2022 Road Trip-Part 14A

18 Jan

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Day 14 (5/29/2022)

This morning after breakfast, I headed southeast out of Charleston, WV 60 miles on I-64 to visit The Veterans Museum located in Beckley, WV.  This is a small ‘All Wars’ Museum that displays military artifacts following the history of U.S. Military involvement in wars from the Revolutionary War to the present conflict in the middle east.  They also have a scale model of the Battleship West Virginia (BB-48) on display.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

From Beckley I headed south 40 miles on I-77 to visit the Mercer County War Museum located in Princeton, WV.  This museum is housed on three floors of the old renovated 1928 Princeton Municipal Building. The museum is another of ‘Those Who Served’ museums that displays local artifacts honoring southern West Virginia, Mercer County, and local Princeton members of all U.S. military services who served in wars dating from the Civil War to the present.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

While I was in Princeton, it wasn’t far to where I visited the Princeton Railroad Museum located in the old restored early 1900s Princeton Depot.  Known as the “Richest Little Railroad in the World,” the depot served as one of the stops on the Virginian Railway’s Hampton Roads to Deepwater route from 1909 to 1959.  This museum has two floors filled with local railroad artifacts related to the development of the railroad from the early 1900s.  The restored 1949 Virginian Railway caboose No. 308 is displayed outside the museum for visitors to go thru.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Leaving Princeton, I headed south another 40 miles on I-77, across the border to visit the Great Lakes to Florida Highway Museum located in tiny Wytheville, VA.  This turned out to be a small museum situated in an old restored 1926 gas station.  This small one-room museum displays antique gas station artifacts and tells the story of the early highway (US-21) that was used to connect the states of Ohio and Florida during the early 1900s.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Before leaving Wytheville, I drove downtown to check out Edith Bolling Wilson birthplace.  This museum is situated on the second floor of the old restored 1860s Wilson home and is filled with antique artifacts of the life of Edith, from her birth in 1872 to her death in 1961.  As I’m not an American History scholar, I had no idea what an influential person Mrs. Wilson was in her later years.  It turns out she not only was First Lady to Woodrow Wilson, our 24th President, but it is said that she was also a descendant of Pocahontas, and was somehow related to Martha Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Robert E. Lee.  What a lady!

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

Leaving Wytheville, it was less than 10 miles east on I-81 to where I planned to visit the Mansion at Fort Criswell, VA but the address Greta (My Garmin) took me to was nothing but a sign pointing which way to go on a rutted wagon trail that was closed off with a barbed wire fence.  Their website describes the place as an elegant mansion filled with mid-1800s furnishings, but that trail didn’t work for me.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

So, I picked up I-77 and headed south 20 miles to check out the Planet Chopper (?) located at the intersection of Woodlawn Road and Coulson Church Road in Woodlawn, VA.  I pictured a motorcycle museum or shop, but what I found was a three-story travelers bunkhouse, store, and motorcycle repair shop, all closed with no one in sight.  It appears to be a motorcycle B&B and support organization to help riders enjoy touring the surrounding area on their bikes or on rentals.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

—–To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 65 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

One Response to “2022 Road Trip-Part 14A”

  1. divoran09 January 20, 2023 at 4:30 pm #

    Very interesting.


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