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Harvest Time at the Mill is all about celebration of the farmstead, fall


The Weston News

WESTON, W.Va. — Harvest Time at the Mill will be back for the second year at WVU Jackson’s Mill farmstead to bring the community together and celebrate the end of the year.

The farmstead is part of Jackson’s Mill, which recreates and shows what life was like in Appalachia during the 1800s.
(Submitted photo)

Dean Hardman, farmstead program specialist, said they began the event last year to celebrate the farmstead. The event will be held the weekend of Oct. 21-22.

“It’s just a great community event that’s free,” he said. “It’s a payback for the community’s support throughout the year.”

There will be hands-on activities for children, operation of the grist mill and a blacksmith making different items, Hardman said.

“We will have different artisans there over the weekend, as well as food from Jaws BBQ,” he said. “On Sunday, we’ll have mule and wagon rides from 1-4 p.m. and that’ll also be free of charge.”

The purpose of the weekend is to get people out to the farmstead, Hardman said. They want to be able to share what Jackson’s Mill and the farmstead is all about.

“We want to get more folks in here. Some people might not know what happens here,” he said. “It’s a great way to get people out to see what the area is all about that may or may not come at any other time.”

Hardman said it’s also a great way to celebrate fall before the farmstead closes for the winter.

“We like to have the local community involved as much as we can,” he said. “We’ll have a large group who will be at the mill that weekend who requested to participate. So there will be 450 youth in for a dance event that will be participating.”

While visiting the farmstead, people are exposed to what it was like to live in Appalachia during the 1800s in what was then western Virginia, Hardman said.

“This is a great opportunity to step back in time and enjoy some of the activities that would’ve been going on in the past,” he said. “We’ll have the grist mill running and a blacksmith in the shop.”

Brian Stroinski, AmeriCorps member at the mill, said it’s important to bring the community together, especially at the Mill.

“It’s a great place to catch up, talk to, and see people,” he said. “They get to see the mill, a historic area, and enjoy the day in a beautiful area.”

Stroinski said going to the farmstead, people are able to learn a good bit of history and what life used to be like.

“It’s still impacting us today, how people lived in the past,” he said. “We talk about the culture and people of the area. It’s a great way for people to really celebrate that history and understand where they came from.”

Harvest Time at the Mill is also a good way to get kids involved and learning, Stroinski said.

“It’s a great learning experience for them. It’s one thing reading about it in school or being taught about it,” he said. “Getting to see a 1796 grist mill working is pretty cool to see first hand.”

People are able to get a feel for how life was in the 1800s and not just by walking around but by seeing the mill and a blacksmith in action, Stroinski said.

“It’s a neat place to come with family and friends to spend the day outside,” he said. “It’s cool for people to come and see the historic side of things, to see how important the technology was then and how it’s changed since then.”

More information about Harvest Time at the Mill or the farmstead in general can be found by visiting or calling 304-269-5100.

Staff writer Victoria L. Cann can be reached at (304) 626-1409 or [email protected]. Follow me on Twitter @vcann_theet

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