Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Whipple Winter Wonderland

Some of my people have arrived  to get me cleaned and organized for the 2014 visitors.  My family leaves me in safe hands and go down south to work in the winter so they can spend  the summer months keeping me looking lovely and continually preserved.   Joy arrives in April to start the dusting,washing,wiping and swiping process. She walks around and smiles a lot when she first gets back. (she likes me)  Victor gets the water turned on,toilets flushing, and lights bulbs working, then the washing and cleaning begin.   I can smell fresh brewing coffee and Granny brings in chili, soups, food and goodies.   My old bones start to warm up and I pop and creak with 100 years under my roof.   People start to show up at the front door and want to come in to take a look.  The grass is beginning to turn green, Easter lilies are blooming. I stand tall over the community feeling the coal camp folks. Our heritage and history leave me with a warm since of pride.

    It has been a long cold winter with lots of snow. I'm looking forward to getting warmer.  I have one of my front windows broken on the front porch.  That makes everyone sad. It will be expensive to replace. A few more leaks have showed up and my boards on the west side have flew off. All and all I have weathered pretty good. My family is pleased.  
    I have a sweet Easter egg tree giving color to my front porch and volunteers have come to wipe away dust and dirt from my shelves and ballroom.  I will be ready on May 1st for friends and visitors.  

I over heard conversation about my new roof. I will be getting it later this summer.  I'm getting some new paint in places and a community garden is being planted with vintage plants. Come out and join us. Well enough bragging for now. I'm so happy to have people here again. . See you soon.   Whipple

Easter egg tree

Monday, September 24, 2012

“When daddy died he stopped needin his light and energy from hims body turned into heat and the light was taken in by other natural things. Daddy died in the company store when I was 9 years old and I believe to this day his light is still here. Thats why I come to visit today.”

This quote made by a tourists that told me about life( and death) in the coal camp in 1922. Lillian was 9 years old when her daddy died. She came to share her stories this summer and was 99 years old . She was pretty as a picture and fairly healthy as well. Her story went like this:

Mother, little Clara and I were walking to the company store in the afternoon of May 1922.. I can remember it like it was yesterday. We was makin a special trip, we never got to go twiced in on week. The sky was real blue and the sun warm on my dress. I kept fighting the urge to lift the hem of my dress to my face to feel the warm on my cheeks. It had been a cold winter, I loved the sun.(she looked so sweet and sincere. I offered her a place to sit, she smiled and said she wanted to walk around the store and touch everything.) “I didn't git to touch stuff when I was commin into the company store. Mother would do the shopping and me and Clara would get to look ,but never ever touch.” Walkin up the big steps made you feel like you were goin into a castle. We all was movin carefully around the company store when mother got to talking to the manager of the store .. he was a nice man and always smiled at me and nodded. There was a man that stood near him most times and watched everyone, he was watching us. He had deep brown eyes that could look right through you. I was always a bit scared of him. He looked like a big bad man, back then I didn't knowd was they called but today I knows they was Baldwins guards. Mother turned to us after a spell she had a tear on her face. She kneeled down to Clara's level and looked up at me locking our eyes and moving her head in a no no slight movement. She spoke real soft to us and said Daddy has been hurt real bad. His hurtin happened when movin furniture up in the top floor of the store. They keep tables, chairs and things to keep your house warm up those stairs right there.(Mother pointed to the stairway next to the post office.) Daddy was always a good man to help the manager and worked real hard at what ever they told him to do. I was confused, Daddy left for the mines early that day and what was he doin on the storage floor? We were told by mother not to make a sound but to git along with ourselves out the front door, we needed to make preprations. I wasn't sure what was meant by any of that . We was leavin Daddy in the company store and goin home. I didn't understand.
We got home and cleaned all the furniture from out the front room into Mother's room . All the windows, we had 4 needed to be covered. A very special wood pallet was brought to the house by some of the miners, laid on the floor and Mother covered it in white linens. daddy was brought home that night by the guards and laid on the pallet.I member they didn't lay him down to easy and mother let out a cry that made my heart real sick. A chair was placed in the corner and Mother and 3 of our neighbors took turns staying up and watching Daddy all the time.. Daddy looked very still, I wanted him to wake up. I asked mother why weez all gotta keep watchin Daddy. I member her smile and she took my hand and squeezed it real soft. Daddy is gonna be in heaven son and we have to watch and make sure no bad spirits try to go with him. Mother said all his energy was gone but I was to never fear he would be in the company store forever where he left his energy and his spirit. I didn't understand what she meant Daddy was laying in front of me but he was at the company store.. 3 days went by and daddy was still laying on that pallet, the house was very quiet. A very nice Coal miner, Mr. Clark came to visit he knew daddy and brought Clara and me a piece of red apple. He ask mother to marry him. Daddy was burried the next day. Mother and Mr. Clark was married by the preacher in the field near daddy's grave. Mr. Clark was a very good Daddy and we always ate good food, but he was always dirty and always smelled like body smell from the mines. I missed my Daddy so very much. When I got a bit older Mother told me that she had to get married right quick cause she had no way to feed us girls. But not to worry Daddy will always watch over us for his spirit lives in the company store. And all thems windows is how daddy watched us so we be safe.”

Lillian never knew how or why her daddy died. She said she suspects he got in a scuffle with a guard and they shot Daddy. Mother( Dorothy) lived in the camp and had 6 more babies. Lillian said, “Nones left now but me, I reckon I'll join them all soon, and I'm ready. I get a bit missin um. But I was wanted to come and see and feel daddy before I decide to leave this old world” Lillian is convinced her daddy is forever and always in the company store.
Dorothy (mother) Clara (sister) Lillian (1913- August 2012) Clarence(1893-1922) Hamilenski

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Greetings from Fayette County WV..  Tourist season is gearing up. My doors will open for our 6th season on May 1st 2012.  Lots of good things are happening around here,  But first things first:
The big question has been "WHY" did they paint it white? IT being me... So I would like to tell you a story

My exterior walls haven't felt this good since 1936 when the New River Company began putting an entire coat of gray and white paint on my whole exterior.. My original 1890 colors where Justus Collins colors of white with a stunning coal black trim.  My walls were neglected of fresh white paint  until approx 1934 the New River Company decided to make a video of the company's coal fields, its people and its activities.  This video was filmed over a course of several  years. I became a beautiful shade of gray with a lovely trim of white. This is what most people today remember my colors being. The folks of today can't remember the white and black of course because of 100 years gone by. Once the preservationist were able to find remnants of white paint on my tower and realized this was original,it was decided to take the antique (that would be me) back to its original color .  The New River Company Paint colors seem to coincide with the introduction of the miners union in 1934. Life and times were making changes during that era, so it seemed only fitting to change the colors. So gray and white I became.  The paint color gray stayed on my exterior walls till 1954 at which time I was closed down and sold to Madge Cummings. She opened a trading post to service the retail new and used market. A lot of my visitors today remember Madge's Trading Post and still think it was the company store. That is another story for another day....
until next time..
See ya in the funny papers


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Build it up West Virginia, has finished for the day. Billy says, "all done" What an accomplishment for 2 days of hard work....... The kids are tired and weary but already talking about day 3.....

Harry and Joe keeping the "Build It Up" group healthy and well fed.

It may not look like much from here, but what a difference! You can walk in to the door, find your way around and not fall over a thing or get trapped.

Day 2

After shower serenade
Day 1...... tired and ready for rest

A short meeting after our eventful day

The basement on day 1, the back of the building before unloading commences.

"Build it up West Virginia" has arrived to volunteer there help at the

Whipple Company Store & Museum. This group of young adults are working hard unloading,unpacking,and unraveling a massive amount of goods,stuff,junk,worthy and un-worthy artifacts contained within the basement walls of the 1890 company store. This is a project that would not have been possible this year had it not been for the dedication of these hard working adults. They come with all the energy to work hard and work hard they do. They camp on site, plan and cook there own meals, clean up after themselves and entertain us with educated conversation, music and laughter. It restores your faith in our future generation of young people . They have accomplished so much in just 2 days. This group is wonderful.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

April 12,13,14,15, and 16th Archaeology Schedule
Task: Surveying the Whipple Property and producing a topographic map Description: This part of the archaeological research will consist of a topographic survey using state-of-the-art surveying devices. Each day will begin with a workshop on the fundamentals of topographic survey, and then hands-on-learning through participation in the survey. The final afternoon or evening will be spent creating the topographic map in computer software, and so volunteers will be learning the full process in topographic survey, from collection of field data to the production of maps.
It has been a great couple of days. We have been clearing and marking the ground. Matthew decided that it would be a great way to spend his birthday, so he brought a few friends out to learn about preservation and artifacts. Brandon worked with the Kids for several hours and they were permitted and taught the proper way to use the equipment brought in from UCLA Berkeley. Today Brandon,Sarah, and Kenny worked on the topographic mapping portion of the research. Although it was a bit over cast and at times some rain they managed quite nicely to get some of the measuring and mapping started. The brush that has been cleaned away from the mapping and dig site will be hauled away on Friday.. Anyone wishing some free wood can pick it up before then. The ground work is almost ready to begin the hunt and find... This is exciting and ya'll are most welcome to come along and participate. Enjoy the pics and i'll be back tomorrow with more updates.. Whipple

Friday, April 08, 2011

No matter what project I work on I always end up with the Hammer and the Wood..

Why would this happen with Archaeology??

Day 3: Getting off to a late start. The clearing hasn't been completed as of yet and the weather was not our friend this morning.. The day did turn out to be a good one and we managed to get some work done.. Our Archaeologist explain some of the equiptment to us. We started on setting markers and mapping out the ground. Although some clearing is still left to do and the brush is still being hauled off it has been fun to start on some different aspects of this project.

FYI: We learned today why some folks spell the word differently.

ARCHAEOLOGY and ARCHEOLOGY. They are both correct But why the different spelling?????

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Dear all,

We had another good day at the Whipple Store, it was very productive and we made a lot of headway in clearing the area we will be surveying.

A little bit more needs done, and so we will be doing some of that in the morning.

In the afternoon, we will be starting the topographic survey. Tomorrow's activity will consist of laying in the fundamental elements for the topographic survey.

For those of you interested in surveying, this will provide a basic understanding of the principles of survey work. We will be using a high tech layer surveying device that I got from Berkeley, it is top of the line so it should be a great opportunity to learn a valuable skill (i.e - we will be shooting lasers, much fun to be had). Lunch will be provided. If it is raining, we can still do some of the work in the morning. In the afternoon, we can have an archaeological instruction session in the Whipple Store and do some of the survey work.

Okay, hope to see a bunch of you tomorrow!


So glad your here!

This is a great place to share about things going on in my world. I have had some wonderful experiences in my company store days and would like to share them. I also am having some fantastic experiences now with my new family and friends. I am getting a face lift and having lots of visitors.
Check back often and share my happenings.


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Whipple/Scarbro, Fayette co. West Virginia, United States
I'm just an 'ol lump of coal, but im going to be a diamond some day!

Couldn't say it any better*****

Couldn't say it any better*****

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