV.  This federalist period Greek Revival house was built by James Craik for his wife Juliet in 1834.  They occupied the house until 1858, when Colonel George S. Patton Sr.  purchased it.  Patton lived in the house until his death of wounds suffered during the Civil War in 1864.  The house was moved to its present location in the Danial Boone Park, overlooking the Kanswha River, in 1973 where it was restored to its early 1800s representation.

On the same property there in the Danial Boone Park area, I saw this old log cabin and stopped to check it out.   It turned out to be the Ruffner Log House, built by Joseph Ruffner for his family in 1803 

(‘Rosedale’) and is said to be one of the oldest houses in Kanawha County.  The house survived the Civil War and Ruffner families lived in the house until the last Ruffner descendant died in the late 1960s. The Ruffner house was moved to its current location and refurbished for use as a museum in 1975.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Now it was time to find my motel, there in Charleston.  Once I found the motel and got checked in, I brought my stuff in from the van and had a shower.  Then I warmed up my leftover Steamers Baked Penne & Sausage and enjoyed that meal again.  Boy, was that good!  I recorded my days activities, of this long day, and was soon asleep.

—–To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 64 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

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