Places to Visit
[Updated following visit to Pocahontas County and Staunton, VA in April of 2007]
A "wish-list" for a tour of Augusta County, VA and Greenbrier and Pocahontas Counties, WV
1. The original Thomas Beard homestead south of Staunton, VA; on the original Beverly Grant. This should be 10-15 miles south of Staunton along Rte 11. Some key landmarks are "Beard's Ford" and "Beard Road". Locate the Beverly Manor map around Staunton.
[Located Beard Road about 11 miles south of Staunton as expected]
2. Cross the mountains to Renick's Valley, West Virginia. This should be the same route that John Beard took in his travels when he left the Thomas Beard farm around 1767 to homestead in Renick's Valley. This is southwest of Hillsboro, on the way to Failing Spring.
[The mountains are rugged and the distance far to Renick's, about 100 miles)
3. Locate the original land that John Beard settled on (more research needed here).
Some new information from Nancy Payne 1 Sep 2007, she has photos of John Beard's headstone as he is buried on her grandfather's farm near Renick. Hopefully will be able to locate this soon...
4. Visit the Marlinton County Courthouse. Look for the portrait of Josiah Jonas Beard, son of John Beard; who was the first clerk of Pocahontas County. This was placed in 1962 by Mrs. Don (Wilma Beard) Harper along with William Warwick Beard (who was Josiah Jonas Beard's descendent).
You have to keep asking, but the painting is in the "records" room, just past the door on the left, above the door.
5. Visit the Locust Creek covered bridge Built in 1888 by R.N. Bruce this bridge is 113 feet in length and was built in accordance with the double Warren truss system, near the Josiah Beard Mill. Records indicate that a bridge was located on this site as early as 1822, but it is not known if it was covered. Locust Creek Bridge was completely restored in 2002. To locate this bridge from Hillsboro, WV drive south on US 219 to Locust Creek Road 20. Turn left and drive 3.3 miles to a stop sign, turn right and the bridge is located approximately 150 feet ahead.
The covered bridge is in good shape, and looks like tree trimming was recently done. The old mill is down by the creek, is easy to find the ruins of the mill and the old breaks.
6. Hike or Bike the trail from Beard, WV to Marlinton, WV along the Greenbrier River. http://www.greenbrierrivertrail.com/links.html
7. Visit Traveler's Repose (note this is now
private property, but can view the house from the back).
Visited Traveler's Repose just south of Bartow. Jessie Beard still lives there, she is in her 90's.
8. Richard Beard's restored homestead in Marlinton, WV. Richard McNeel Beard was the son of James Henry Moffet Beard.
9. Stay in the Beard Bed and Breakfast http://www.currentbnb.com/ and visit the Beard Chapel, which was built by Richard McNeel Beard (son of James Henry Moffet Beard)
[27 Dec 2006] Sadly, the Beard Bed and Breakfast has been sold and the last day of business as a Bed and Breakfast was Dec 20, 2006. However, the Beard Chapel is still there to visit, and there is some accommodation (meager) there.
I did find that the original house was owned by Harper Beard. Much of the contents of the old Beard house are now located in the Chapel.
10. Visit the location of my grandmother's home, Beulah Beard, which was built by family legend by Julian Lynn Beard (my grandfather) and his sons (including my father, Julian Ralph Beard). This was converted to a Baptist church in the 1980's.
Although I tried to find this in April of 2007, I was not able to locate. The area has changed much since I was a teen ager in the 70's, my last visit there. The Shady Springs High School is still there (where my father went to High School).
11. Visit Falling Springs Presbyterian Church, where Josiah Jonas Beard was an elder at the age of 18.
Did not locate during my April trip.
12. Visit Droop Mountain Park - One may yet see traces of crude embankments, the house used as a hospital in which Major Bailey died, and the spot where he bravely attempted to rally his Virginians. A wonderful view down Locust Creek is to be seen and far below to the northeast spreads the Little Levels of Pocahontas County with the village of Hillsboro in the distance. Here may be seen the old Beard home used as a hospital by the Federals and near it Averell's headquarters. In the summer and early fall the mountain is often bathed in one of the famous "cloud seas" of the Alleghenies, and those who love the mountains, a sight of flowing rivers, and a bit of the plains, may travel far and wide and not find a more lovely spot
Drove over Droop Mountain on my way to Hillsboro.
13. Visit the Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton, VA. This is a recreated farm similar to what Thomas Beard would have had in the 1700's. http://www.virginia.org/site/description.asp?AttrID=32067&MGrp=1&MCat=2.
Visited this briefly in April, but the weather was not the best. Will revisit someday.
14. Cemeteries to visit:
|Wallace Williams Cemetery, Renick, Greenbrier, WV (John Beard, Janett Wallace)|
|McNeel Cemetery (Margaret Jane Beard, William Lamb
McNeel, many descendents; William Thomas Beard, Charles Edgar Beard; Mary
THE MCNEEL CEMETERY, POCAHONTAS COUNTY, WEST VIRGINIA. List prepared by Hubert Lewis, Lanty F. McNeel, and William P. McNeel (Hillsboro, WV: The McNeel Cemetery Association, 1992. Pp. 40.)
The McNeel Cemetery, located off Route 219 north of Hillsboro, dates to 1774 when the first known burial was made. This inventory of graves is arranged alphabetically by family surname. Birth dates, death dates and other relevant genealogical information are provided for each name when available from county court records and local histories such as Historical Sketches of Pocahontas County, West Virginia by William T. Price and History of Pocahontas County, West Virginia, 1981 by the Pocahontas County Historical Society. Photographs and a brief history of the cemetery and surrounding property are also included
Visited in April of 2007. Note you will have to open a few gates, chase down a few cows, and drive a very steep hill to get to the graveyard!
|Clark Cemetery, Hillsboro, Pocahontas, WV (Matthew Lee Beard)|
|Oak Grove Cemetery (Joel Penick Beard; James Henry
Moffet Beard, Richard McNeel Beard, Kyle Nickell Beard; Jacob Warwick Beard;
Jacob Moffet Beard; Josiah Paul Beard; Nancy Grace Kinnison; Julian Lynn
Beard; George Cameron Beard; Wallace Warwick Beard; Forrest Lee Beard, Sr.)
Take rubbings of unreadable headstones next to James Henry Moffet Beard.
Visited in April of 2007. This is virtual Beard Cemetery, with over 30 Beard's buried in this graveyard.
|James Atlee Price (private Family plot, Marlinton,
near Pocahontas Historical Society; Matthew Lee Beard
Gramp, Barbara - Re: Price, James Atlee Price family. 16Dec2002. From the book "History Of Pocahontas County, West Virginia 1981", by the Pocahontas County Historical Society, Inc. Page 152-153. From an article about the Historical Society Museum, "... Frank R. Hunter, the first cashier of the Bank of Marlinton, and Anna Virginia Price were married in the newly built home in 1904. The building is located on two acres of land that were part of the James Atlee Price farm on the west side of the Greenbrier River. Price and his wife, Margaret Davies Poage Price, and other members of the family are buried in the cemetery near the house." Your help is needed for any additional information
|Beard/Nash Cemetery, Pence Spring, Sumter, VA (Jessie Beard, owned a Tannery, son of John)|
|Old Droop Church Cemetery, Hillsboro WV (Frances
Cameron Beard, Denny Mount Callison)
Visited this Cemetery, drive over the bridge next to the covered bridge, and go up the mountain about 5 miles on the left.
|Visit the Old Stone Presbyterian
Church (Old Stone Church) - Believe this is the original church in
Greenbrier County of John Beard.
Did not visit yet!
|Mt. Tabor Methodist Church, Lafayette, MO (Samuel Jesse Beard, son of Josiah Jonas)|
|Ruckman Cemetery between Millpoint & Buckeye, WV
Visited this in April of 2007, a very nice graveyard on a hill on the way from Hillsboro to Marlinton. Note that D. N Weiford is buried in another graveyard about 2 miles from Ruckman, on the other side of the main highway.
|Greenlawn Memorial Garden, Chesapeake, VA (Raymond Cameron Beard)|