FLESHMAN FARM On Muddy Creek
Richard Grist, 304.645.7674
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Fleshman Farm on Muddy Creek Google Earth map (Foxfire)
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The 133 acre Fleshman Farm on Muddy Creek is one of Greenbrier County’s most scenic and secluded farms. Scenic, cultural, and historic values of the Fleshman Farm provide not only economic benefits, but also quality of life values.
The 133 acre Fleshman Farm is one of Greenbrier’s County’s most beautiful and secluded farms. This exceptional farm, just minutes to Lewisburg, has deep, sweet soils that produce excellent cool season grasses or row crops.
Primary economic outputs include beef production grazing on seasonal grasses, but wildlife values are also a major economic consideration for the farm. Environmental values are extensive and provide many essential ecosystem services, such as clean water, wildlife, and recreation opportunities. Scenic, cultural and historic values of the Fleshman Farm provide not only economic benefits, but also quality of life values.
- One of Greenbrier County’s oldest working farms located in the heart of the Blue Sulphur Springs Valley
- Ideal topography with several picture-perfect sites for building a home or cabin
- 133 surveyed and deeded acres consists of about 110 acres fields and about 23 acres of timber
- The timber is located in several small woodlots scattered about the farm
- Lazy and free flowing Muddy Creek forms the eastern boundary for about ¼ miles
- All mineral rights in title will convey
- Recent survey is on file showing 133.62 acres
- Rich and diverse resident wildlife population in perfect harmony with the farming operations
- Minutes to historic Lewisburg, jet airport, interstates, hospital and city amenities
- A few old growth trees estimated to be 200-300 years old scattered about the farm
- Patches of emerging forests and old fields intertwine with the farmland creating an exciting recreational property
- Farm roads wind through the property providing superior access
- Located near the historic Blue Sulphur Springs
- Surrounded by large farms and timber tracts in a nice rural neighborhood
- Superior access by state maintained paved roads and a private graveled road
- Cell phone coverage is excellent in most areas with 4G service
- Darkest of skies with little light pollution for star-planet gazing & astrophotography
- Sedges, rushes, ferns, songbirds, frogs, turtles, & crawdads populate the wetlands & bogs
- Old fields could be cleaned up and a brought back into agricultural production
- Located in peaceful Greenbrier County just 20 minutes to Lewisburg, the county seat
- Timber species include beautiful oaks, black walnut, poplar, sycamore, maple and hickories
- Fur bearing wildlife – deer, black bear, squirrel, bobcat, raccoon, fox, chipmunk, opossum, skunk, coyote, and rabbits
- Winged wildlife – eagles, hawks, owls, ravens, wild turkeys and Neotropical songbirds
- Pasture grasses, wildflowers and indigenous plants, coupled with the scattered forest produce life-giving Oxygen and are a sequester of carbon dioxide
- Spectacular 360-degree long-range views approaching 40 miles
- Perfect for recreational activities including shooting sports, ATV riding, horseback riding, hiking, camping, hunting and nature viewing
- Low taxes, low population density
- Scenic, cultural, and historic values of the Fleshman Farm provide not only economic benefits, but also quality of life values
Google Coordinates: 37.759328°(N), -80.625464°(W)
Address: Blue Sulphur Springs Road, Alderson, WV 24910. No 911 address is assigned to a property without a residence.
Elevation Range: 1585 ft. to 1759 ft. +/-
The property has boundary frontage on Muddy Creek, a blue-line stream with regular water flow, for about ¼ mile. There has also been a stock watering pond that is almost ¼ acre in size.
All rights the owner has will convey with the property. A mineral title search could be conducted by a title attorney at the same time when the surface title search is being conducted.
BOUNDARIES AND SURVEY
The property was surveyed in 1996. The owners’ deed contains the plat and the metes and bounds description prepared from that survey. Some boundaries are evidenced by fencing. The northern boundary runs with a portion of the old road leading from Blaker’s Mill to the Blue Sulphur Springs Road. The eastern boundary runs with a portion of Muddy Creek. The property is being sold by the boundary and not by the acre.
Water: well could be drilled
Sewer: private septic could be installed
Electricity: None currently on site. An easement would need to be obtained from the adjoiner
Telephone: Possibly on the same easement as the electric
Internet: Satellite or cellphone coverage
Cellphone Coverage: Coverage is good in most places with 4G
The property is accessed by the old road leading from the Blue Sulphur Springs Road to Blaker’s Mill, and the property borders on that old road for over ½ mile.
Greenbrier County is subject to some zoning and subdivision regulations. All prospective buyers should consult the County Commission and also the Health Department for details regarding zoning, building codes and installation of septic systems.
Information can be found at the county website: http://greenbriercounty.net/ordinances.
PROPERTY TYPE/USE SUMMARY
The property has historically been used for agricultural purposes. Cattle graze over most of the boundary (April until December).
DEED AND TAX INFORMATION
Deed Information: DB 436 Pg. 658; 133.64 acres tract
Greenbrier County, West Virginia
Acreage: 133.64 acres +/-
Real Estate Tax ID/Acreage/Taxes:
Greenbrier County (13), West Virginia
Blue Sulphur District (3)
Tax Map 36 Parcel 25; Class 2
2020 Real Estate Taxes: $200.58
The Fleshman Farm has been a working farm since the 1800’s. The 133 deeded acres consist of about 110 acres of pasture and/or cropland. The balance of the farm contains timberland of varying age classes scattered in small woodlots.
Several acres of former fields could be reclaimed and a brought back into agricultural production. There is perimeter fencing and electric cross fencing in place. The boundary is considered to be “cattle tight”.
SELF-SUSTAINING LIFE OFF THE GRID
Just like 200 years ago, when the first mountaineers settled the area, the property would be self-sustaining in times of necessity – even without electricity.
- Fresh water for drinking and cooking would come from springs and drilled water wells (hand drawing water from the wells using a cylinder well bucket)
- The creek and forest would provide fresh food (fish, deer, and turkey)
- The agricultural land’s flat to rolling topography would be used to raise livestock of all kinds (chickens, pigs, cows, sheep, goats, rabbits etc.) and could be farmed with horse drawn equipment. The land would support vegetable gardens, berry patches, fruit orchards, and row crops of corn, oats and barley
- Beehives would provide honey and beeswax for candles
- The forest would provide firewood for heating and cooking, lumber for building, basket splints, maple syrup and pounds of nuts (walnuts, beechnuts and hickory nuts)
The owners have always considered the resident wildlife population a treasured component of the farm. They have focused on the overall wildlife health, facilitated the harvest of game, developed wildlife viewing areas, increased carrying capacity, and increased species diversity. Years of progressive wildlife management practices have created a fantastic wildlife habitat that is in harmony with the ongoing farming operations.
Muddy Creek, the Greenbrier River, and New River are major contributors to the local ecosystem richness and diversity for both plants and animals. Muddy Creek and the surrounding aquatic plant life create a water supported community with a wide variety of wildlife. Some of the margins of the creek are fringed by wetlands, and these wetlands support the aquatic food web, provide shelter for wildlife, and stabilize the shore of the creek and banks downstream. The plant life associated with the wetland includes rushes, sedges, cattails, duckweed and algae.
There are many animals that live year round and at other times in the water and around the edges of Muddy Creek including beavers, otters, minks, raccoons, opossums, blue herons, Canada geese, wood ducks, mallards, minnows, native fish, turtles, salamanders, newts, crayfish, muskrats, bull frogs, eagles, hawks and redwing blackbirds.
There is the insect and microscopic world including butterflies, dragonflies, pond skaters, water beetles, damselflies, tadpoles and various insect larvae.
The diverse tree species, coupled with the abundant water supply from the ponds and creeks, creates the perfect wildlife habitat. The miles of “edge effect” created between farm fields, creeks, hollows, ridges, and rock outcrops benefit all the resident wildlife. Bald eagles, white tail deer, black bear, wild turkey, squirrel, rabbit, bobcat, raccoon, fox and many species of songbirds, owls and raptors make up the resident wildlife population.
The hardwood forest provides the essential nutrient source and produces hard mast including acorns, hickory nuts, beech nuts and black walnuts. Soft mast includes stag horn sumac, black cherry, tulip poplar seeds, maple seeds, autumn olive berries and blackberries.
The property offers unparalleled recreational opportunities. Numerous soft recreational activities are anchored by the nearby Greenbrier River, New River, New River Gorge National River Park, and the 2000-acre Bluestone Lake.
Water-sports enthusiasts will find the nearby Greenbrier River, New River and Bluestone Lake ideal for swimming, canoeing, fishing, kayaking, tubing, snorkeling, paddle boarding and windsurfing. Great fishing is found for small and large mouth bass, crappie, catfish, muskie, walleye, pike and bluegill.
Nature viewing is next in line of recreational activities. Wildlife viewing is not just for larger animals. Equal consideration is given to a diversity of species including neo-tropical songbirds, butterflies, turtles, frogs, rabbits, chipmunks, dragonflies, owls, eagles and hawks. White tail deer, black bear, red/gray fox, bobcat, wild turkey, grouse, geese, squirrel, raccoon, fox and rabbit make up the resident wildlife population.
Near total darkness can be still be found on the property, thereby affording the opportunity to view the night sky in all its brilliant wonder.
Shooting-sports devotees find all the land and privacy needed to enjoy:
- Paintball-Airsoft-Laser Tag-Archery tag
- Shotgun sport shooting including Skeet, Trap, Double Trap and Sporting Clays
- Rifle & Handgun shooting: bullseye, silhouette, western, bench rest, long-range, fast draw
- Archery and Crossbow competition shooting
- 22 single shot rifle and a few tin cans make a fun day
All Terrain Motorsports
The property is perfect for experiencing the property from an ATV or UTV. Riders are welcome to ride all public roads that do not have a painted dividing line and there are miles and miles of open roads in the area. These exciting machines handle the wide variety of the forest’s terrain.
Dirt bikes can also be a lot of fun and they come in all sizes and horsepower to fit anyone who enjoys being on two wheels.
Mountain Biking, Horseback Riding and Hiking
The land may be used for mountain biking, hiking or horseback riding and the area offers several state and national parks geared for these activities.
EASTERN BOUNDARY OF THE FARM – Wonderfully, Muddy Creek flows along the farms’ eastern boundary for about 1/4 one mile. This winding – mostly lazy blue-line stream flows year-round. Muddy Creek takes its name when the creeks’ normal blue-green waters turn light tan after a rain event. The tan color is a result of the fine silt picked up in the rain water runoff and deposited in the creek.
About Silt : Silt is granular material of a size between sand and clay, whose mineral origin is quartz and feldspar. Silt may occur as a soil (often mixed with sand or clay) or as sediment mixed in suspension with water (also known as a suspended load) and soil in a body of water such as Muddy Creek and the downstream Greenbrier River.
20 MILE WINDING JOURNEY – Muddy Creek is a tributary of the Greenbrier River and heads up some 8 miles north and east of the Fleshman Farm. It is one of Greenbrier County’s most important drainage basins. Muddy Creek begins its journey at Piercy’s Mill Cave where the waters of Sinking Creek exit the huge underground cave system (some estimate 20 miles coursing underground). The creek drains tens of thousands of acres on its twisting and curving 20-mile long trip through cattle and sheep farms, steep mountain canyons, bottomland forests, wetlands and marshes before ending its trip at Alderson where it enters the Greenbrier River. From there, the Greenbrier flows to the New River, to the Kanawha, onto the Ohio, then the Mississippi and terminating in the Gulf of Mexico. It is said that the waters of Muddy Creek will arrive in the Gulf of Mexico 3 to 4 days after entering the Greenbrier River.
CREEKSIDE WILDLIFE – There are many animals that live year round and at other times in the water and around the edges of Muddy Creek, including beavers, otters, minks, raccoons, opossums, blue herons, Canada geese, wood ducks, mallards, king fishers, minnows, native fish, turtles, salamanders, newts, crayfish, muskrats, bull frogs, eagles, owls, hawks and redwing blackbirds.
The miles of “edge effect” benefit all the resident wildlife. In addition to those listed above, white tail deer, black bear, wild turkey, squirrel, rabbit, bobcat, fox, chipmunk, and many species of songbirds make up the resident wildlife population along the creekside.
Of equal importance, there is the insect and microscopic world including butterflies, dragonflies, water skaters, water beetles, damselflies, hellgrammites, tadpoles and various insect larve.
At one time, nearly all of the Fleshman Farm was maintained in pasture and cropland with animal drawn equipment, along with a tremendous amount of back-breaking physical labor. With the advent of the modern farm tractor in the mid-1940’s, many farm workers migrated to the larger cities after World War II. This sweeping change resulted in the less productive areas of the state’s farmland were no longer being maintained. These areas eventually began to return to brush and eventually became today’s young forests.
The 10-60 year old timber resource, consisting of about 20 acres, is composed of Appalachian hardwoods. The forest currently has minimal commercial timber value, however the commercial value will appreciate over the coming decades. With an attractive species mix, adequate stocking levels, and favorable diameter class distribution, the timber amenity represents a strong component of value in the years to come. The capital value of the timber and pulpwood has not been determined at this time.
The forest’s predominately well-drained upland terrain has led to a resource dominated by hardwood species. Overall, the species composition is highly desirable and favors Appalachian hardwood types, consisting primarily of Black Walnut, Sugar Maple, Poplar/Basswood, Red Oak Group, White Oak/Chestnut Oak, Soft Maple, Hickory, and a host of associated species (ash, cedar, birch, sourwood, black gum, beech).
A few “Heritage Trees” are scattered throughout the forest and old field edges. These ancient trees, some estimated to be 200 years old, have withstood the test of time, weathering ice, wind, lightning strikes and fire.
The forest is healthy and there are no signs of pest infestations of Gypsy Moth. The Emerald Ash Borer, which has inundated the entire Northeast US, is present and the Ash component will significantly decline over the next decade. The Eastern Hemlock species is under siege by the Hemlock Wooly Adelgid and the hemlock will significantly decline over the coming decade. There have been no forest fires in recent memory.
The forest floor is home to several types of mushrooms, medicinal plants, wild ginseng, ferns and cool green mosses.
There are a few fruit trees scattered about, some of which were part of the early area homesteads. Crops of black walnuts and hickory nuts are produced each year from the abundant black walnut and hickory trees scattered about.
Honeybees would do well here, and it would be possible to produce maple syrup from the sugar and red maple trees growing on the property.
The most common crops are medicinal herbs and mushrooms. Other crops that can be produced include shade-loving native ornamentals, moss, fruit, nuts, other food crops, and decorative materials for crafts. These crops are often referred to as special forest products.
Here are some specific examples of crops in each category that are currently being cultivated:
- Medicinal herbs: Ginseng, goldenseal, black cohosh, bloodroot, passionflower, and mayapple
- Mushrooms: Shiitake and oyster mushrooms
- Native ornamentals: Rhododendrons and dogwood
- Moss: Log or sheet moss
- Fruit: Pawpaws, currants, elderberries, and lowbush blueberries
- Nuts: Black walnuts, hazelnuts, hickory nuts, and beechnuts
- Other food crops: Ramps (wild leeks), maple syrup, and honey
- Plants used for decorative purposes, dyes, and crafts: Galax, princess pine, white oak, pussy willow branches in the spring, holly, bittersweet, and bloodroot and ground pine (Lycopodium)
Lewisburg, which is the Greenbrier County seat, was voted the Coolest Small Town in America, combining the warmth of a close community with the sophistication of more urban locations. The thriving downtown historic district offers year-round live productions presented at the State Professional Theatre of WV, Carnegie Hall, distinctive dining venues, antique shops, award-winning galleries/boutiques, a year-round farmer’s markets.
Greenbrier Valley Medical Center is a modern hospital and all attendant medical facilities, along with the many big box stores.
The county and city host several fairs & festivals throughout the year including The WV State Fair, a professional 4-weekend Renaissance Festival, Chocolate Festival, Taste of our Town Festival (TOOT), antique car shows, Jeep Rally, Airstream Rally, WV Barn Hunt Competition, TBD PGA Tour @ The Greenbrier Resort, and numerous fun parades.
Lewisburg is the home to the Greenbrier Country Public Library, a fantastic, ultra-modern public library that is open 7 days a week. The library’s services include: Reading Areas, References, Notary Public, Local History Room, Tax Forms, Fax Service, Photo Copies, Digital Printing, Inter Library Loans, Internet/Computer Access, Audio Books, eBooks, Story Hour, Video & DVD’s, Paperback Book Exchange, Literacy Tutoring, Databases, Computer Classes, Book Discussions, Children’s Programming and an Online Catalogue.
Lewisburg is also home to the modern Robert. C Byrd Medical Clinic (300 employees), the WV Osteopathic Medical School (600 students) and the New River Community and Technical College. The area is a strong economic generator with a solid workforce employed in county/state government, tourism, hospitality, medical, education, retail, construction, wood products, mining and agriculture.
The world-renowned Greenbrier Resort, with 800 rooms and 1600 employees, is located in the sleepy little town of White Sulphur Springs. The 4-Star resort has a subterranean casino and is home to the PGA tour, NFL Summer Practice Event, Tennis Exhibitions (Venus Williams, John McEnroe etc.). Several other area golf courses are available in the area – including Oakhurst Links, America’s first golf course, where guests play using old style hickory-handled clubs and ground-burrowing golf balls.
A picturesque train ride from White Sulphur Springs connects the area to DC, Philadelphia, Chicago, and many other locations. By car, DC is 4 hours away and Charlotte is only 4.
Within a two-hour’s drive are located some of the finest recreational facilities in West Virginia. Winterplace Ski Resort, whitewater rafting / fishing on the New River and Gauley River, 2000-acre Bluestone Lake, Pipestem State Park and Resort and the 80,000-acre New River National Gorge National Park. Five other area state parks and state forests offer unlimited hiking, horseback riding, ATV riding and rock climbing opportunities. Snowshoe Ski Resort is 90-minute drive through some of the most scenic country on the East Coast. The new 12,000-acre Boy Scout High Adventure Camp and home to the US and World Jamboree is an hour’s drive.
BLUE SULPHUR SPRINGS VALLEY
By the early 1800’s, the Blue Sulphur Valley was already well settled. Farms and small homesteads where served by 3 main turnpikes, including the Lewisburg-Blue Sulphur, Meadow Bluff-Blue Sulphur and the Red Sulphur-Blue Sulphur Turnpikes. These turnpikes were connected to the two major overland routes of the Midland Trail and Seneca Trail. There was also a road leading to Alderson on the Greenbrier River where it connected to the C&O Railroad.
The valley became an important agricultural and timber region. Blaker’s Mill was a gristmill grinding wheat, corn, oats and barley while the Piercy’s Mill processed wool as well as grains.
In 1832, construction of the Blue Sulphur Springs Resort was begun and finished in 1839. The resort would accommodate some 350 guest who came to take the healing waters of the mineral spring with the blueish hue. The Resort was mostly burned in 1864 by Union Troops.
Traveller, General Lee’s horse was born on the Hamilton Farm in 1857 in the Blue Sulphur Springs Valley. Traveller was an American Saddlebred and as a colt, he took the first prize at the Lewisburg, Virginia, fairs in 1859 and 1860. As an adult he was a sturdy horse, 16 hands tall. Iron gray in color with black points, a long mane and flowing tail. From all accounts, Traveller was difficult, high strung, a bit unruly, pranced or jigged wherever he went. It is stated that Traveller went into battle more than any other Civil War horse. Traveller walked behind the hearse at Lee’s funeral and continued to be well cared for up until his death in June 1871.
“THE BLUE” THE BLUE SULPHUR SPRING RESORT
About 2 miles to the northwest of the Fleshman Farm is the historic site of the Blue Sulphur Springs Resort.
Mineral-spring resorts were all the rage for the rich and famous in the eastern U.S. in the 1800s, and the iridescent waters at Blue Sulphur Springs, in Greenbrier County, were no less famous than those of their extant counterparts, such as those at The Greenbrier in nearby White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, and The Homestead, in Hot Springs, Virginia. Thousands once visited the Blue, though it was fated to enjoy less fame. Its pavilion is all that remains to tell the tale.
The Greek Revival pavilion at Blue Sulphur Springs is in many respects a fraternal twin of the pavilion at White Sulphur Springs, though the latter is rounded, the former, squared. A 32-foot high square structure, its monumental hip-roof is supported by 12 Doric columns and protects a marble basin which fills with spring water.
The pavilion was the focal point of a 200-room resort built by George Washington Buster in 1834 and which attracted many notable guests, including Andrew Jackson, Martin Van Buren, Robert E. Lee, Henry Clay, and Jerome Bonaparte.
Resort physician Dr. Alexis Martin opened the nation’s first curative mud baths here, but competition from The Greenbrier and an antebellum economic downturn caused the resort to close in 1858. Briefly it was used by the Baptists of Virginia as a ministerial college.
When the Civil War broke out, the resort facilities were used by both Confederate and Union forces, and it was intentionally burned to the ground by the Union Army in the last years of the conflict. Only the pavilion survived.
In 2013, the Blue Sulphur Springs Pavilion was placed on the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia’s Endangered Properties List, however, an alliance of concerned investors in 2014 purchased the property and embarked on a rescue and rehabilitation effort and the Pavilion is well underway in its meticulous reconstruction.
From I-64 Alta Alderson Exit 161: 11 miles +/- (approximately 15 minutes)
From I-64 Alta Alderson Exit 161; turn onto RT 12 South toward Alderson; travel 8.3 miles; turn right onto Blakers Mill Road RT 66; travel 1.6 miles; turn left on Blue Sulphur Springs Road RT 25; travel 1 mile; turn left onto the farm access road; travel just a little over 1/10 mile; the property is on the right.
From Alderson, WV: 2.7 miles +/- (approximately 10 minutes)
From the intersection of RT 63 and RT 12 near the Subway Restaurant, travel RT 12 North for 4/10 mile; turn left onto Blue Sulphur Springs Road RT 25; travel 2.2 miles; turn right onto the farm access road; travel just a little over 1/10 mile; the property is on the right.
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