The historic Jones Mansion, located between Switchback and Maybeury in McDowell County, is featured in the new issue of GOLDENSEAL magazine, now on sale. The article, titled "Jones Mansion: The Checkered History of a McDowell County Landmark," is written by Jean Battlo and details the house's colorful past, from its construction 100 years ago by a prominent coal family to its connection to tragedy and intrigue in the 1990s, to its planned future as a bed-and-breakfast inn.
Built at the turn of the 20th century by coal baron James Elwood AColonel@ Jones, the structure embodied the opulence of the early 1900s, according to the article. After he died in 1932, the mansion became the property of Pocahontas Fuel Company and entered a period of shifting occupancy. It was purchased in 1954 by the Henderson family for the bargain price of $15,000 and remained in that family for more than 40 years.
The house became the site of tragedy in 1998, when three members of the Henderson family were shot dead in the house. The mansion was then sold at auction to Billie J. Cherry, president of the First National Bank of Keystone. Wealthy and prominent, Cherry undertook renovations to the mansion. The restored grandeur, however, proved short-lived when the bank at Keystone was seized by federal authorities and Cherry's financial empire crumbled in 1999.
The house was again up for sale, this time purchased by Judy Henderson McDaniel, whose parents had purchased the house in 1954 and who herself grew up there. McDaniel intends to convert the house into a bed-and-breakfast inn, restoring its look and furnishings to recall the glorious era of Colonel Jones, the house's first owner.
Also in this issue of GOLDENSEAL are articles about the Randolph County New Deal settlement communities known as the Tygart Valley Homestead; John and Wilbur Hahn, two octogenarian brothers who operate a small sawmill in Hardy County; the late Rube Stump, a maker of fine porch swings in Calhoun County; and 90-year-old Ivan Gorby and the weekly "Bowman Ridge Opry" in Marshall County.
GOLDENSEAL is West Virginia's magazine of traditional life and is published quarterly by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History in Charleston. The magazine sells for $4.95 and is available at Chris Ann Shop and Flowers by Jenny in Welch and Hearthside Books in Bluefield, or by calling (304)558-0220, ext. 153.
Director of Public Information
West Virginia Division of Culture and History
The Cultural Center
1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East
Charleston, WV 25305-0300
Phone (304) 558-0220
Fax (304) 558-2779