History of WVU Jackson’s Mill
Three generations of Jacksons operated mills at this site, originally settled by Col. Edward Jackson prior to 1800. Jackson’s Mill boasted saw and grist mills, a carpenter shop, blacksmith forge, quarters for twelve slaves, numerous barns/outbuildings, and a general store on 1500 acres of prime forest and pasture land.
Six year old Thomas Jackson and his four year old sister Laura came here as orphans in 1830. Thomas lived here until leaving for West Point in 1842.
Tom and Laura remained close throughout their lives until, like so many families, they found themselves on opposite side of the Civil War. Laura opened her house in Beverley, WV to Union troops as a hospital. Thomas joined the Confederacy and became immortalized as “Stonewall” at the First Battle of Bull Run.
Over the years, the Jackson farmstead was divided and passed through several hands. In 1921 the remaining property was deeded to the State of West Virginia to be used as a youth camp and entrusted to the Extension Service of West Virginia University. WVU Jackson’s Mill was developed and became the nation’s first state 4-H camp.
Today, all that remains of the original Jackson’s Mill settlement are the grist mill and the Jackson family cemetery. The other structures as well as the slave cemetery have been lost to the ages.