Valley View: Whistle Past the Graveyard.

Arguably, the most interesting people to learn about are the ones who came before us.  The Greenbrier Historical Society and North House Museum takes pride in examining and presenting the history of the Greenbrier Valley, its residents, and their stories.  Today as we whistle past the graveyard, we leave you with two stories from the dearly departed.

First, we meet Charles Lockhart Donnelly, Jr

First, we meet Charles Lockhart Donnelly, Jr. (born December 10, 1833 – passed August 29, 1875).  Charles was a dentist who came to blows with his business partner over a $10 debt (approximately $244 today). Charles didn’t like being called a liar, so he decided to shoot his partner dead. The story doesn’t end there, as he was turning himself in to the sheriff, his partner’s brother-in-law shot Charles.

Next, we meet the ill-fated Jeanette Creigh Preston

Next, we meet the ill-fated Jeanette Creigh Preston (born in 1820, passed in October 1866).  Jeannette had a comfortable well-to-do life but in turn a rather horrible death. One afternoon her skirt caught fire as she napped in front of the fireplace. She was unable to remove the skirt and ran through her house, up and down the stairs, setting fires everywhere she went. She was later found in a little charred heap at the top of the staircase.

Explore the lives of Greenbrier Valley residents

Explore the lives of Greenbrier Valley residents at the North House Museum. The museum’s permanent displays and temporary exhibits feature items from across the valley, including the training saddle of General Robert E. Lee’s horse, Traveller, an 18th century covered wagon, Civil War artifacts, the Doris Caldwell dioramas, and original items from the North family.  From early settlements to the Civil War and beyond, the lives of everyday Americans can be experienced at the North House Museum.

The North House Museum is located at 814 Washington St. W in downtown Lewisburg. Hours of operation are Monday-Saturday, 10am-4pm. Admission to the museum is free and donations are appreciated. For more information, call 304-645-3398 or visit

– Brehana Scott, Hashtag Lewisburg City Paper #127. October 2020.

Our way of life in West Virginia is quickly becoming history. A history that will someday be retold at the West Virginia State Museum at The Culture Center in Charleston. Click here to read more.

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