By RICK STEELHAMMER
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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