Tour covers Wood, Wirt sites

PARKERSBURG – A number of people got out Sunday to see the fall colors and learn a little about the area’s history during the Fall Foliage Historical Driving Tour in Wood and Wirt counties.

The tour, sponsored by New Era School Museum and the Centennial and Elizabeth Beauchamp chapters of the Daughters of American Pioneers, was held Sunday afternoon with stops at some of the oldest buildings and locations in Parkersburg, Vienna, Mineral Wells and Elizabeth.

Stops included the Henry Cooper Log Cabin Museum, in Parkersburg’s City Park; the Dr. W.W. Monroe Jr. home at 1703 Park Ave. in Parkersburg; the 1908 Fischer home at 900 13th Ave. in Vienna; , the New Era School Museum at Mineral Wells Elementary School; the Bibbee Farm at 12520 Staunton Turnpike in Walker; the McClung-Morgan House at 423 Market St. in Elizabeth; the Beauchamp-Newman Museum on Court Street in Elizabeth; and Sweet Briar Gifts at 672 Court St. in Elizabeth.

The tour was a fundraiser for the Cooper Cabin, New Era School and the Beauchamp-Newman Museum.

At New Era School, many visitors had once gone to one-room schools in the area and were reminiscing about their own times in such schools, said Max Barker, president of New Era School.

Many people were just out enjoying the weather, the fall colors and more, he added.

“It has been going great,” Barker said Sunday afternoon of the tour. “Everyone has said they loved it so far.

“We had a good turnout. I am glad the weather held off. It is a beautiful day to travel, see some of the colors and learn a little history.”

Paul Williams, of Vienna, was one who grew up around the Mineral Wells area and had attended a one-room school house in his youth.

“This is quite interesting,” he said. “I remember these schools being a lot bigger when I was younger.”

Williams was out with some friends taking the tour. They had all ready been to the Fischer Home and the Dr. W.W. Monroe Jr. Home. However, it was the school that caught his attention.

Williams told Barker there was a bench in front where children of a certain grade would gather for their lessons. Williams said kids making the transition from the one-room school houses to larger schools between the eighth and ninth grades usually did well in math and other subjects because many of them spent a lot of time listening to the older students receive instruction.

“We are having a few come in and remembering things like that,” Barker said.

At the Henry Cooper Log Cabin at City Park, volunteers said they had over 26 visitors with a number of them coming from the Walk for Life event at the park. There were many first-time visitors, the volunteers said of being able to show a lot of people what was at the cabin.

At the Dr. W.W. Monroe Jr. Home in Parkersburg, owner Charlotte Modesitt said they had been really busy throughout the day Sunday.

“It has been good,” she said. “I have been pleasantly surprised, because there is a lot going on this time of year.”

Caryl Krulicki and Peggy Noyes, of Parkersburg, said they saw people coming in and out of the house and decided to take in the tour.

“We were nosy,” Noyes said with a laugh.

Krulicki just loves the details of old historic homes.

“It is the details, the construction and everything of who lived there,” she said. “I have always been intrigued by (the Dr. W.W. Monroe Jr. Home).”

A lot of people liked the different venues to visit Sunday throughout the tour, which featured farm houses, museums and homes in the cities, Modesitt said.

“They are not going to all of the things, but they are going to certain things they want to go to,” she said. “It seems everyone has special ones that they want to go to.”

A lot of people were glad that money raised was going to the Cooper Cabin, New Era School and the Beauchamp-Newman Museum.

“Everyone is supportive that the money was going to the museums,” Modesitt said. “I really appreciated that.”