By Emily Gallagher
Times West Virginian
The home of Stonewall Jackson’s childhood, known as Jackson’s Mill, is one of the state’s most historic attractions.
But it’s also the home of the first statewide 4-H camp in the United States.
Jackson’s Mill is located in Lewis County just outside Weston.
Chad Proudfoot, the 4-H cultural resource specialist at Jackson’s Mill, said the first camp began in 1915 in Randolph County, but it wasn’t until 1919 that the first statewide 4-H camp was created.
Proudfoot said a gentleman by the name of William Kendrick, who was the state 4-H leader at the time, liked the camping concept as a way to deal with youth development.
“He encouraged other counties to do camps,” Proudfoot said. “It really took off.”
In 1919, Kendrick wanted a single place to do statewide camping programs and started looking for locations.
“Folks from the Lewis County area suggested to him that Stonewall Jackson’s boyhood home at Jackson’s Mill would be a good spot for a camp,” Proudfoot said.
Proudfoot said Kendrick and another man, Charles Hartley, visited the location and found it to be a perfect spot.
“The property at that time was owned by West Penn Power,” Proudfoot said.
In 1921, the property was deeded to the state to be used for a youth camp. It was entrusted to the Extension Service of WVU.
“The first camp was held there in 1921,” Proudfoot said.
The 4-H camp at Jackson’s Mill is a youth development camp. Proudfoot said the camp is unique because it was where the camping program was born.