Christmas in the Park

Today was a fun day at the Historical Society. The Gilmer County Fire Department had an overcast day but that didn’t dampen the Gingerbread House building competition. Nor the Storefront Christmas Decorating Contest.
First we had to judge the Gingerbread Houses. Not an easy task for the untrained eye. The entries where all well made and unique. The winner was a young man by the name of Lucas.

What really topped of the day for us was winning a plaque for the best Store Front Decoration. Yay!
Here are a few highlights from the day.

We’re all looking forward to next year!

Gingerbread House Building Contest

The Gilmer County Fire Department Christmas In The Park will be a big day full of activities for tomorrow in Glenville, West Virginia, Dec. 10, 2022. It’s their way of thanking all those who donate to the Fire Department throughout the year.

We have offered our Annex building for the Gingerbread House Building competition at 11:00. Check out the list of things to do. So many things to do. Come and enjoy.

Tomorrow, December 3, 2022

The historical society will be there, with things to sell. Come see us. If you don’t know where the recreation center is, turn onto Rt. 5 West at the red light in Glenville (for those who don’t know, there is only one red light in Glenville!). Go 2 blocks to Sycamore Road and turn right…follow the road to the recreation center. The craft show is in the dining hall. Plenty of parking room. This is a once a year event and well worth visiting!!

What’s the Story Behind the Name ‘Hillbilly’

When I hear the name Hillbilly used in West Virginia I see a mix of reactions. Either pride or insult or no reaction at all. So when I came across an article in West Virginia Explorer Magazine about it’s origins, I finally received one persons perspective as to why. With permission from the editor of West Virginia Magazine, here is what I found out…………….

Climbing the Salisbury Crags 1908

Diversity of Ancestors in West Virginia

Great site for a view of the different countrys the people of West Virginia originated from

Statistical Atlas: The Demographic Statistical Atlas of the United States

Tuesday, Dec 6, 1881

A page from a ledger at the Historical Holt House Museum.

We have many old ledgers given to us from the Gilmer County Courthouse along with other hand written documents that are one hundred plus years old. They’re full of wonderfully handwritten script by ink and fountain pens. The feeling I get when I look through the pages is that of wonder. I ask myself who else has touched these pages? Knowing full well the person who filled in the entries is long gone. The paper is so fragile I must handle it with such care. The musty scent, of books kept too long on a shelf, drifts up as I move them about. I’m pulled deeper by the information stored on each page. Names, dates, money owed or spent. I find myself browsing longer than I had planned, drawn into the past. I carefully close the ledger I have chosen today to explore. I place it back on the shelf cautious to leave it the way I’ve found it. And step back into the present, feeling somehow better for the reminder that the past is being cared for the best way we know how by the present day families of our ancestors.

We are setting up a digitizing station in our Library Annex so we may continue the huge job of recording our possessions for you to see and enjoy no matter where you’re located.

There is nothing like the feel of old books, and the sound paper makes as you turn each page. Maybe someday technology will advance and make it possible for us to experience this from a distance along with the digital photos.

It’s up to us to put into safekeeping the delicate pieces of our past. It makes me sad to think the future generations might not get the chance to experience first hand the wonder of being able to touch an artifact older than ones self. History comes in many forms. Help build a love for the sights, sounds, feel and flavors of our past.

Butchering Season in West Virginia

Cool weather is upon us and fall chores have begun

This old newspaper clipping stood out in a stack of many. It caught my attention, with our family on the verge of knocking down a beef and deer hunting just around the corner. It’s a lot of hard work and long hours from start to finish. One of the reasons we take on this chore is to avoid the high prices in the grocery store and the quality is unsurpassed.

It looks like things haven’t changed much over the years. Maybe the styles of clothing, but the white apron is the same as the three we have waiting on the hook in the pantry for butchering day. One for each of us, Mom, Dad, and Son.

Oh, we grumble and struggle and laugh through the whole process, but when you smell the smoker working on that ham and bacon, and you hear the first batch of sausage sizzling on the cast iron fry pan for a quick sausage sandwich lunch-break while you work, you know you’ll be doing it all again next year, Lord willing.

This is one of the traditions our ancestors passed down to us that I look forward to each season. To me it’s as much a part of Thanksgiving as the color of the leaves and the pumpkins coming from our gardens.

Sharpen your favorite knives; set up the tables and grinders; season your cast iron skillet; as you give thanks for the richness of this years harvest. Butchering Season has begun in West Virginia!

Spooky Halloween Trick-or-Treat Night at the Gilmer County Historical Society in Glenville, WV

The Holt House Museum on Main Street, Glenville was full of spooks and goblins enjoying a stroll through the museum all decked out in Hallow’s Eve finery. Volunteers from the Society along with some enthusiastic helpers from Glenville State University, made the evening fun for our guests by sharing chills and candy for all who would dare to walk through the dimly lit hallways of our old Victorian, three story house, built in 1901.

They met the spirit of the man who lived in that house, Abraham Lincoln Holt, as he welcomed them and shared some of its history.

Here are some pictures of our fun night with the community stopping downtown to enjoy the sights and sounds of Halloween 2022!

We appreciate your support and hope to see you all next year.

If you’d like to help in the planning of next year’s Haunted Holt House, please contact us by messaging us on our Facebook post

Or you may become a member by clicking on our link Dues for one year are $20 for an individual and $25 for a family. You may also join in person on Wednesday or Saturday, between 11:00 and 3:00 when we are open to the public. We’d be glad to have you.

Trick-or-Treat Night

Come out to Main Street, Glenville and join in the fun of watching the little ones parade through the Holt House Museum to get their treats.

Without disclosing too much, here’s a sneak prevue of some of the haunted fun!

If you look real close you can almost see Mrs Holt sitting by the Bush family’s barn loom.

Salathiel Stump’s Funeral (1832-1909)

Born and raised in Gilmer County, West Virginia, Salathiel was carried by riverboat ‘Harry W. ‘ to his final resting place.

Funeral attendees on the riverboat ‘Harry W.’ : Third woman from the head of the casket Nora B. (McFee) Stump, then probably son Scipio Lee Stump. Others not identified.

Salathiel Stump, son of Jacob Stump and Nancy Jane (Boggs) Stump, born Jan 23, 1832 in Lewis (now Gilmer) County and died Feb. 20, 1909 in Calhoun County. He married on Nov. 7, 1850 in Gilmer County to Perelia Ann Stalnaker, born on Oct. 23,1832 in Lewis (now Gilmer) County and died May 14, 1903 in Calhoun County, daughter of Salathiel Goff and Frances (Bush) Stalnaker. Both are buried in the Bethlehem Cemetery, Grantsville, West Virginia, Calhoun County.

NOTE: When I looked Salathiel up on this is what they had recorded: ( Salathial Stump was married to Permelia Stalnaker. 1860 residence Gilmer County, Virginia (now West Virginia); 1870 residence Dekalb Township, Gilmer County, West Virginia; 1880 residence Sheridan District, Calhoun County, West Virginia; 1900 residence Sheridan District, Calhoun County, West Virginia.)

Another mention of Salathiel Stum can be found at:

(Salathiel Stump owns and successfully conducts a saw and grist mill near Brooksville, a generous and hospitable man, a kind neighbor and a useful citizen………. Salathiel Stump’s post office address is Big Bend.

They had 10 children.

Waynefield Lexington Stump (1851) married Louisa Jane Ellyson;

Mason W. Stump (1854) married Elizabeth J. Woodyard;

Austin Sylvanus Stump (1856) married Rachel Belt;

Bailey W. Stump (1858) proceed father in death;

Aurelia Blanche Stump (1862) married Lemuel H. Trippett;

Scipio Lee Stump (1865) married Nora Belle McFee;

Laura E. J. Stump (1868) married Michael Conaway;

Levi Kirby. Stump (1870) married Effie Jane Fisher;

Okey J.Stump (1873) proceed father in death;

Jacob Earl Stump (1876) married Minnie G. Haddox.

Family at Bethlehem Cemetery. Third from head of casket is Jacob Earl Stump. Front far right from rear of casket is Nora B. (McFee) Stump, then probably Scipio Lee Stump. Others not identified.

Front Row far left is daughter-in-law Nora Belle (McFee) Stump, back row far left is son Jacob Earl Stump, third from left is probably son Scipio Stump. Others not identified.

Any help in identifying those in the pictures would be greatly appreciated by the family, Roger Thomas and wife Cheryl of North Highland, CA. We’ll be sure to pass any information on to them.

Information on the pictures and family were sent to the Gilmer County Historical Society via letter Jan. 18, 2019.

Walk Through Trick-or-Treat Night

Bring the little Ghosts and Goblins out to play at our Trick-or-Treat and take a stroll through the Holt House Museum for some spooky fun!

Mr Abraham Lincoln Holt will be there to welcome you into his home.

Sweet treats for everyone (while supplies last).

There will be a small, snack-bag for the first 100 Little Tricksters!

So come out early and enjoy the fun sights and sounds of Halloween as the little spooks march through the halls of the Historical Holt House Museum.

Saturday, October 29th, 2022 from 4-7pm

302 E. Main St. Glenville, West Virginia, 26351

[email protected]

We are a 501c3, Non-Profit Organization run by volunteers and supported by tax deductible donations

Hauntings in Glenville West Virginia

An older article from a local rag tells the tale of a Haunted Glenville State University

Formerly Glenville State College

Update on Murder Mystery Benefit Dinner

The Historical Society is disappointed to announce we have decided to postpone our Murder Mystery Dinner which was scheduled for October 22, due to this months timeline. We felt it best to postpone until Spring of 2023 rather than rush the preparations for this special event. Sorry for any inconvenience. We’ll let you know when we have chosen a new date for ‘Murder On Main Street’.

Make an Elder in Your Life Smile

Shelly Showalter and her Grammy, Ethel Elmer (1915-2007)

When the elderly die, a library is lost, and volumes of wisdom and knowledge are gone…….

(author unknown)

Plan a visit to the older folks in your life and ask them questions. They were young once, like you, with aspirations and dreams. Did they become the person they thought they wanted to be when they answered their 5th grade teacher when she asked, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’

Mable Welsh (Great Grandma 1890-1991), Ethel Elmer (Grammy 1915-2007) Florence Krimes (Chicken Grandma 1912-2000)

What did they think of their spouse or other important person in their life when they met them for the first time? Of all the possessions they own, what is the most precious to them? What were the scariest, funniest, saddest things that happened to them in their adult life? Would they change something if they had to do all over again?

Record it, write it down, or memorise it to heart. It will be a treasure you can pass on to your friends and family. Something you’ll always have.


This is where it all comes from. It’s our job to collect, chronicle, or simply record the tale of who and why we are.

Wesley (Pop) Hershey (1930-2016) and grandson Weston Hershey, Gilmer County West Virginia
Grace (Swigert) Ziemer (1922-2022)

Protect and cherish it for the unique jem it is. It’s a part of your story and unique only to you. Like snowflakes, no two are the same. And will quickly fade if not handled with proper care.

Take a moment and learn your history. Make an elder in your life smile. It’s contagious.

Someone younger than yourself may see you and want to try it too. Pass on the tradition.

Ethel (Welsh) Elmer (1915-2007)

Don’t wait.