Greenbrier Brides Exhibit at the North House Museum

Greenbrier Brides Exhibit Flyer

The Greenbrier Historical Society is pleased to present a new exhibit at the North House Museum. Greenbrier Brides romantically steps back in time, featuring historical wedding dresses, suits, and accessories from the Greenbrier Valley. From an 1842 gown worn by three generations of one family to a 1955 French Chantilly lace gown, these fashions show changing styles and traditions in the Nineteenth and early Twentieth centuries.

Did you know that the wedding dress has not always been white? Long after the 16th century when the practice became more common, many brides simply wore their best dress. The tradition of wearing whit gowns was started by the rich families in the 16th century, but became more popular after Queen Victoria chose to wear white rather than royal silver in 1840. Many of our popular wedding traditions have long histories and interesting superstitions.

Greenbrier Brides will open on Friday, August 1st from 4pm to 7pm as part of First Friday in Downtown Lewisburg. The exhibit will remain open Monday through Saturday from 10am to 4pm until Saturday, August 30, 2014.

The North House is located at 301 West Washington Street in Lewisburg, West Virginia. For more information, visit or contact us at 304.645.3398.

Item of the Week – US Senate Print


This print is of a painting by Peter Rothermel that depicts the greatest Senate debate, the Compromise of 1850, with Senator Henry Clay on the Senate floor. The Compromise was comprised of 5 bills which provided relief from tensions over slavery and the status of territoies gained during the Mexican-American War (1846-1848).

Henry Clay was a brilliant and colorful Whig party leader from Kentucky who served in the U.S. Senate for 16 years. Clay also served as Secretary of State under President John Quincy Adams from 1825-1829 and ran for U.S. President in 1824 (against Adams, Andrew Jackson, and William Crawford), 1832, and 1844.

On August 30, 1826, Clay was saying at the Old White (now the Greenbrier Resort) in White Sulphur Springs and was honored with a public dinner at a tavern in Lewisburg owned by James Frazier. There has been some debate over whether the dinner was held at the Star Tavern and Inn (now the North House) or at the Bell Tavern, once located on East Washington Street in Lewisburg.

The print is on display in the Dinning Room of the North House Museum, located at 301 West Washington Street in Lewisburg. The museum is open to the public Monday through Saturday from 10am to 4pm.

2nd Annual Summer Picnic & Pie Auction

2014 Summer Picnic Postcard_Page_1

Join the Greenbrier Historical Society at its 2nd Annual Summer Picnic and Pie Auction on Sunday, July 20, 2014 from 1-3pm on the North House lawn, located at 301 West Washington Street in Lewisburg, West Virginia.

Everyone is invited to enjoy this relaxing summer event full of sun, fun, and great food!  Homemade dishes will include hot dogs, pasta salad, baked beans, and watermelon. After you eat, pull up a chair or blanket and stay awhile! Live music will be provided by the talented Strum Sum Band. There will be plenty of space for children of all ages (those who are young and those who are young at heart) to kick around a ball or bring a lawn game.

photo25Back by popular demand, our homemade pie auction will begin at 2:30pm with auctioneer Steve Hunter! This year, we will also be raffling off a few special pies for those who cannot stick around for the auction.

Whether you are a long-time member or interested in what we do up here on the hill, come enjoy a delicious lunch, take a chance on a pie, share some memories, and learn about all the new programs and events at the Greenbrier Historical Society!

Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children 12 and under, and free for children under 4. Tickets are available in advance or on the day of the picnic. For more information or to reserve a ticket, please call 304.645.3398 or email

The Summer Picnic and Pie Auction is sponsored by Steve Hunter Associates, L.C.

All proceeds will benefit the Greenbrier Historical Society, a non-profit organization that works to collect, preserve, and  interpret the unique history and culture of the Greenbrier Valley, as well as provide educational programs and opportunities to the children and communities of southeastern West Virginia. Historical research and guided tours are offered free of charge Monday-Saturday from 10am to 4pm.


Item of the Week–June 27, 2014

“One Week’s Dead” Item of the Week–June 27, 2014

Bill_Phillips_IMG_2636As in other U.S. wars, rural Appalachia and West Virginia, in particular, sent more than its share of individuals to Vietnam. A total of 36,578 West Virginians served in the Vietnam War and 1,182 were killed in action.
Throughout the war, the national death rate was 5.89 deaths per 10,000 citizens. The West Virginia rate was 8.41 per 10,000 – significantly higher.

The Medal of Honor was created on July 12, 1862, during the American Civil War. It is awarded for bravery above and beyond the call of duty to members of the military and naval forces, and is the highest award given by the United States.

Throughout our history, 57 West Virginians have received the Medal of Honor. A total of 9 West Virginians were awarded the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War.

Thousands of miles from Vietnam, the beautiful Greenbrier Valley felt the impact of the war. Many young men from the region joined the military or were drafted into service. Throughout the war, 14 individuals from Greenbrier County were killed in action as well as 11 from Pocahontas County, 3 from Monroe County, and 1 soldier from Summers County.

To see this item, and other items regarding the impact of the Vietnam War in Greenbrier Co., please stop by the Greenbrier Historical Society and North House Museum tomorrow, Saturday, June 28 from 10:00-4:00 to see the exhibit. This exhibit will be ending on Saturday, June 28.

Item of the Week – Civil War Fife


Item of the Week – June 20, 2014

Happy West Virginia Day! Today in 1863, West Virginia officially became a separate state in the midst of the Civil War.

This fife was played by Greenbrier Valley native Thompson Henry Fleshman, a Fife Major in the Confederate Army serving under General Robert E. Lee’s command. Fleshman was present at battles throughout the Shenandoah Valley, the Battle of Gettysburg, and the surrender at Appomattox.

Genealogy Workshop

Join the Greenbrier Valley Chapter of the West Virginia Society of the Sons of the American Revolution (WVSSAR) and the Greenbrier Historical Society on Saturday, June 21, 2014 from 9am to 3pm for a free genealogy workshop at the North House Museum & Archives, located at 301 West Washington Street, Lewisburg, West Virginia 24901.

The workshop is open to all those interested in getting help researching their patriot ancestors for joining the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR), or the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), and/or genealogy in general. This will be a hands on, one-to-one workshop and space is limited. Please call the Greenbrier Historical Society at 304.645.3398 to reserve your place.

Please bring any relevant information you may have on your family history or patriot ancestor. It does not matter if you are just beginning or having a problem with a particular ancestor, join us on Saturday, June 21st for some assistance!

Item of the Week – Government Issued Flyer


Item of the Week – June 13, 2014

This flyer was distributed by the United States military to helicopter pilots and other servicemen in the event that they were shot down or became separated from their unit.

“I am a citizen of the United States of America. I do not speak your language. Misfortune forces me to seek your assistance in obtaining flood, shelter, and protection. Please take me to someone who will provide for my safety and see that I am returned to my people. My government will reward you.”

This phrase was written 14 times in the following languages: English, Burmese, Thai, Laotian, Cambodian, Vietnamese, Malayan, Indonesian, Chinese, Chinese (modern), Tagalog, Visayan, French, and Dutch.

The flyer is on loan to the Greenbrier Historical Society’s North House Museum from John Donnelly as part of our “Vietnam in West Virginia” exhibit which continues to be open until June 28, 2014.

The North House Museum, located at 301 W. Washington Street in Lewisburg, is open Monday-Saturday from 10am to 4pm.


Item of the Week – D-Day Article from Greenbrier Independent

D-Day Article in Greenbrier Independent

Today is the 70th anniversary of D-Day. In honor, we wanted to share an article titled “Invasion A Success” from the June 9, 1944 edition of the Greenbrier Independent.

As you can see from the photo, the article describes the invasion as “proceeding in a thoroughly satisfactory manner.” It goes on to say that “General Dwight D. Eisenhower, supreme commander, was serene and confident of success in the great land, sea, and air blow, launched before dawn Tuesday [June 6, 1944] under a screen of bombs and shells from 4,000 warships and 11,000 warplanes….Five great waves of aerial troop carriers, including a skytrain 50 miles long, poured reinforcements into the Allied beachheads in Normandy, and the invasion forces were reportedly pushing inland against increasing German resistance.”

The Normandy landings, code named Operation Neptune, were the landing operations on June 6,1944 (termed D-Day) of the Allied invasion of Normandy in Operation Overlord during World War II. The largest seaborne invasion in history, the operation began the invasion of German-occupied western Europe, led to the restoration of the French Republic, and contributed to an Allied victory in the war.

Nearly 160,000 troops crossed the English Channel on D-Day, with 875,000 men disembarking by the end of June. Allied casualties on the first day were at least 12,000, with 4,414 confirmed dead. The Germans lost 1,000 men.


March & April 2014 Memberships

The Greenbrier Historical Society would like to recognize those who renewed their 2014 Membership or became first-time members in March and April.

  • George R. Abbott, MD
  • Aides Discount Store, Inc.
  • Erna Akers
  • Belinda Anderson
  • Houston & Beverly Arbuckle
  • Arbuckle Insurance Agency
  • Eleanor Arey
  • Linda Taylor Armstrong
  • Aviagen Turkeys
  • Ruth Jackson Bailey
  • Sally Baker
  • Clifford & Patricia Baker
  • Timothy N. Barber
  • Stephen  Bartlett
  • Cheryl Bircher
  • James S. Bonny
  • Rita Bostic
  • Franklin T. Brackman
  • Delores Brandon
  • Judy Coffman Bray
  • Charles Bright
  • Jesse Elwood Brown
  • Amoret Bell Bunn
  • Evelyn B.  Caldwell
  • Dr. Robert L. Caldwell
  • Joyce Carney
  • Barbara  Carson-McHale
  • Lee Cherry
  • Robert & Georgia Clemens
  • George Collins
  • Nancy Colucci
  • Terry  Cooper
  • Catharine Coppersmith
  • Jim Costa
  • Thomas & Kathryn Miller Coughlin
  • Stephen R. Crislip
  • Nancy Cunningham
  • Larry & Ann Davis
  • Susan & Francis Degges
  • Ethel Detch
  • Patsy M. Downey
  • Bob & Sue DuCharme
  • Robin Spence & Richard Dulee
  • John Eary
  • Ann Hogsett Eskins
  • Theresa Estes
  • Donna  Fabian
  • Farmers Home Fire Insurance Co.
  • Mr & Mrs Allen Feamster
  • Jewell C. Field
  • Jack Finks
  • Paul & Genelle  Flippin, Jr
  • Richard & Patricia Ford
  • Sharon  Francis
  • Ms. Tammy Frasca
  • Julian G. Frasier, III
  • Christine Freeman
  • Mary C. Freeman
  • Steven  Gardner
  • Helen Garner
  • Sharon Lee Gates
  • Gateway Industries
  • Thomas George
  • Max & Vivian Gibson
  • Jay Goldman – Goldman  Associates Inc
  • Thomas & Nancy Greenstreet
  • Sharon K. Grewell
  • Carol Grissett
  • Henry & Janna   Hadley
  • Michele & Bill Hammann
  • E. Sterling Hanger, Jr.
  • Alice Hanson
  • Judith Hanson
  •  Jane Harmer
  • Peggy Harper
  • William B. Harrah
  • Elizabeth Higginbotham
  • Michael & Wanda Hill
  • Harold E. Hinds, Jr.
  • Bobby M. Hinkley
  • Sharon  Hobart
  • Gregory Hodge
  • Tim Holbrook
  • Justus & Susan  Holme
  • Lanny Howe, JR.
  • William O.E. Humphreys
  • Peggy    Humphreys
  • George & Patricia Hutchinson
  • H.Frederick Hutchinson, Jr.
  • Dr & Mrs Thomas Isaac
  • Eugene Jeffus
  • William & Cathy Johnson
  • Bobbie Fleshman Jones
  • Larry & Brenda  Jones
  • Linda Steorts Kaufman
  • Virginia Kavage
  • Mr. & Mrs. John Kay, Jr
  • Dale Keairns
  • Gene Kesler
  • John R. Kight, Jr.
  • H. Moffett & Louise Knight
  • Francis R. Larew
  • Peter & Andrea Lawson
  •  Frances Layton
  • James K. Lette
  • Charles C. Lewis
  • Jane Lewis
  • Paul & Mary Lindquist
  • Cathy Little
  • Fred Long
  • Laura Loudermilk
  • Charlotte Lucas
  • Sara Lueck
  • David & Mary Lou Lumsden
  • Cynthia S.  Maharrey
  • Amy Mann
  • Nanci Markusson
  • Marie Martin
  • William & Gloria Martin, Jr.
  • Arthur   Mashburn
  • Donald  Mays
  • Kim & Stephen  McBride
  • Douglas McCartney & Family
  • Rick & Ann McClung
  • Mark & Deborah McClung
  • Peggy    McCormack
  • Bruce & Paula    McGinnis
  • Philip L. & Paula H. McLaughlin
  • Barbara  McSweeney
  • Curtis C. Meador
  • Virginia Meadows
  • Christopher & Lexanne Meldrum
  • William Mellin
  • Sandra  Menders
  • Linda Miller
  • Caroline Miller
  • Robert & Jill Modlin
  • Ruth Murphy
  • Thomas & Marie Murtaugh
  • Larry & Frances Mustain
  • Gene & Phyllis   Myers
  • Carol Nall
  • Kenneth Napier
  • Myron & Rosalyn Nazar
  • Jim  Nemitz
  • Allan & Carol Olson
  • J. Herbert & JoAnn F. Pearis
  • David & Jackie   Perkins
  • Deborah Phillips
  • William & Deborah Phillips
  • Judith    Polan
  • Ann B.   Powers
  • Martha Powers
  • Lin & Mason Preston
  • Melba   Purkey
  • Gary K. Reed
  • Wanda  Rodgers
  • Karen    Royall
  • Michael P. Rucker
  • S.J. Neathawk Lumber Inc.
  • Mr & Mrs William R. Satterfield, Jr
  • Mitch & Elizabeth Scott
  • Clayton Gene Scott
  • Gladys  See
  • Gloria G. Selby
  • DeWitt & Merle Shank
  • Bill & Frances Simmons
  • Alison J. Simpson
  • Joanna  Skaggs
  • Richard & Nada Smith
  • Ronald & Suzanne Snyder
  • Mary E. Spencer
  • Jane  Spicer
  • William & Jacqueline Sproul
  • Birk Stathers Jr.
  • Steve Hunter Associates
  • Rodney & Donna Stoner
  • Michael K.  Sutherland
  • John C. Taylor
  • Mary Jo & Chris Thompson
  • Frank & Barbara Tuckwiller
  • Sam & Mary Lou Tuckwiller
  • Fawn Valentine
  • Brian R. Vance
  • Eva Walter
  • William Weikle
  • Angela Marie Whited
  • Twila Kay Wilfong
  • Charles D A Wilson
  • Dorsey  Wilson
  • Wisconsin Historical Society
  • Edward & Joan  Yarid
  • Frances Zicafoose

Interested in joining? Members receive a free copy of the society’s annual publication, The Journal of the Greenbrier Historical Society. Keep up with upcoming events and recent news through the society’s quarterly newsletter Appalachian Springs.  Member benefits also include one free query in Appalachian Springs and a 10% discount in the Star Tavern Gift Shop.

Memberships start at $25 for individuals, $35 for families, and $50 for businesses. Or become a life member for a one-time payment of $500.

Membership supports the programs and events of the Greenbrier Historical Society, many of which are offered free to the public.

Forms can be found at the North House or online at For more information, contact the Greenbrier Historical Society at 304.645.3398 or

The Greenbrier Historical Society’s North House Museum & Archives, located at 301 West Washington Street in Lewisburg, WV, are open free to the public Monday – Saturday from 10am to 4pm.

In Memory of Mildred Kerr

Mildred Kerr with her daughter Mary Winters at the North House

          Mildred Kerr with her daughter Mary Winters at the North House

Today instead of an Item of the Week, we want to recognize Mrs. Mildred Caldwell Kerr who passed away last week at the age of 94. Mrs. Kerr was a direct descendant of John A. North, the owner of the North House, and donated many items to our Museum. Over the past several years, Mrs. Kerr visited Lewisburg and the North House many times – each one a delight.

Mildred Caldwell was born June 18, 1919 in St. Louis, MO, and moved soon after to San Antonio, TX where she loved growing up. After graduating from Jefferson High School, she received her B.A. from the University of Texas where she met her husband Baine Perkins Kerr of Houston, TX. They were married at Elmhurst, the Caldwell’s ancestral home, located east of Lewisburg in the unincorporated village of North Caldwell, West Virginia.

She was a lifelong member of the Presbyterian church and a member of the Garden Club of Houston. In her later years, she enjoyed returning with her family to the Greenbrier Valley where her parents and ancestors lived since the 1820′s.

The Greenbrier Historical Society is very fortunate to have many wonderful supporters, members, and volunteers – but we will miss the visits from Mrs. Kerr who was always energetic and happy to share her memories! She was a special lady and it was a special experience to see a descendant of John North sitting in his home and talking about the original North family items!