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Thursday, June 25 2009

By John M. Thompson
Special to The Washington Post
Monday, June 22, 2009 4:00 PM

The last time I was in Lewisburg, W.Va., was about seven years ago; we stopped at the Wal-Mart off the interstate to get rain boots for the kids. Then somewhere along the way I heard that Lewisburg is one of those small American towns that have kept their early-20th-century charm while spiffing up enough to give 21st-century visitors a reason to stop over for a night or two. In other words, the town has become an attraction in itself.

Tucked in the rugged heart of the Allegheny Mountains, anomalous little Lewisburg is a town of fewer than 4,000 souls, where artists, retirees and shopkeepers live in Colonial and Federal buildings on neat, shady streets. Summer visitors browse herbal remedies and local crafts in boutiques. And instead of closing down at dusk, the town stays lively with fine restaurants and performance venues. I found all this out at the visitor center, where I also picked up a walking-tour map of about 70 historic sites and buildings dating as far back as 1770.

I drove in on Jefferson Street, the north-south corridor, which locals think has heavy traffic, but the fact is you can jaywalk with ease just about anywhere, not that such law-breaking is recommended, of course. I parked on Church Street and walked past the African American cemetery. Here lies Dick Pointer, defender of nearby Fort Donnally during a Shawnee attack in 1778. Granted freedom in 1801, he petitioned for a pension but was denied. I learned more about his story a block away at the North House Museum, an 1820 building that serves as headquarters for Greenbrier County's historical society. Linda Babcock showed me the hulking 50-pound gun with which Pointer saved the town. Since he received no pension, grateful townsfolk pitched in to buy him a house; he later drank himself to death.

North House was built as a home by a wealthy lawyer and later converted into a hotel. In another room, Babcock pointed out the balcony from which guests watched the Battle of Lewisburg on May 23, 1862. The short but bloody skirmish resulted in a Union victory over an untested Confederate force. In a clearing on a hill just to the south, a cross-shaped mass grave holds the remains of 95 unidentified Confederate soldiers. When asked if the county sided with the South during the war, Babcock hesitated, then admitted that it's a complicated question.

Remember that West Virginia separated from Virginia in 1863, and the Southern cause had never been particularly popular in the mountains. But for most of the war, Lewisburg was a Confederate outpost, the seat of a county that attracted slave-owning planters to its mineral springs. Babcock told me that not one vote was cast for Abraham Lincoln in the county; on the other hand, lots of freed slaves lived here. Elsewhere around town you find portraits of Lee and other Confederate heroes, as well as black history memorials, and you get the feeling that modern Lewisburg shrewdly straddles the historical battle line.

The Old Stone Presbyterian Church, dating from 1796, served as a hospital during the Civil War. Today you can go in and enjoy its unadorned, white-walled sanctuary, should you need even more peace than that afforded by strolling the sidewalks. The adjacent churchyard occupies prime real estate, the dead getting the best location in town. I tried to complete the walking tour, but there were too many houses, and all the friendly benches around town made diligence seem pointless.

I headed up Washington Street, the main thoroughfare, past late-19th-century commercial buildings with decorative cornices. Just beyond the restaurants and galleries of downtown, the white-columned but unprepossessing General Lewis Inn welcomes visitors with an ample front porch. It was a little early for lunch, so I sat in a rocking chair until I began to feel like a patient at a fancy sanatorium.

When lunchtime arrived I went over to a place that a guidebook described as a pre-Depression-era meat market and lunch place, where farmers and businessmen sit together at folding tables. It was gone, replaced a few years back by the Stardust Cafe, which was serving panini and pasta -- a fine-looking place, but not what I had a taste for.

There had to be some country cooking somewhere in town, though when I entered the Stonehouse General Store I had given up the search. The store purveyed wines and local pickles, honey and jelly. In the back, a half-door gave onto a kitchen; you could order whatever takeout lunch they were serving that day. Something about the place and the women who worked there -- the hairstyles and country voices -- gave me the feeling that this was the real thing. The cook told me that, in fact, she had modeled her "lunches to go" after the old Clingman's Market I had been in search of. I thanked the ladies at Stonehouse and went out with my carryout container.

The spreading lawn outside the old Carnegie Hall had a number of picnic tables, shaded by big maples. In 1902 industrialist Andrew Carnegie put up the money for the stately Greek Revival performance hall; it has hosted the likes of Isaac Stern and Wynton Marsalis. I sat at one of the tables with a lunch of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, macaroni with sweetened tomatoes (a local recipe) and a buttermilk biscuit -- definitely the real deal.

"If you stay here for a while," Babcock had told me, "you'll see what a unique, vibrant place this is." A local in a bookshop confided that she loves the town and "we don't want too many people to find out about it." Yet another said that the best thing about Lewisburg is that "you know everybody. And that's good and bad." The only thing another townswoman misses is a shopping mall (the nearest one is an hour away). But as an outsider, I have to think that Lewisburg is better off just the way it is.

SOURCE: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/22/AR2009062201827.html?wpisrc=newsletter

Posted by: Greg Allman AT 07:35 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, June 23 2009

Buyer's market? Seller's market? Get a snapshot of current conditions in your area from a local real estate professional. Click on the link below.

http://realtytimes.com/custommktc/r.com-top.htm

Posted by: Greg Allman AT 07:39 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, June 23 2009

The National Association of REALTORS® offers useful information on the tax credit as well as the benefits of owning a home.

Go to http://www.housingmarketfacts.com.

Posted by: Greg Allman AT 07:35 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, June 16 2009

Greenbrier River Retreat offers an exceptional opportunity to experience the amazing attractions and beautiful scenery of the Greenbrier Valley, while being able to relax in a comfortable home on the Lazy Greenbrier River.

To learn more, visit www.greenbrierriverretreat.com.

Posted by: Greg Allman AT 04:06 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, June 15 2009

WHO: You!!! (anyone who is interested in participating, competing, watching, cheering)

WHAT: Lewisburg’s First Annual Tray Olympics

WHERE: The Green Space

WHEN: Sunday, July 5th at 2:00pm

WHY: Fun! Fun! Fun!

HOW: to participate-- sign up at one of the locations below to watch and cheer-- just show up!

Featuring play by play by Mike Kidd!

Yes, I want to participate!
Sign up sheets are located at The Irish Pub, Del Sol Lounge, and the Stardust Café.

ENTRY FEE for all four competitions
$2 until June 19th
$5 between June 20th and July 4th
$10 on July 5th

Rain or Shine, contestants, judges, and observers will gather at the Irish Pub (109 E. Washington Street) at 1:00pm then head over to the Green Space at 1:45pm. Or just be at the Green Space by 2pm sharp.

TRAY OLYMPICS COMPETITIONS
*Trays must be balanced on an open palm or fingertips at all times during each event, except stunts/tricks.
* Awards will be given for individual events and overall.

Basic Race in Heels
All competitors line up together wearing at least 3 inch heels and costumes at the starting line with an open bottle filled with water and two glasses half filled. At the signal everyone runs to the finish line. The first one to cross the finish line without dropping or spilling anything wins.

Course: Will be marked with green arrows. Start at sidewalk of parking lot with bank on left. Cross parking lot, turn right at end, down sidewalk toward street, right on sidewalk by Washington Street, end in front of fountain.

Obstacle Course Insanity Challenge
Teams of two complete an obstacle course while carrying a tray with 6 pints of water, plus another tray together with 6 pints of water. Best time wins. Spillage Penalty ranges from1 to 5 seconds depending on the amount spilled. If you drop a drink (or a tray), you are disqualified. Competitors run course one team at a time. A stopwatch will be used at the finish line.

Course: Will be marked with red arrows. Start in front of fountain, run through fountain, veer left up hill and around statue, straight back through with fountain on left, down steps to Jefferson Street sidewalk, left towards Washington, left on Washington sidewalk, back through green space with fountain on right, down steps into parking lot, cross parking lot, thru gate to bank lot, turn right to walkway, right again towards gazebo, around gazebo to the right (counter clockwise), to left side of bench, full circle around bench (clockwise), to park side of fountain and back through fountain to starting point.

Pick-Up-Palooza
Various items are placed around the green space. Contestants have 2 minutes to pick up and place on their trays as many items as they can. After 2 minutes, items will be counted. The contestant who collects the most items wins!!! Trays must be balanced in one hand at all times. If you put your tray down, you are disqualified.

Stunts/Tricks
Show your stuff! Individuals or pairs or teams can enter. Impress everyone with your special skill or talent with a tray. Scoring Guidelines below:

Crowd Pleasing/Entertaining
Yawn Hmm Cool WOW
(1pt) (2pts) (3pts) (4pts)

Skill/Precision
Not So Hot Pretty Good Very Good Fabulous
(1pt) (2pts) (3pts) (4pts)

Extra Points for _________________________ (1pt) (2pts)

Posted by: Greg Allman AT 07:41 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, June 05 2009

Custom Built home with fantastic view. This home offers all the extra's. Brazilian hardwoods, granite counter tops, 3 piece crown molding, radiant floor heat in the finished lower level. studio apartment. 2 garage's. Skylights, Bonus Room, Alternating Tread Stairs. Cedar Siding. Large gourmet kitchen and wrap around deck. Easy access to town and hospital. Call today for a private tour. Listing # 09-698

Posted by: Greg Allman AT 03:55 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, June 04 2009


1128 CHILDER'S ROAD, CALDWELL, WV 24925
List #09-395

FURNISHED, FURNISHED HOME!! This IS one-of-a-kind home that features a gourmet kitchen w/oak cabinets, tile floors, DR, LR w/brick fpl, master suite w/sitting area, master bath w/jacuzzi, all custom built cabinetry, 3 bedrooms, each w/private bath & walk-in closet, sunroom. Full walkout basement w/laundry rm, storage, gym & full bath. 3 car heated garage w/ workshop. More acreage is available.
Posted by: Greg Allman AT 08:08 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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    Greg E. Allman
    Greg Allman Group
    Greenbrier Real Estate Service
    1047 Washington St. East
    Lewisburg, West Virginia 24901
    Office: (304) 645-2255
    Direct Dial: (304) 646-1500

    Email:
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