Idea Exchange on Re-branding Pendleton County Set for Oct. 17

All are invited to an “Idea Exchange” at the Pendleton Community Building, at 7 p.m. on Tuesday Oct. 17. This is an open meeting around re-branding Pendleton County as Closest to Heaven in West Virginia.

From the press release
“We the people of the county can change the Pendleton County brand. Let’s recognize what we’ve got—and get others to do so also. The objective, builds from West Virginia calling itself ‘Almost Heaven.’

We have Spruce Knob, the state’s highest. Seneca Rocks is the highest free-standing cliff east of the Mississippi. America’s First River – The Potomac – begins in Pendleton County. Pendleton is considered the best site in the Mid-Atlantic to view the stars. There is now an impressive effort underway to preserve Franklin’s historic main street.

The Oct. 17 meeting will set a vision for how the citizens of Pendleton County can document the range of special things about our county. An effort then will be made to change the signs across the county to point to why we are so special. A step that we will discuss at the meeting is how to work as a county to document all that we have.

Whether good or bad, so much begins in the head. Like a winning sports team where games are won first by believing. Games are also won, though, by having good stuff to work with. And Pendleton County has great stuff to work with.”

This is an Informal Project of the Pendleton County EDA, Pendleton County Chamber of Commerce, Future Generations University and Pendleton Community Foundation.

Future Generations University Expands Campus to Historic Anderson Home

By Megan Moreno, Research and Communications Associate
Photo by Lois Johnson

For 25 years, Future Generations has called the beautiful community of Pendleton County home. As our institution expands, we feel fortunate to have been given the opportunity to become stewards of an icon of the community: the Anderson House.

Future Generations University will use the historic home to house faculty and community-change collaborators from around the world. And while our world-circling faculty will be the new occupants, the same spirit of dedication to community instilled by the original owners of the home will continue and be amplified.

Future Generations University is a member of the Future Generations family of nonprofit organizations, founded in Pendleton County in 1992. Their purpose is to advance the social and economic conditions of communities around the world. The focus is on using energies and resources the communities already possess. More information about the organizations can be found at www.Future.Edu and www.Future.Org. Most of the programs, faculty, and students are around the world, but often they pass through Pendleton County.

One soon-to-start certificate in particular is a great local opportunity: Maple Syrup Processing, led by faculty member Mike Rechlin. Interested persons should call 304-358-2000 or visit

The significance of the Anderson Home was opened to us by Mr. Dyer Anderson, a legacy he showed from the china hand painted by a great-aunt to the extensive library brought over from Scotland by an ancestor to the art of his paternal aunt hanging on the walls to the intricate woodwork completed by foot-powered jigsaws in the home’s construction.

The home has been co-owned by Dyer and the Depoy family. Before selling to Future Generations, it was offered to family members first. Dyer’s mother maintained the home by herself for many years, however since she passed away 20 years ago, Dyer has commuted between Franklin and Northern Virginia. Unfortunately, recent health-related concerns have made this difficult. Dyer notes he’s seen first-hand Future Generations appreciation for preserving other historic properties in the community, as well as the ability to successfully manage projects of this scale.

This 117-year old home in the Queen Anne style was built over three years, beginning in 1900, by Dyer’s grandfather, William Anderson, as a wedding present for his bride. William was a self-taught surveyor, farmer, and businessman. It’s been estimated that the Pendleton County native built the home for a total cost of $1,900, using timber harvested from the surrounding land and firing the bricks on site.

From that point in the Anderson family, all important memories happened there. The house has seen births, weddings, funerals, and housed the majority of the Anderson family at some time or another. It’s also played host to much entertaining in its day. During WWII, Dyer’s grandmother regularly held parties for the troops who were stationed at Seneca Rocks to prepare for an expedition into the Alps.

Hannah Depoy said: “For generations, the Andersons have deeply cherished their community and the individuals who comprise it. You can see in the history of the home how much the family prioritized the community and giving back to it and its people. I hope a piece of that spirit will go with each visitor who stays in the house as they visit Pendleton County, and that the house will be loved by others as much as it has been by us for the past 117 years. We look forward to seeing what this new life of the house will continue to mean in our community as well as now for others around the world.”

To maintain the authenticity of the home, Future Generations would be grateful to accept donations of antique furniture. Such donations will be tax-deductible. Please call 304-358-2000 if interested in making a contribution.

Ode to the Lutheran Baked Potato

In the town of Franklin,
On the third Week in September.
You’ll find a festival,
With food to always remember.
There is pork barbecue,
A stand serving a fine crab cake.
But nothing can compare,
To one that takes hours to bake.

The lowly potato,
So plain and inconspicuous.
Yet, stands out from the crowd,
As, by far, the most delicious.
Gone are the hamburgers,
The Methodist grillers are through.
Their stand is now long gone,
Presbyterian hotdogs too.

One of the last church stands,
Sticks to a game plan tried and true.
Undeterred by changes,
Is that of Martin Luther’s crew.
Get it with some butter,
Some homemade chili, if you please.
Pepper it green with chives,
Make orange with liquid cheese.

Remember the sour cream,
Amazing with just a dollop.
Any way you want it,
It really packs a wallop.
Every year we eat it,
It has become so iconic.
Can’t be duplicated,
And we think that seems ironic.

So what is the secret?
Was it from Lutherans of yore?
Back to the beginning?
Did it get nailed to someone’s door?
This unlikely tale,
Of the perfect festival dinner.
May seem like a stretch,
But can assure you its a winner.

One ingredient,
The secret that makes it worth the price.
If spuds are the base,
There’s no doubt nostalgia is the spice.
Whatever the reason,
To that stand, I suggest you march.
You will never regret,
Filling up on five dollars of starch.