Cockayne Farmstead ‘Wish List’ Detailed

The Cockayne Farmstead Preservation committee has a Christmas list which was included in a recent newsletter.

The footnote to the actual list states, “The Society continues its work to preserve the farmhouse, with electrification of the house being the next goal after the installation of a climate control system with frontal access to the Farmstead and the development of the south lawn also being primary concerns of the committee. But on a lesser, although important scale, we have a few things on our Wish List.”

The wish list is as follows:

– The purchase of data loggers, temperature and humidity Alerts for the Farmhouse that will tie into the new climate control system. Data loggers range in price from $349-$390 and the farmhouse needs three of them.

– A new Security System that will also cover the “little” house. Cost is approximately $3,000

– Pest (termite) control for the farmhouse-$985 for installation.

– Highway road marker noting historic nature of the Farmstead (approximate cost $1,725) as well as appropriate access signage near entrance driveway, such as:

– National Register Marker for posting on the Farmhouse.

– Temporary covers for the farm wagon, 19th century sleigh and grain cleaner to provide protection for the foreseeable future.

– Two hundred feet of hose to be utilized for watering the gardens and washing the porch of the farmhouse.

– Pleasant Valley School Bell. As the Farmstead hosted the first school in Glen Dale, the Marshall County Historical Society is donating the Pleasant Valley School Bell. It will need to be mounted in cement and refurbished with a placard recognizing the history of the schools – both Glen Dale and Pleasant Valley.

The committee states that it believes Sam Cockayne would be proud of the path being taken to protect his family’s legacy.

It points out that Cockayne went off to war in the South Pacific, and came home to a changed world. The newsletter states, “We may never know why he downward spiraled into the reclusive manner in which he lived his last years, as he never changed the family home from the time it came into his hands.”

The Christmas newsletter points out that over the last two years the committee has been involved in long-range planning on several levels. It is noted that one of the truly unique things about the Cockayne Farmhouse is that it retains the wallpapers and carpets of its 1890’s restoration. The farmhouse was packed with more than 1,500 19th and early 20th Century family artifacts and more than 12,000 pages of family documents.

A question asked in the newsletter is: “How do we preserve these family artifacts and can we save these wallpapers and other historic finishes? And how do we properly develop the Farmstead to be a valuable cultural and educational resource that will benefit the community? These questions are not easily answered, but the Society has made progress.”

The major undertaking at this time is to install a climate control system which has required removal of all artifacts and other contents of the house.

There are ambitious plans for the future, many of which are in the planning stage.

In the newsletter, thanks are expressed to the community for their support to date, and that support will continue to be in many ways, mainly through businesses, donations, different agencies, volunteers, the school system and in other ways

The Cockayne Farmstead and its contents were willed to the city of Glen Dale, with Marshall County Historical Society having agreed to preserve both through the efforts of the Cockayne Preservation Society.

In two and one-half weeks, Cameron High/Middle School students will be moving into their new school, this after the state Fire Marshal’s office on Thursday determined the new building is safe and up to code.

Marshall County Superintendent of Schools Fred Renzella was elated when I spoke to him and Friday, as was Assistant Superintendent Wayne Simms who has “literally” lived at the new school throughout the construction phase.

Faculty members will begin moving in on Monday, which is an instructional support day (no school for students), and will continue movement on Tuesday, which begins the long break that goes through Jan. 2.

According to the school calendar, school resumes on Jan. 3, and on that day the students will report to the “old” school for breakfast and then be transported to the new facility for orientation.

Denny Wallace has been a member of Moundsville City Council for the past 16 years and on Dec. 31 his current four-year term will expire, with Tuesday to be his final meeting.

During his 16 years he has served as mayor for six of those years, a position he currently holds.

Wallace did not seek re-election in November.

On the agenda for Tuesday’s meeting will be the election of a mayor and vice mayor.

The House of the Carpenter II, Moundsville, is still collecting toys, mittens, gloves and hats for their Christmas give-away, which is scheduled to take place on Wednesday.

Also, anyone wishing to make a donation, or volunteer their time, service, or food as part of the “Feeding Body & Soul” Community Kitchen in the serving of free meals is asked to contact the Simpson United Methodist Church office or email to:

The West Liberty University/Marshall County Breakfast Club will meet at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday at Perkins Restaurant and Bakery in Moundsville, with the speaker being Dr. Tammy McClain, associate professor of psychology and interim department chair. She is also an Executive Fellow at WLU.

Dr. McClain will present an update on the university’s Department of Social and Behavioral Science. Those planning to attend may RSVP via email to or by calling 304-336-8301.

The breakfast is a Dutch treat event and walk-ins are welcome. All alumni and friends are invited to attend.