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Jenkins Plantation Museum to host free Frontier Day program for kids


Join us as we step back in time to pioneer days. The historic Jenkins Plantation Museum, located in the Greenbottom Wildlife Management Area of Cabell County, will host a Free Family Fun Day program to explore frontier life on Saturday, July 21, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Hands-on activities are geared for children; however, visitors of all ages are invited to discover something new by participating in the free event.

Prior to the Civil War, agriculture wasn’t just the basis of the frontier economy, it was a way of life. Families grew their own food, churned their own butter and made their own clothes. Visitors for the day can try their hand at some of these activities. Kids will learn how to churn butter, weave on a small loom and learn some simple hand-quilting techniques. Children also can plant corn and take it home with them.

In addition, Jeff Clagg of Green Bottom will be on site with several breeds of farm animals common to the area prior to 1865. Clagg, a Civil War re-enactor with the 36th Virginia Infantry, will talk about the importance of horses, oxen, goats, chickens and other livestock.

Children must be accompanied by an adult. Due to the nature of the activities, children should wear play clothes. The next Free Family Fun event at the Jenkins Plantation will be “A Bird’s Life” on Aug. 18.

Frontier Day coincides with an open house at the Museum hosted by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History in partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The purpose of the open house is to encourage people to bring photographs or documents relating to the Jenkins family, the original house and plantation, and the history of the surrounding community.

West Virginia State Archives staff members will be available with equipment to copy photos and documents while the owner waits. The originals will not be damaged and will be returned to the owner immediately.

The photographs and documents will be used to help interpret the Jenkins Plantation Museum when the house is restored. Frontier life and agriculture, Native American and African-American cultures and heritage, and the Civil War are all significant stories in the history of the Jenkins Plantation Museum.

The Jenkins Plantation Museum is located on West Virginia Route 2, between Huntington and Point Pleasant. For more information about the Free Family Fun program or the open house, call Stan Bumgardner at (304) 558-0220, ext. 121, or contact the Museum at (304) 762-1059.

Operated by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, the Jenkins Plantation Museum gives people an opportunity to explore the lives of those who lived in Ohio Valley plantation households and their impact on the region in the 1800s. The Jenkins House served as the home of Virginia merchant William Jenkins, who used the fortune he made trading grain in South America to create an impressive plantation. Upon his death, his youngest son, Albert Gallatin, inherited the home and grounds. Albert served as an attorney and U.S. Congressman but resigned to take a commission in the Confederate Army, leading the 8th Virginia Cavalry. Born in 1831, General Jenkins died in 1864 from wounds suffered in the Battle of Cloyd’s Mountain near Dublin, Va.

The 1835 house, built in the tradition of Tidewater, Va., features period furniture and exhibitions. It is on the National Register of Historic Places. The museum is open to the public for tours on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and can be reached on those days at (304) 762-1059.

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, brings together the state’s past, present and future through programs and services in the areas of archives and history, the arts, historic preservation and museums. The Cultural Center is West Virginia’s official showcase for the arts. Visit the Division’s website at for more information about programs of the Division. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

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