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Randolph County kids’ letters to Santa delivered 106 years after written

By RICK STEELHAMMER

Charleston Gazette-Mail

The Woodward family is seen on the upstairs porch of the Crawford house in 1909. From left, Reginald, Ruby, Henrietta “Teddy,” Benjamin, Aletha, Page and Mabel.
(Courtesy photo)
Page Woodward

BEVERLY, W.Va. — On a long winter’s night 106 years ago, four of Benjamin and Aletha Woodward’s five children wrote letters to Santa Claus and left them for him to discover in the mantle of a second-floor fireplace in their Beverly home.

The home, which served as Union Army Gen. George B. McClellan’s telegraph-equipped field headquarters following his 1861 victory at the Battle of Rich Mountain, is now one of three buildings that make up the Beverly Heritage Center, a regional museum documenting Randolph County’s past.

A few years ago, during a major renovation of the Beverly Heritage Center, the fireplace mantel was removed, and the four timeworn letters were found wedged behind it.

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