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The history of Angel Band Farm is as fascinating as the beautiful 1850 circa farm house itself. The 22-acre site of the farm today was once part of a much larger tract and a 19th century working farmstead. The village road on the west side of the Tygart River leading to Angel Band Farm is populated with houses that rest on land once belonging to the farm. A large barn housed horses that worked the land, raising corn and garden crops and harvesting the hay that would feed the animals through the winter. There was a large granary, a chicken house and a hog pen and other outbuildings to support life as it existed on a 19th century farm.
The farm house and all the associated buildings were built and occupied by the Galls, a family that lived in Arden and were the proprietors of a general store and later the village Post Office. When Wesley Weaver, great grandfather of Stephanie Weaver, present owner of Angel Band Farm, bought the property in 1919, World War I had ended.
Arden, West Virginia on 1919 was booming. Unlike the idyllic village of today, it was a coal mining town, with six mines going, a restaurant, a saloon, a barber shop, a movie theater, a doctor, a cobbler and many other hallmarks of a bustling small town. The B&O railroad came through the village on the East side, running from Grafton to the north and Elkins to the south. There was a depot and several times a day, passenger trains came and went. In 1919 you could step out the door of your house in Arden and walk to the depot, climb on a train and go anywhere in the United States.
was a young lad had three choices to make a living: “coal mines, moonshine, or moving on down the line!” However, Steve’s heart was in the sky and he managed to create his own business through flight instruction, the sale of small aircraft, and stunt flying, and so remained a resident of Arden, no small feat in that West Virginia era.
Steve built a home next door, where the “hog pen” used to exist, and with a waterfall, ferns and the river rushing by, the family realized how good the old hogs had had it.
Bernard passed away in 1977 and Edna continued to live at the farm, with Steve in the new house across the lawn to look in on her. The farm continued to be the touch stone and gathering place for the family and extended family through the remainder of the 70’s, the 80’s and the 90’s Edna’s health remained good and she could be seen in the village almost daily, doing her walks. In 2001 Edna died at the age of 99 years and left the farm to Steve. Steve has now transferred his own house across the lawn to his daughter Shaun, and in 2002 the farm house on to his daughter Stephanie.
The farmhouse has undergone a 5-year restoration. The family was determined to pare it down to its beautiful bones, and restore to it the grace that the old builder had imagined. With a deep wide porch overlooking the Tygart, you can enjoy the lazy afternoons of summer, perhaps with Steve, Stephanie or extended family joining you, Steve with his scotch glass tinkling as he tells you some of the old stories.
In 1932 Wes and Alice deeded the farm to their son Bernard and his wife Edna, in exchange for a pledge to care for them in their old age, which they ultimately carried out with love and honor. Wes lived until 1942 and Alice until 1948, there on the farm that had meant so much to them.
Bernard and Edna, with a new baby boy ‘Steve’, set about keeping the farm during the war years, even making improvements such as introducing running water. An inside bathroom was added, with a heater for hot water. Bernard was retired by this time, not by age but because of a lung condition, and exclusively worked the farm.
The fifties, brought with them additional economic worry for the area. When Steve graduated high school, job opportunities were scarce and the saying
Today the farmhouse has long graceful windows to bring the outside in, and while honoring the past, contains some nods to modern comforts and conveniences. The ceilings are high, with fans stirring the air on hot days and nights, and a modern kitchen and large bathrooms, one with a clawfoot tub, where you can soak in private splendor, while contemplating the horses grazing against the hill behind the house.
Angel Band Farm has been given its name as a tribute to Edna Stemple Weaver, as Angel Band was her favorite gospel song, telling of a host coming to bring a soul back to God in heaven. We think that God has graced this family and will grace you and your time here. This is a place to connect back to yourself and God’s creation and to spend time with the people you love.