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Jackson's Mill Farmstead: Stonewall Jackson's Boyhood Home
September 24, 2012 - Jodi Burnsworth
Jackson’s Mill, located between Weston and Jane Lew in Lewis County, was the boyhood home of Confederate General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson.
The site was first settled by Thomas Jackson’s grandfather, Edward, around 1800. He constructed a house, gristmill and sawmill on the property. Thomas’ father, Jonathan, was raised there but moved to nearby Clarksburg with his new bride, Julia Neale, in 1818 to practice law. Thomas was born in Clarksburg in January 1824. Following the death of his father in 1826 and his mother in 1831, Thomas and his sister, Laura, were brought to live at Jackson’s Mill. The 1,500 acre property, at that time, was owned by Jackson’s bachelor uncle, Cummins Jackson. Thomas lived there until 1842, when he left to enter the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York.
Cummins Jackson left Jackson’s Mill in 1847 to search for gold in California and died there in 1849. The property at Jackson’s Mill was held until 1868 when Cummins’ sister, Catherine Jackson White, purchased it. Upon her death in 1876, the farm was sold outside the Jackson family. In 1915, a five-acre tract of the original property, which included the old gristmill and the site of Cummins Jackson’s house, was purchased by the Monongahela Power Company. In 1924, the property was donated to the state of West Virginia as a statewide meeting place for youth enrolled in the 4-H program. The first 4-H camp held at Jackson’s Mill was in 1921.
Since that time, the 500-acre facility has been extensively developed. Major features include a large dining hall patterned after Mount Vernon, an assembly hall, 14 cottages donated by and named for various West Virginia counties, and the building that housed West Virginia’s exhibit at the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair. Other features include the McWhorter cabin that was constructed in the 1790s near neighboring Jane Lew and moved to the site in 1929; a small airport; numerous gardens; and the Jackson Lodge for small conferences. Blaker’s Mill, a water-powered gristmill constructed in 1794 near Alderson in Greenbrier County, was relocated to Jackson’s Mill in the 1980s. Sites associated with the Jackson family include a gristmill constructed around 1841 and now maintained as a museum, the family spring, the Stonewall Jackson monument, and the Jackson family cemetery where his paternal grandparents and other relatives are buried.
Jackson’s Mill is operated by the West Virginia University Extension Service as a multipurpose year-round conference center for adults and youth.
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Jacksons Mill farmstead. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.