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West Virginia Building

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1933, 1934–1935

This frame building, seemingly two stories tall, contains exhibits from the West Virginia Building at the Century of Progress Exposition in Chicago. A Palladian window above the front porch, along with pilasters that define the corners of the gabled facade, give a Georgian Revival flavor to a building that is quite domestic in appearance and scale.

After the fair closed, the state legislature appropriated $2,000 to move the structure and its exhibits to the 4-H camp. According to Bradford W. Davis's history, The Nature of Jackson's Mill (1982), three workmen went to Chicago, “took the building apart, numbered the boards, including the little pieces in the parquet floor, loaded them on a train, and after it arrived at Jackson's Mill, unloaded and reconstructed the West Virginia building.” More recent research indicates that the building as it now stands was constructed primarily from new materials, though many of the twenty different varieties of West Virginia hardwoods that Greenbrier County's Meadow River Lumber Company donated to decorate the original building were reused. At Jackson's Mill, the West Virginia Building has served a variety of purposes, including assembly hall, chapel, and ballroom. The interior, with a polygonal end opposite the entrance, is spectacular, with its variety of wood finishes on floor, walls, and ceiling. Murals along the upper walls depict facets of the state's agriculture, frontier life, industry, and recreation. They were painted for the fair by Cleveland artist William F. Grauer, who also worked at the Greenbrier at White Sulphur Springs.

Writing Credits

Author: 
S. Allen Chambers Jr.
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Citation

S. Allen Chambers Jr., "West Virginia Building", [Jane Lew, West Virginia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/WV-01-LW16.7.

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