The land where one of the Civil War's greatest leaders roamed as a child is now a place where a child can learn to be a leader.
WVU Jackson's Mill, the boyhood home of Confederate Army Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, became the nation's first-ever state 4-H camp. A 1921 act by the West Virginia Legislature designated the Lewis County land as such, and it placed the land and the facilities under the care of the West Virginia University Extension Service. The first statewide 4-H camp was held that same summer.
The facility has grown to not only include the 4-H camp, but it has become a place where various organizations meet for training and development.
Current users of the WVU Jackson's Mill include band camps, church groups, livestock shows and historical organizations. The mill annually hosts the top West Virginia storytellers, and every Labor Day weekend, the Jackson's Mill Jubilee is staged on the facility. The area's top artisans and crafters fill the place to display their wares and show off their talents.
The Jackson family first settled the land in 1801 and a log cabin and grist mill were quickly constructed. The family business grew to include sawmills, blacksmith shops and a store. The business aspect, along with the family's involvement in local politics quickly made the place a central gathering spot. Stonewall Jackson came to live there in 1830 following the death of his parents, and he stayed there until leaving for West Point.
The mill also has its popular historical area, and the only original building still standing from the Jackson days is the old grist mill. Visitors today can learn of how the Jacksons used the mill, and also see a working blacksmith and other period demonstrations. The General Store offers a variety of mill products, along with historical information and other souvenirs.
Accommodations are available to the general public. More information is available by calling 304-269-5100 or visiting the website at jacksonsmill.ext.wvu.edu.