West Virginia State Farm Museum

Walden Roush, Founder of West Virginia State Farm Museum

Mr. Roush and his wife Louise founded the farm museum in 1976 as a way of preserving the heritage of agriculture. Through his efforts and thousands of volunteer hours from members of the community, the museum grew to it's present impressive size. The Loom House was modeled after a loom house in his family and named for his late wife Louise.

Mr. Roush, as a long time educator, love to be at the museum for all the tours and festival days to share his knowledge of weaving with visitors. When the photo was taken Mr. Roush was over 90 and still driving his Buick Roadmaster to the museum. Mr. Roush is shown weaving on his favorite loom, a Union Rug Loom from the mid 1900s. He would demonstrate shuttle throwing the old fashion way on this loom and then show shuttle throwing on the Newcomb Weaver's Delight. He delighted in surprising schoolkids who had never seen a flying shuttle in action with the speed at which it operated.

The museum's grounds are open during summer months for self-guided tours. Several special event festivals are held throughout the summer and they conduct guided tours for schools.

Elizabeth Weaving on Rag Rug Loom

Elizabeth and Jim became involved as volunteers at the West Virginia State Farm Museum when we received a call to help with school tours. Elizabeth's job as the assistant was to help warp the looms and finish the rugs.

She is seen in the photograph above weaving on a two-harness Weaver's Friend loom. The finished rugs were sold in the museum's Country Store.

Volunteers Use Steam Powered Sawmill

The Farm Museum's Frick steam engine is shown here powering a sawmill. The engine is used as a stationary engine and must be towed to every site. The engine was inspected for safety by the state inspector several days before the festival when it was used. (Since this photo was taken, the steam engine has been retired and a newly installed diesel engine powers the mill.)

Several black oak trees were harvested for the antique steam and gas engine festival to show operation of the farm museum's sawmill. This plank shows beautiful oak wood grain.

Easy Washing Machine at State Fair

For a number of years, the Farm Museum sent an exhibit to the WV State Fair in Lewisburg, WV. The year a selection of washing machines was on display, we spent four days talking about laundry in the good old days to fairgoers. Jim is seen demonstrating an Easy Washing Machine to young people who had never seen a wringer washing machine in operation.

This Easy washer is unusual in that it has three hemispheres that sloshes up and down agitating the clothes. It also has a gas line connection whereby water could be heated prior to commencing the washing process. It also had a pretty nice sloshing sound that seemed to draw folks in to the exhibit.

See how Jim restored a farm museum trolley spinning wheel.

Christmas Lights at the Farm Museum

The museum closes for the winter, so farm employees and volunteers spend this time period decorating the museum for a Christmas tour of lights. For two weeks before Chrismas visitors can drive around the museum grounds admiring the light display.