In November 2001, Samuel A. J. Cockayne, a lifelong resident of Glen Dale, Marshall County, West Virginia, and a descendent of an early pioneer to the area, passed away. In his will, he bequeathed his aging 1850's farmhouse and its immense collection of 19th and early 20th Century Cockayne furnishings, artwork and other family memorabilia to the City of Glen Dale, which town bears the name of the farm. The City subsequently leased the property to the Marshall County Historical Society, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, for the Society's preservation efforts.

The house and contents are a living museum, representative of the lifestyles, values and work ethic of those Americans who helped to build this State and this Nation. Behind the house is an Indian Burial Mound long protected by the Cockaynes that was reunited to the farmhouse in 2004. The burial mound adds another dimension to the project.

In late 2005, when Lisa Cockayne, sister-in-law to Samuel Cockayne, died, the executor of her estate notified the Historical Society that her property would be sold by auction within 30 days. Nila Chaddock, of the Cockayne Farmstead Preservation Project Committee, along with other members generated the idea to reunite the property with the farmstead. Evidently, the small white house located north of the Cockayne Farmhouse, was built by S.A. Cockayne in the Nineteenth Century. Unfortunately, the Society had no immediate means to raise sufficient funds to purchase the house. Therefore, Attorneys Lou Khourey and Jon Turak of Gold, Khourey & Turak in Moundsville, WV placed a bid on behalf of the Society.

In 2010, the Historical Society created the “87 Club” to help continue to pay back the debt owed to the generous benefactors. This club was based on the premise: “To seek businesses, organizations or individuals willing to donate $1,000 or more each toward that goal.” By March 2013, the Society raised the money from private donations and grants. Of these private donations included gifts from Louis and Charlotte Khourey, Jonathan and Roselyn Turak, and Christopher and Shawn Turak.

The purpose of the Cockayne Historic Preservation Project is to create an educational and cultural center that will benefit all West Virginians.

More information: cockaynefarm.com

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