JUBILEE FARMS

Agent Contact:
Richard Grist, 304.645.7674

JUBILEE FARMS 1890 to 2021

The centuries old term, “Jubilee”, denotes a joyous celebration of events, anniversaries, or other special and meaningful occasions. So then, Jubilee Farms celebrates its rich and storied 130 year old history stretching from today back to the very earliest settlements of the New River Valley.

The present owners of Jubilee Farms recently celebrated their 25th anniversary of ownership of this Reputation farm.  The Keatley family owned the farm 90 years, from 1907 until 1996. During their 90 years of ownership, the Keatley’s were able to purchase several adjoining properties to create today’s 226 acre farm.  The oldest owner of record dates from 1890 when Isabelle and B.M Tinsley purchased the original 50 acre mountain top homestead.

Interestingly, the Keatley’s deeded 1 acre of their land to Summers County Board of Education, as a school lot to build Vanderbilt School, a one room schoolhouse.  Later, the lot was deeded back to the Keatley’s in 1962 after the school was closed. The school’s foundation can still be seen today sitting in the pasture just beside the county road.

Unquestionably, the ownership of the land will predate Tinsley’s 1890 purchase. However, the search would need to continue in Richmond Virginia,  as West Virginia did not become a State until 1863, and Summers County was still a part of Monroe County, WV until 1872.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • In the heart of the area surrounding the 70,000-acre New River Gorge National Park and Reserve – named as America’s 63rd national park, the U.S. government’s highest form of protection
  • Borders Bluestone Lake / Bluestone Wildlife Management Area for over ½ mile
  • Shanklins Ferry Camp and the Sherman Ballard Recreation Area, both within the Bluestone Wildlife Management Area and along the New River at the upper end of Bluestone Lake, are only minutes away
  • 226 deeded acres with some 152 acres fields and 52 acres mature woodlands
  • 10 minutes to the New River and Bluestone Lake
  • Old homeplace and outbuildings
  • One of Summers County’s most beautiful farms
  • Two dashed blue line tributary of Crooked Run flows thru the property for about ½ mile
  • Three ponds on the property provide, swimming, ice skating and a nature viewing site
  • The largest pond is about 3.5 acres
  • All mineral rights in title will convey
  • Perimeter high-tensile electric fencing and cross-fencing
  • Farmland management increases carrying capacity and extends the grazing season
  • Rich and diverse resident wildlife population unrivaled in the region
  • Minutes to Peterstown, historic Union and an easy drive to Roanoke’s jet airport
  • Dynamic forest with some old growth trees estimated to be 200-300 years old
  • Patches of forest intertwine with the farm fields creating an exciting recreational property
  • Farm and forest roads wind through the property providing superior access
  • Wildlife program enhances habitat, increases diversity, promotes health of the resident wildlife
  • A rewarding permaculture lifestyle can be easily developed
  • Frontage on Indian Mills Road Rt. 23/5 as two separate sections that have a combined total of over ¾ mile
  • Superior access by state maintained paved roads – FedEx, UPS and USPS delivery
  • 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 ponds and wetlands
  • Located in peaceful Summers County just 10 minutes to Peterstown
  • Timber species include beautiful oaks, black walnut, poplar, maple and hickories
  • Fur bearing – deer, black bear, squirrel, rabbit, bobcat, raccoon, fox, chipmunk, opossum
  • Winged wildlife – eagles, hawks, owls, ravens, turkeys and Neotropical songbirds
  • Agricultural grasses coupled with the forest produce life-giving Oxygen and sequester Carbon dioxide
  • Spectacular long-range views across the New River Valley and distant East River Mountain Range
  • 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 Jubilee Farms provide exceptional quality of life values

LOCATION

Google Coordinates: 37.486458°(N), -80.844199°(W)
Address: 6934 Indian Mills Road, Peterstown, WV 24963
Elevation Range: 1865 ft. to 2015 ft. +/-

UTILITIES

Water: Well water on site
Sewer: private septic system
Electricity: onsite – Appalachian Power Co
Telephone: onsite service available – no landline phone installed but can be if desired
Internet: Hughes Net or possibly Starlink
Cellphone Coverage: coverage is excellent to sometimes spotty – depending on one’s location on the property due to the varying mountain terrain. Texting and 4G service is the same.
Trash pickup: Empire Trash Company

WATER

Crooked Run, a blue line stream, is on the property as two branches that merge together into the single stream before it leaves the property, and it has a total presence on the property of about ½ mile. A separate unnamed blue line stream has a portion that lies within the northern section of the property, and it has a presence on the property of about ¼ mile. The streams should have regular water flow, particularly during rain events and periods of snow melt. The farm also has 3 ponds that are close together forming a portion of the headwaters of Crooked Run. The largest pond is a little over 3.5 acres in size.

MINERAL RESOURCES

West Virginia is one of the states in the US that has two ownership titles, those being SURFACE RIGHTS and MINERAL RIGHTS. A title search for mineral rights ownership has not been conducted. All rights in title will be conveyed by the owner. 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

There is a metes and bounds description of the property in the owner’s deed. Some of the boundaries are evidenced by fencing. The northern portion of the property has common boundary with the Bluestone Lake / Bluestone Wildlife Management Area for a little over ½ mile. Most of the southern boundary is Indian Mills Road Rt. 23/5. The property is being sold by the boundary and not by the acre.

ACCESS/FRONTAGE

The farm has large frontage on Indian Mills Road Rt. 23/5 as two separate sections that have a combined total of over ¾ mile.

ZONING

Summers County currently has no known zoning or subdivision regulations. However, all prospective buyers should consult the County Government and also the Health Department for any changes and details regarding zoning, building codes, and installation of water wells and septic systems.

PROPERTY TYPE/USE SUMMARY

The property is comprised of the farm home grounds, pasture with ponds, brushy areas, and forestland. A summary breakdown is as follows:

  • Farm home grounds with main farm buildings: 1.75 acres +/-
  • Large pasture field: 150 acres +/-
  • Small pasture field within the northern forestland: 1.5 acres +/-
  • 3 separate brushy areas diversify wildlife habitat totaling about 16 acres +/-
  • Large northern forestland: 47 acres +/-
  • Small forestland near one of the ponds: 4 acres +/-
  • 3 farm ponds: 3.7 acres +/-, 1.1 acres +/-, and 0.4 acre +/-

(This is an estimation of current property use as determined from aerial photography. It is made subject to the estimation of property boundaries and any errors in the interpretation of land use type from the aerial photography utilized.)

DEED AND TAX INFORMATION

Deed Information: DB 187 Pg. 66 and DB 262 Pg. 348
Summers County, West Virginia

Acreage: 226 acres +/-
Real Estate Tax ID/Acreage/Taxes:

Summers County (45), West Virginia
Forest Hill District (1)

Tax Map 20 Parcels 19, 21, 22, 23 and Tax Map 23 Parcels 6, 7, 10

2020 Total Real Estate Taxes: $3,345

AGRICULTURAL RESOURCES

Jubilee Farms consists of more than 150 acres of pasture and cropland.

The property is fenced and cross-fenced. There is perimeter high tensile electric fence. There are 3 farm ponds in place, one of which is more than 3 ½ acres.

The ongoing grassland management program is designed to increase carrying capacity and extend the grazing season.

The well-maintained grasslands also conserve water and filter out manure and nutrients, keeping them from entering nearby water bodies, protecting water quality, human health, and animal health.

RECREATION AT JUBILEE FARMS

Jubilee Farms offers matchless recreational opportunities. The farm offers numerous soft recreational activities. The property adjoins the 17,000-acre Bluestone Wildlife Management area for over 1/4 miles including the New River and Bluestone Lake.

Nature viewing is first in line of recreational activities. Attentive wildlife management has been geared not to just game animals. Equal consideration has been extended to increasing the numbers and diversity of species including neo-tropical songbirds, butterflies, turtles, frogs, rabbits, chipmunks, dragonflies, owls and hawks.

Stargazing-Planet Observation
Complete darkness can be still be found on areas of the property, thereby affording the opportunity to view the night sky in all its brilliant wonder.

Water-sports enthusiasts will find the nearby New River and Bluestone Lake ideal for swimming, canoeing, fishing, kayaking, tubing, snorkeling, paddle boarding and windsurfing.

Mountain Biking, Horseback Riding and Hiking
The gently laying land may be used for conventional and mountain biking, hiking or horseback riding.

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
  • Plain ole’ plinking: Grandpa’s old 22 single shot rifle and a few tin cans make a fun day

All Terrain Motorsports
Jubilee Farms has internal roads and several forest trails that are perfect for experiencing the property from an ATV or UTV. These exciting machines handle the wide variety terrain.

Rock Crawling & Rock Bouncing
A few areas of the property afford a topographic opportunity for the Extreme Off Road adventurist to enjoy the increasingly popular Motorsport of Rock Crawling and Rock Bouncing.

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.

Hunting is a first-class experience. White tail deer, black bear, red/gray fox, bobcat, wild turkey, grouse, duck, squirrel, raccoon, fox and rabbit make up the resident wildlife population. It is hard to find a property that has a better mix of wildlife.

FOREST/TIMBER RESOURCES

The abundant timber resource, consisting of about 52 acres, is well positioned for current timber income as well as value appreciation 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 to the investor.

The Jubilee Farms’ forest resource is composed of quality Appalachian hardwoods, native White Pine and a few Eastern Red Cedar. This timber resource can provide a great deal of flexibility to the next ownership in terms of potential harvest revenue and could be managed to provide cash flow opportunities to offset holding cost and long-term asset appreciation. Capital Timber 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).

Forest-wide, most stands are fully stocked, providing the next ownership with a great deal of flexibility in shaping their own silvicultural legacy. Stem quality forest-wide can be considered excellent.

The property’s timber component has been well managed over the years and consists of stands of differing age classes. The predominant timber stand contains 30-140-year-old stems ranging in size of 10”-30” dbh.

Diameters are well represented across the commercial spectrum with a notable mature size class, as well as abundant pole size timber and growing stock. Several “Heritage Trees” are scattered throughout the forest and old field edges. These ancient trees, some 200-300 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 homestead. 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.

FOREST FARMING

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)

WILDLIFE

Years of progressive wildlife management practices have created the ideal wildlife preserve. Early on, management goals promoted overall wildlife health, facilitated the harvest of game, developed wildlife viewing areas, increased carrying capacity, and increased species diversity.

The Bluestone Lake, Greenbrier River and New River are major contributors to the local ecosystem richness and diversity for both plants and animals. The 3 farm ponds and the surrounding aquatic plant life create a water supported community with a wide variety of wildlife. Some of the margins of the pond are fringed by wetlands, and these wetlands support the aquatic food web, provide shelter for wildlife, and stabilize the shore of the pond 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 the ponds and dashed blueline stream including 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 tons of 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.

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 ponds 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 SURROUNDING BLUESTONE AREA

BLUESTONE LAKE

Amidst the beautiful scenery of southern West Virginia lies the long Bluestone Lake. This reservoir, the third largest lake in West Virginia, is popular for its fishing and other recreational activities. Bluestone Lake was formed by a concrete dam built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers across the New River to reduce flooding. Although the dam was started in 1941, its construction was delayed because of World War II, and it was not fully completed until 1952. The lake is nearly eleven miles long, with an area of 2,040 acres during summer pool, though the water level does change frequently. The Lake can grow to over 36 miles long at flood control pool. At higher levels, the lake extends into Giles County, Virginia. The Lake’s Catchment Area is 4,565 square miles. Water levels are drawn down four feet in winter to make room for melting snow and spring rain.

Bluestone Lake, Greenbrier River and the New River are great places for fishing, and it is said that New River is the best warm-water fishery in the state. Some of the species of fish available in the lake and river are bluegill, catfish, crappie, muskellunge, and various types of bass. New River bass have set some West Virginia state records.

In addition to fishing, Bluestone Lake is fantastic for enjoying all sorts of water activities, including boating, canoeing, water skiing, and wake boarding. The lake has several boat ramps and a commercial marina for the boater’s convenience, and there are no limits to the size of boats or motors that can be on the lake.

Bluestone Lake is part of the Bluestone Wildlife Management Area, which covers an area of 18,019 acres. The Wildlife Management Area is known for having some of the best hunting in the area, and hunters and trappers will be able to catch a variety of game including white-tail deer, turkey, fox, and other animals.

One great place to enjoy the lake is at Bluestone State Park. The park has ample accommodations for those who want to stay overnight. There are a variety of camp sites – or, if you prefer a more comfortable stay, there are 26 cabins with TV’s, showers, and other modern conveniences. Park visitors can take a walk on the hiking trails, play in the swimming pool, or rent game equipment to play croquet or horseshoes. The park also has weekly events with lots of fun activities.

In addition to all the fun activities on the lake, there’s plenty more to do in the surrounding area. There are several other parks nearby, where you can enjoy all sorts of outdoor activities. You can experience some great whitewater on the New River. And the New River Gorge is well-known as a great place for rock climbing, with its many hard sandstone cliffs. If you want a break from outdoor activities, the nearby town of Hinton has many attractions. There are a variety of restaurants, shops and antique stores to browse, and museums to visit.

Historical and recreational interest located in the Bluestone area includes the outdoor musical dramas “Hatfields and McCoys” and others shows performed at Grandview Park, near Beckley. Pipestem Resort with its myriad recreational facilities is only nine miles to the south and the 80,000 acres New River Gorge National River Park, center of some of the state’s best whitewater rafting and canoeing plays an integral part of the area. Of special note are Sandstone Falls and the Visitor Center, just north of Hinton; and Bluestone National Wild and Scenic River, which flows into Bluestone Lake within the park boundaries.

BLUESTONE LAKE MARINA

Bluestone Lake Marina offers guests lake opportunities for water-oriented recreation. Depending on lake conditions, it is open from April 15th through October 15th.

At the marina you can rent fishing boats, pontoon boats, kayaks, canoes and slip rentals as well as cabin rentals conveniently located near Bluestone Lake and Bluestone State Park. Fuel, bait and snacks are available for purchase.

BLUESTONE WMA – 18,109 ACRES (Jubilee Farms joins the WMA for over ½ mile)

Jubilee Farms joins borders with West Virginia’s Bluestone Wildlife Management Area.  The statewide Wildlife Management Program is designed to conserve and manage high quality habitats for a variety of wildlife species and to improve public access to these resources. West Virginia provides numerous opportunities to learn and appreciate the abundant wildlife.

Bluestone Wildlife Management Area offers visitors a variety of outdoor recreational opportunities on 18,109 acres. Being adjacent to Bluestone Lake, the state’s third largest body of water, the area offers guests boating, canoeing and fishing opportunities. The section of the lake from just upstream of the Bluestone River to Bluestone Dam is in Bluestone State Park; the rest of the lake in West Virginia basin comprises Bluestone WMA.

Hunting is offered due to the wildlife management area status, and Bluestone has over 330 primitive campsites and picnic sites. Avid fishermen can enjoy float fishing and stocked trout fishing in Indian Creek. Hiking and equestrian trails are also popular.

Bicycles are permitted on main roads, day use areas and campground areas. Many of the roads leading to Wildlife Management area campgrounds are dirt roads which provide an experience similar to off-road bicycling.

BLUESTONE STATE PARK

Bluestone State Park was established in 1950 and is named after the Bluestone National Scenic River, which flows into the New River at the park. Bluestone State Park encompasses over 2,100 acres of rugged, heavily forested, mountainous terrain, and provides a variety of water-oriented activities for guests and residents of southern West Virginia. This park is five miles south of Hinton, WV.

Classic Cabins at Bluestone State Park are available for rent year-round. The campgrounds, although seasonal by nature, are popular campsites with visitors. Hiking and the opportunity to view eagles makes Bluestone a neat area to visit.

Bluestone State Park has 26 modern, fully furnished cabins with kitchens, showers, linens, towels, cooking utensils, dishes, tableware and modern appliances. Each cabin also has a stone fireplace, grill, picnic table and campfire ring. Cabins are available for rent year-round and accommodate two to eight people. Select cabins are pet-friendly. Guests also have access to nearby Pipestem Resort State Park’s indoor facilities including an indoor pool and sauna for some more rest and relaxation.

Bluestone State Park has four campgrounds with 120 campsites. The Meador Campground has 32 sites open to RVs and tents with electric and water available at seven of the sites, electric at 15 sites, and a central bathhouse also on-site. The Tent Area Campground has five rustic sites and is designed for group camping. Old Mill Campground, open to tents and RVs, has 44 rustic campsites and a central bathhouse. East Shore Campground has 39 primitive sites accessible by boat only. The campgrounds are open mid-April through late October. Campground reservations are available from Memorial Day through Labor Day each year. Campgrounds are open on a first-come, first-serve basis through October 31. A campsite reservation application is available here.

An extra plus is that Bluestone Park is adjacent to Bluestone Lake, the state’s third largest body of water. Due to this sizeable lake, boating and fishing are naturally an important part of the recreational opportunities at the park. The addition of hiking trails, a swimming pool, game courts, and a seasonal nature/recreation program creates a well-rounded array of activities. The proximity of Bluestone to Winter Place ski area makes the park’s rental cabins affordable accommodations for ski groups and winter vacations.

Nearby is “The Year-Round Crown Jewel of West Virginia State Parks,” Pipestem, is known for its scenic overlooks and an aerial tram ride into the Bluestone Gorge. Park amenities include an 18-hole, par 72 championship golf course with several restaurants and snack bars.

BLUESTONE DAM

Bluestone Dam, located at Hinton, is one of the major flood control dams in West Virginia. It has the largest drainage area and flood storage capacity of any dam in the state. It is built across New River, one mile above its junction with the Greenbrier River and two miles below the confluence of New River and Bluestone River. Prior to the construction of the Bluestone Dam, flooding was a major problem on this great river system.

Bluestone Dam was authorized in 1935 by an executive order issued by President Franklin Roosevelt. Construction on the project began in 1942, but work was suspended in 1943 because of World War II. Work resumed in January 1946, and the dam was completed for operational purposes in January 1949, and totally completed in 1952. The approximate cost was $30 million.

With a drainage area of 4,565 square miles Bluestone Dam controls 44 percent of the river flow through the populous Kanawha Valley, which is downstream. It is a concrete gravity dam 165 feet high and 2,048 feet long, administered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Normal release of water from the Bluestone Lake is accomplished through 16 sluices in the base of the dam. The 790-foot spillway has 21 flood gates. There are also six sluiceways for hydroelectric power that have not been used in the early decades of the dam’s history. The maximum discharge capacity is 430,000 square feet per second.

The dam contains 942,000 cubic yards of concrete and 7,800 tons of steel. Its lake has a summertime surface of 2,040 acres and is very popular with boaters, skiers, and fishermen. Bluestone State Park, located on the Bluestone River about three miles above the dam, provides lodging, camping, a restaurant, and recreational facilities.

The Bluestone Dam celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1999, when the Army Corps of Engineers estimated that the dam had prevented more than $1.6 billion in flood damages. Bluestone ended its first half-century with important improvements under way. The lake became a major supplier of public water in 1997, serving Hinton and Princeton and a large area between and around those two communities.

Reinforcements were added to the dam under the federal Dam Safety Assurance program, with raising the dam by 8 feet, installing anchors and thrust blocks to tie the dam into bedrock, spillway improvements and other work. The second phase, installing bedrock anchors, is underway and three additional phases remain to be constructed. Simultaneously, work began to add hydroelectric capacity to the dam, in a partnership between Hinton and other communities and private industry.

Hydroelectric Power Generation Project: Bluestone Dam was originally designed for Federal hydropower and six penstocks were constructed through the east abutment. During World War II, construction activities were delayed, during which time interest in Federal hydropower declined.

The Water Resources Development Act of 2000, authorized Tri-Cities Power Authority (TCPA) to design and construct a hydropower generating facility at Bluestone Dam. TCPA is made up of the West Virginia cities for Hinton, Philippi and White Sulphur Springs.

Until the early 2000’s the penstocks were capped and never modified. Between 2001 and 2017, the Corps modified the penstocks to create an auxiliary spillway as a required Dam Safety Action.

The Corps and TCPA initiated negotiations for the installation of a non-federal hydropower facility at Bluestone Dam but these negotiations were put on hold as the Corps advanced required dam safety actions so TCPA could re-assess the project. Bluestone State Park was established in 1950 and is named after the Bluestone National Scenic River, which flows into the New River at the park. Bluestone State Park encompasses over 2,100 acres of rugged, heavily forested, mountainous terrain, and provides a variety of water-oriented activities for guests and residents of southern West Virginia. This park is five miles south of Hinton, WV.

 

THE NEW RIVER GORGE NATIONAL PARK and PRESERVE

The 70,000-acre New River Gorge National Park and Preserve is a unit of the United States National Park Service (NPS) designed to protect and maintain the New River Gorge in southern West Virginia in the Appalachian Mountains. Established in 1978 as a national river, the NPS-protected area stretches for 53 miles (85 km) from just downstream of Hinton to Hawks Nest State Park near Ansted. The park was officially named America’s 63rd national park, the U.S. government’s highest form of protection, in December of 2020, amid the COVID-19 pandemic as part of a relief bill.

West Virginia is home to parts of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, a foot path that stretches more than 2,100 miles between Maine and Georgia; the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail, which cuts through 16 states for 4,900 miles; the Bluestone National Scenic River; and Harpers Ferry National Historic Park. Now, over 70,000 acres of land, bordering 53 miles of the gorge, has earned the government’s protection.

The New River Gorge National Park and Preserve is rich in cultural and natural history, and offers an abundance of scenic and recreational opportunities. New River Gorge is home to some of the country’s best whitewater rafting, mainly from the Cunard put-in to the Fayette Station take-out, and is also one of the most popular climbing areas on the East Coast.

Home to the New River, which drops 750 feet over 66 miles, with its Class V rapids, has long drawn adventuresome rafters and kayakers to this whitewater area. The New River, which flows northward through low-cut canyons in the Appalachian Mountains, is actually one of the oldest rivers on the planet.

Rock climbing on the canyon walls, mountain biking and hiking on trails that flank the river, and wildlife viewing—bald eagles, osprey, kingfishers, great blue herons, beavers, river otters, wild turkeys, brown bats, snakes, and black bears—are all popular activities within the park.

Begin your experience with a stop at Canyon Rim Visitor Center, which is situated on the edge of the gorge, for maps, current information, and chats with a park ranger. You can learn any pertinent safety protocols and visit the bookstore.

The New River Gorge Bridge is a work of structural art. Construction of the bridge began in 1974, and was completed in 1977. The Bridge spans 3,030 feet in length and is the third highest bridge in the U.S., at 876 ft. During Bridge Day, an annual one-day festival celebrating the construction of the Bridge, BASE jumpers launch off the 876-foot bridge and parachute down to the New River. New River Gorge is the only national park in the U.S. that permits this extreme activity.

President Jimmy Carter signed legislation establishing New River Gorge National River on November 10, 1978 (Pub.L. 95–625). As stated in the legislation, the park was established as a unit of the national park system “for the purpose of conserving and interpreting outstanding natural, scenic, and historic values and objects in and around the New River Gorge, and preserving as a free-flowing stream an important segment of the New River in West Virginia for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations.” The New River Gorge National Park and Preserve Designation Act was incorporated into the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, changing the designation to New River Gorge National Park and Preserve. Less than 10% of the original national river was re-designated as a national park, where hunting is no longer permitted, while the remainder is a national preserve with little change.

NEW RIVER REGION OVERVIEW

The New River is shared by boaters, fisherman, campers, park visitors and local neighbors. The waters of the New River system contain a mosaic of hydrologic features and aquatic habitats that support a highly productive aquatic ecosystem that includes distinct populations of native fish, mussels, crayfish, and a broad array of other aquatic life, including rare amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals.

The 320-mile New River rises in the Blue Ridge region of North Carolina and flows northeastward through the Appalachian uplands to Radford, Va., where it turns northwestward and passes through a series of narrow valleys and gorges into southern West Virginia. It ends where it joins the Gauley River to form the Kanawha River. In WV, the New River is entrenched in a steep and narrow valley, the most narrow part of which is known as the “New River Gorge.”

In 1998, because of historical, economical, and cultural importance, President Clinton signed into law the New River as one of the very first American Heritage Rivers. Much of the river’s course through West Virginia was designated as the New River Gorge National River. In 2021, the area was designated as the United States’ newest National Park.

The New River is recognized as the “second oldest river in the world” and is estimated to be between 10 and 360 million years old. Its headwaters begin near Blowing Rock, NC, and is one of the few rivers in North America that flows northerly.

Class I, II, III, IV and V rapids dot the entire 320 miles of New River making it a great paddling, tubing, and white rafting adventure. Beautiful cliffs, bluffs, and mountain views make it one of the most scenic rivers on the east coast.

New River Gorge National Park includes 53 miles of free-flowing New River, beginning at Bluestone Dam and ending at Hawks Nest Lake. The New River typifies big West Virginia style whitewater. Within the park it has two very different characters. The upper (southern) part of the river consists primarily of long pools, and relatively easy rapids up to Class III. It is a big powerful river, but very beautiful, always runnable, and providing excellent fishing and camping. There are a number of different river access points, and trips can run from several hours to several days.

The lower (northern) section of river is often referred to as “the Lower Gorge.” In a state that is justifiably renowned for colossal rapids, the Lower Gorge has some of the biggest of the big with rapids ranging in difficulty from Class III to Class V. The rapids are imposing and forceful, many of them obstructed by large boulders which necessitate maneuvering in very powerful currents, crosscurrents, and hydraulics. Some rapids contain hazardous undercut rocks.

Prior to the rise of the Appalachian Mountains, the New River cut its bed at a time when the land sloped to the northwest. Amazingly so, as the Appalachians gradually rose around the river, the New River wore away the bedrock at the same rate the mountains formed, leaving behind towering cliffs and prominences that hover hundreds of feet about the water level.

Accounts claim that Indians referred to the New River as the “river of death,” however this origin story is likely legend. Native Americans and early European settlers regarded the New and Kanawha rivers as being one single waterway. The name “New” may have been derived when the river upstream was discovered by European explorers as the first “new” river found flowing westward.

Native American Indians used the New River as they traveled west years before the pioneers arrived. In the 1600s explorers navigating the New River thought they were close to the Pacific Ocean because of its westerly flow.

In 1671 the Batts-Fallam expedition, by way of the New River, came through to the Lurich area and ended there because the Indian guides refused to take them any farther. They carved their initials in a tree and claimed the territory for King Charles II of England. This was the first proclamation of English territory west of the Alleghenies making the New River the first gateway into the west.

Fast water, big rocks and lazy/slow stretches are features of the New River. Water sports enthusiasts will find the New River ideal for swimming, canoeing, fishing, kayaking, tubing, snorkeling, paddle boarding and windsurfing. Great fishing is found in the New River with bass (largemouth, smallmouth and rock), flathead catfish, channel catfish, muskie, walleye and bluegill present in good numbers. Year after year, it produces more citation fish than any other warm water river in WV.

The New River Gorge was a vast and largely unsettled wilderness until the C&O railroad was built on the eastern side of the river in the 1880’s. The railroad opened up the rich coalfields and virgin timber stands of the region. Early “mountaineers” settled the area and soon were carving out mountain farms and raising families.

The gorge was practically impassible before completion of the New River Gorge Bridge, near Fayetteville, WV, in 1978. The river within its gorge is one of the most popular whitewater rafting destinations in the eastern U.S. Much of the New between Hinton and Gauley Bridge is managed by the National Park Service as the New River Gorge National River.

Principal tributaries of the New in West Virginia include, from south to north, the East River, the Bluestone River, and the Greenbrier River.
Many former mining communities located on the New River in its gorge have since become ghost towns. These include Sewell, Nuttalburg, Kaymoor, Fayette, South Fayette, Hawks Nest, Cotton Hill, and Gauley, Beury and Claremont.

GREENBRIER RIVER AND RIVER TRAIL

Jubilee Farms is a 15-minute drive to the lazy Greenbrier River where it empties into the New River at Hinton. The Greenbrier River is 173 miles long is the last free flowing river east of the Mississippi. It is an excellent river to float or canoe and is well known for its large and small mouth bass fishing. It is the gateway to water recreation and fun as it is at most times lazy and easy to navigate.

The Greenbrier River is formed by the confluence of the East Fork Greenbrier River and the West Fork Greenbrier River in the town of Durbin, West Virginia. From Durbin the Greenbrier River flows southwesterly through Pocahontas, Greenbrier, Monroe, and Summers Counties. It flows through several communities including Cass, Marlinton, Hillsboro, Ronceverte, Fort Spring, Alderson, and Hinton. The Greenbrier River joins the New River in the town of Hinton, just 10 minutes away.

The property is a 60 minutes ride to the Greenbrier River Trial and is operated by the West Virginia State Parks. The trail is a 77-mile long former railroad, now used for hiking, bicycling, ski-touring, horseback-riding, and wheel-chair use. The trail passes through numerous small towns and traverses 35 bridges and 2 tunnels as it winds its way along the valley. Most of the trail is adjacent to the free-flowing Greenbrier River and is surrounded by peaks of the Allegheny Mountains.

MONROE COUNTY

Banking, healthcare facilities, drugstore, grocery, hardware, auto parts and farm supply are readily available in nearby Union and Peterstown. There are no fast food restaurants but there are the local restaurants that are great places to meet friends and enjoy a great home cooked meal.

Some of the friendliest people in West Virginia can be found in Monroe County. Monroe County has a population of about 13,000 residents and does not have a stoplight and has more cattle and sheep than people. Monroe County is a special area with interesting folks, both “born and raised” and newer members from many different states. People from all walks of life reside in harmony in this lovely pastoral setting.

UNION

Shortly after Monroe County was created, James Alexander offered 25 acres of land, including a lot for a courthouse which in time became the town of Union. On January 6, 1800, the Virginia Assembly passed an act creating the town of Union.

The Monroe County Historical Society preserves several historic structures in the town, including the Caperton Law Office, Owen Neel House, Clark-Wisemen House, Ames Clair Hall, and the Old Baptist Church. The Union Historic District was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.

PETERSTOWN

The Town of Peterstown is a short drive.  Banking, healthcare facilities, drugstore, grocery, hardware, auto parts and farm supply are readily available in Peterstown. The town is on the border with Virginia, and Virginia Tech is less than an hour from Peterstown.

Peterstown was chartered in 1803 by the Virginia General Assembly, incorporated in 1892 by the Circuit Court. Peterstown was named for Christian Peters, Revolutionary war soldier, who settled nearby and founded the town shortly after the Revolutionary War. The town is the site of the 1928 discovery of the 34.48 carat (6.896 g) Jones Diamond by Grover C. Jones and his son, William “Punch” Jones.

SALT SULPHUR SPRINGS

Salt Sulphur Springs is north of the property and is a popular wedding venue and is the scene of select community advents.

The area is well known for the healing waters of the numerous “Sulphur Springs”. During the 1800’s and early 1900’s, several “Sulphur Springs Resorts” flourished in the area. Most notably and still in existence are White Sulphur Springs, Warm Springs and, Hot Springs. Others included, Sweet Springs, Blue Sulphur Springs, Red Sulphur Springs, Green Sulphur Springs, Pence Springs and, Sweet Chalybeate Springs.

During the height of wealthy families’ summer treks to the Virginia springs resorts—from roughly 1800 until the Civil War—one popular circuit encompassed “the fountains most strongly impregnated with minerals, heat, fashion, and fame,” according to one chronicler. For those arriving from eastern Virginia and points northeast, the circuit started at Warm Springs northeast of Lewisburg, in the Allegheny Mountains. From there, it ran south and west to the Hot, the White Sulphur, the Sweet, the Salt Sulphur, and the Red Sulphur, then back in the opposite direction.

The “Old Salt” was famed for its three springs: sweet, salt sulphur, and iodine, curative especially for “chronic diseases of the brain” such as headaches.

The main hotel building dates to about 1820. Salt Sulphur Springs Historic District holds one of the largest groupings of pre-Civil War native stone buildings in West Virginia.

RED SULPHUR SPRINGS

Red Sulphur Springs, located just a few miles north east of Jubilee Farms, was once was the site of another popular mineral spring resort from the 1820s until World War I. The spring water emerges from the ground at 54 degrees F. and leaves a purplish-red sulfurous deposit which was used to treat skin conditions. The water was believed to be useful in the treatment of tuberculosis. Modern analysis shows the water to be high in bicarbonate, sulfate, and calcium. Around 1920, the buildings were dismantled, and the resort ceased operation.

INDIAN CREEK

Indian Creek takes its name for a Native American trail that crossed the Appalachians from the valley of the Ohio River to that of the Great Valley of Virginia. “It was the interstate of the Indian world”.

Indian Creek is a tributary of the New River. It is one of Monroe County’s main drainage basins. Indian Creek begins its journey near Salt Sulphur Springs and drains tens of thousands of acres on its winding 30-mile long trip through pastoral farms, steep mountain canyons, wide bottomland forests, wetlands and marshes before ending its trip close to Crumps Bottom, where it enters New River. From there, the New River flows to the Kanawha, onto the Ohio, then the Mississippi and terminating in the Gulf of Mexico. It is said that the waters of Indian Creek will arrive in the Gulf of Mexico 3 to 4 days after entering the New River.

INDIAN CREEK COVERED BRIDGE

Owned by the county historical society and open to pedestrians, it was part of the White and Salt Sulphur Springs Turnpike.  A Long truss built in 1903 by Ray and Oscar Weikel (ages 16 and 18 years old) and E.P. and A.P. Smith, it is more than 11.5 feet wide and 49.25 feet long.  There are six covered bridges in West Virginia with this truss engineering — Philippi, Hokes Mill, Sarvis Fork, Statts Mill, Center Point and Indian Creek.  The completed bridge cost Monroe County only $400 and was used continuously for about 30 years.

The interior of the Indian Creek Bridge contains notes and plaques from previous visitors.  Now only pedestrians use the bridge, which also houses antique vehicles from the 1900s, adding to the history of this unique structure.

In spring of 2000, the bridge was rehabilitated by Hoke Brothers Construction, Inc. of Union, WV in 2002 at a cost of $334,446.  Renovations included timber roof trusses, a new glue-laminated timber deck, new wooden exterior siding and a new roof of split shakes.

Indian Creek Bridge is a tribute to the ingenuity and hard work of two young builders who had a vision of what transportation could be in Monroe County. ​

GEOLOGY

Jubilee Farms is nestled between the folded Ridge and Valley Province to the east and the younger Allegheny Plateau to the west. Its waters from Crooked Creek empty into the world’s third oldest river, the New River, just a few miles downstream.

The area has many interesting “riches from the earth” in the form of sandstone, limestone, agates, fossils, geodes, caves and curious rock outcrops. The river’s bottom and banks have numerous types, ages and classes of rocks that originate from several diverse geological regions along the New River basin draining millions of acres.

Geologist’s estimates vary widely from 3 million years to 320 million years when talking about the age of the gorge. The river pushes its load of sand and other particles over the bedrock of the river channel and wears it down in a sandpapering action. The cutting takes place very slowly and each foot cut may take thousands of years.

Erosion by the New River has exposed several different rock formations. Traveling the 52 miles between Hinton and the New River Gorge bridge you will pass through a cross section of the earth’s surface, exposing sedimentary rock layers totaling about 4,000 feet in thickness. It may have taken 7 to 10 million years for these deposits to accumulate as layers of sand, mud, and rotting plants and then compressed and bonded into sandstone, shale, and coal.

Just 45 miles north of the farm you can take a trip through time riding on I-64 from Dawson to the WV/VA boundary showcasing outcrops from the younger Mississippian formations to the older Devonian mountains.

The rich coal fields lying 50 miles to the northwest were formed about 300 million years ago during the Pennsylvanian and Permian periods when the West Virginia area was south of the equator and moving north. Coal, a combustible sedimentary rock, formed when our area was covered with huge, tropical, swampy forests where plants – giant ferns, reeds and mosses – grew. When the plants died they piled up in swamps. Over time, heat and pressure transformed the buried materials into peat and into various forms of coal. These prehistoric coalfields continue to provide energy and industry to residents of West Virginia, the nation, and the world.

The Droop Sandstone, a very hard, quartz-rich rock originally deposited as sand beaches along an ancient shoreline, is especially prominent in the area. Numerous sheer rock cliff formations are created by the erosion-resistant Droop Sandstone. Locally, the Muddy Creek Mountain quarry produces decorative sandstone from the Droop that is known worldwide for its beauty and durability.

ARCHEOLOGY

Jubilee Farms is located in the Indian Creek, New River Valley – Greenbrier River Valley region and contains interesting Native American artifacts.
The New River Gorge was never permanently settled by Europeans prior to the 1850’s, so the older archeological record begins with the very rich story of the Native American Indians in the New River Gorge area of southern West Virginia. Most of the stories involving native peoples center on “historically” documented tribes and their interaction with the European and African peoples who came into this area in the mid-1600s. What we usually consider the beginning of the story is actually an ending.

The story of American Indians in West Virginia began hundreds of generations before the written history. The keys to this amazing story are literally found in the arrowheads and multitudes of other artifacts and historic sites left behind by these ancient peoples.

The oldest artifacts from New River Gorge are Clovis points. Made more than 11,000 years ago over much of North America, these intricately shaped stone spear points were used by ancient nomadic hunter-gatherers, Paleoindians, to kill mammoth, mastodon, and other Ice Age creatures.

Later artifacts found in excavated village sites, such as pieces of pottery, stone and bone tools, seeds, beads, and arrowheads, show the development of thriving agricultural-based permanent communities connected by well-established systems of trails.

Peoples of the Archaic and Woodland periods lived in our area for thousands of years (from approximately 8,000 B.C.E. to 1,200 C.E.), constructing palisade villages and elaborate burial mounds, progressing from spears to bow and arrows, producing clay and stone pottery and art objects, and extensively cultivating corn, squash, and beans. They were the ancestors of the people we know of today in eastern North America as the Cherokee and Shawnee.

Native American Indians who lived in the River Valleys of the Ohio, Kanawha, Greenbrier and Roanoke, as well as northern Georgia, upper SC and Tennessee where part of the Archaic Period culture. This culture lasted from about 10,000 to 3,000 BP (before present day).

Native American artifact collectors search for, and have found, arrowheads, spear points, tomahawks, tools and toys (marbles) in the region of the valleys. Most of the artifacts would be from the Archaic period and can be readily found on any flat areas on the creek that would be one foot higher than the creek’s bank.

The American Native Indians who lived in what is now West Virginia led a Stone Age lifestyle – they only had stone tools and weapons, had never seen a horse and had no knowledge of the wheel.

There are many famous Native American tribes who played a part in the history of the state and whose tribal territories and homelands are located in West Virginia. The names of the tribes included the Cherokee, Iroquois, Manahoac, Meherrin, Monacan, Nottaway, Occaneechi, Saponi and Shawnee.
Other famous Tribes of Eastern Woodlands: Miami, Lenape, Iroquois, Massachusett, Powhatan, Abenaki, Shawnee and Pequot, Fox, Sauk, Wampanoag, Delaware, Huron (Wyandot), Mohawk, Mohican and Menominee.

CARBON SEQUESTRATION

The 226+/- acres of forest and farmland is a tremendous producer of Oxygen and Carbon Sequester. Carbon Sequestration is the act of processing carbon dioxide through sinks and stores and releasing them into the atmosphere as oxygen. With over 225 acres, the vigorously growing forest and farmland grasses are sequestering thousands of tons of Carbon Dioxide each per year and producing tons and tons of Oxygen.

THE DYNAMIC WETLAND

In earlier times, before the environmental and societal value of wetlands was discovered, Bluestone Lake’s dynamic wetland was commonly called a “swamp” or “bog”. This enchanting area is biologically rich and wildlife diverse, being akin to the world’s largest swamps found in the Florida Everglades and the Amazon River Basin. The small, but mighty wetland works to provide “ecosystem services”—non-monetary benefits like clean water, clean air, carbon sequestration, hunting, and yes—recreation for everyone young and old.

The wetlands are the best of both worlds. A visit begins with the periphery of the largest pond to watch for deer, squirrels, raccoon, and turkey while exploring for butterflies, turtles, frogs, crawdads, song birds, salamanders, ducks, herons, newts, and a host of other aquatic invertebrates, migratory birds, reptiles, and amphibians.

Wetlands are a very productive part of our environment; more productive of vegetation, in fact, than some agricultural soils. This vegetation serves important purposes. It shelters and feeds many wildlife species that cannot survive elsewhere. Almost 35 percent of all rare and endangered species depend, in some way, on wetlands. More common wetland species provide enjoyment to many by serving educational, research and recreational needs. Waterfowl and many furbearers such as beaver, mink and muskrat provide both consumptive and no consumptive recreation and are dependent on wetlands. Many fringe wetlands provide the food that young fish need to survive. By slowing the flow of water, wetlands help keep banks from eroding and they trap and settle suspended silt before it smothers fish eggs and covers the insects and other animals that fish eat.

Wetlands add visual diversity to everyone’s lives. The animal trails that skirts and crosses the wetlands offers an opportunity to see many different plant and wildlife species seen nowhere else on the property. The wetlands habitat walk is a relaxing and rewarding experience.

PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Summers County School District

Public Elementary School:
Hinton Area Elementary School

Public Middle School:
Summers County Middle School

Public High School:
Summers County High School

College:
Concord University (nearby in Mercer County)

REGIONAL INFORMATION