Cockayne Farm

Portal to the Past

Building an Institute - Not Just a Museum


     Museum: The Farmhouse and its 1500 Cockayne Furnishings, Artwork and other Family Artifacts would be established as a Museum to demonstrate the lifestyles, values and work ethic of 19th Century Rural West Virginia.

     Visitors and Welcome Center: The smaller 19th Century Cockayne House would serve as a Visitors and Welcome Center, not only for the Cockayne Property, but also for Marshall County. Easily accessible to travelers through our County, the facility would be used to promote all Marshall County. It would also provide space for heritage classrooms, art workshops, a second floor “Children’s Cultural Center,” and handicapped accessible facilities.

     Cultural Activities: The smaller house and south lot would join the Cockayne Indian Burial Mound to complement the Farmhouse and provide space for the following:

     Heritage presentations and/or classes on such subjects as candle dipping, soap making, rug weaving, sheep shearing, wool gathering, whittling, the making of 19th century pottery, and cooking in an 1850's kitchen.

     Art Workshops: Classes on the history of art and the mechanics of artistic expression could be held.

     Heritage Events: An old-fashioned corn roast or ice cream social could be staged.

     Saturday Children Workshops: Classes on Marshall County and West Virginia History for elementary students - taught by retired teachers. Opening the 2nd Floor of the smaller house would be perfect for the creation of a Children’s Center.

     Vandalia Up North: Forum for artisans of varying heritage crafts similar to that presented at the Cultural Center each May.

     First Person Tours: Research, writing and executing scripts and presenting candlelight walks through the property, detailing what it was like to live in rural West Virginia in the 19th Century.

     Archaeological Events: ...such as a “pow wow” presented as a Family Fun Night for local children and their parents. The south lot and Indian burial mound are both important for the programming offered at a Family Fun Night.

     Period Vegetable or Herb Gardens: Vegetable or herb gardens could be planted on the south lot, perhaps tended by John Marshall High School Students or Marshall County Citizens in return for the garden’s produce.

     Family Roots Workshops: To encourage children to talk to grandparents and parents, collect pictures and create family heritage scrapbooks.

     Educational Partnership: The Committee is working to develop a curriculum with the Marshall County Board of Education on West Virginia culture and history that will benefit school children throughout the Upper Ohio River Valley and State of West Virginia. This would be accomplished via tours through the farmhouse or traveling exhibits of some of the amazing 19th Century artifacts.

     Fourth grade students, through exposure to the Cockayne property, might be afforded an introductory lesson on the culture of West Virginia. Experience has demonstrated that this is an age when a curiosity of earlier lifestyles and development of community pride could easily be fostered.

     Eighth grade West Virginia school children could be targeted for a more in-depth exposure to the Cockayne farmhouse, Cockayne Mound, Cockayne artifacts and Cockayne writings as these students prepare for the annual Golden Horseshoe Test, a test on West Virginia History and Culture that has been administered to 8th Grade West Virginia students since 1931.