Historical open house set at pre-Civil War cabin in Raleigh County

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Historical open house set at pre-Civil War cabin in Raleigh County
David Sibray holds an old lantern that would have been used often in the Covey House before electricity was available.

FAIRDALE, W.Va. — A public open house for historians and history buffs has been scheduled for Saturday, October 28, at a pre-Civil War homeplace for sale in western Raleigh County in West Virginia.

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Built in about 1855, the six-room cabin appears much as it had before West Virginia separated from Virginia — at a time when the small community vied for a position as the county seat, according to Beka Graham, president of the , which is co-sponsoring the event.

Portraits of early families hang on the walls in the Covey House.

"This homeplace recalls a time when this little town in western Raleigh County was considered viable as the seat of government for the county," Graham said.

"Alfred Beckley's settlement at what's now Beckley was not everyone's first choice for the location of the county courthouse. Pioneer farmers in this region wielded significant political power, though they didn't wield enough to win the courthouse."

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Thomas Henderson, who had the cabin built for his family, was among the settlers who came to develop the region known as "the Marshes of the Coal River," an area of fertile farmland at the head of the Marsh Fork of the Coal River.

His relatively large, two-story homeplace survived the turmoil of the Civil War, despite warring sentiments in the region.

In 1901, the home was sold to George Thomas Covey, a member of a prominent local family of farmers and merchants. The Coveys had settled in the 1830s.

The home has been preserved and historically rehabilitated and is now being marketed for sale at $315,000 by Foxfire Realty, according to historian and Foxfire agent David Sibray.

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Sibray said the structure, which may be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, had been listed on the Raleigh County Register of Historic Places.

"There are a handful of old hewn-timber structures that remain in the region, but they're hard to find nowadays," he said.

"Thankfully, people are looking to restore these kinds of properties, particularly in light of the nearby national park."

The Covey homeplace is operated as an AirBnB and regularly hosts travelers exploring the New River Gorge region, Sibray says.

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At 2 p.m., Sibray will speak on the history of the homeplace and the region of the county long known as "Trap Hill," named for the site of a wolf trap once located at present-day Glen Daniel.

The open house is set for noon until 5 p.m. For more information, contact Foxfire Realty agent Dave Sibray at 304-575-7390 or dsibray@gmail.com.

To reach the property from I-77 at Beckley, (25 minutes), follow WV-3 west 10.6 miles to its junction with WV-99 at Glen Daniel. Follow WV-99 west 1.7 miles to a right turn onto Saxon Road in Fairdale. Follow the latter one mile to the property.

The address is 602 Saxon Rd, Fairdale, WV 25839. You'll find a link to the property for sale .

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