Brandonville - Terra Alta - Parsons
Friday, 08 May 2015
46.7 Miles - Mostly narrow 1-2 lane, paved (moderately rough in a few places)
* * *
It's a beautiful morning in early May and I have nothing on my calendar for the day. Time to go exploring!
Today, I headed out to Bruceton Mills in Preston County (near the spot where West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Maryland are all a stone's throw away). Just a couple of miles northeast is the small town of Brandonville, the northern terminus of the Brandonville Turnpike (also called Pike or Street) that runs south to Terra Alta. From there the road becomes Aurora Pike and continues south to Aurora, WV and Rt 50.
I decided I was going to continue south from Aurora on a combination of Stemple Ridge Road, Location Road, and Limestone Road to reach the quaint town of Parsons, WV.
From Morgantown, I rode out I-68 East to the Bruceton Mills exit, then headed north on Rt 26 for about 2 miles to the town of Brandonville. At this point, you are close to the corner of West Virginia where the Pennsylvania and Maryland borders meet ours in a 90-degree corner.
I have added mileage indicators along the way that show the distance south from Brandonville.
This Historical Marker in Brandonville gives a brief history of the town.
View on Rt 26 southwest looking towards Bruceton Mills.
CR 3 starts it's southbound journey from Rt 26 in the heart of Brandonville.
Another view of the north terminus - starting southbound.
At first, the Brandonville Tpk goes through a small residential area before breaking free into the countryside.
First, we must cross I-68. Soon, the noise of traffic will be a distant memory.
Just south of Brandonville is this horse farm. (Mile 1)
The Preston County 4H Camp is here too. (Mile 2.3)
A peaceful place to pull over and enjoy the sound of the
Cheat River passing under the bridge. (Mile 2.6)
Continuing south, there is a mix of farms and groups of houses.
Since this is higher elevation (2,000 ft +), the winters here can be rough. (Mile 3.5)
Approaching the town of Lenox, looking southbound. (appx Mile 7)
Lenox WV. (Mile 7.5)
The Lenox Store, a fixture here since 1882.
I used this store as the new West Virginia photo tag since I grabbed the tag on Spruce Knob today.
Very interesting place to stop!
Plaques on the door.
A panorama photo of the inside. This is what general stores used to look like.
Janice (pronounced "juh-neese") was very nice and shared some of the store's history.
It used to be the funeral home, and they did embalming in the back room.
She seemed to love it here, and said they are open Mon-Sat from 8-5 (closed Sunday).
Stop by and say "hi".
After a cold Gatorade to get re-hydrated, it was back on the road southbound towards Terra Alta.
In places, it was smooth road and 40mph. In places, it was 20mph and big bumps. All paved, though.
(appx Mile 10)
A nice old-style farm north of Terra Alta. (Mile 12.5)
Southbound just a few miles from Terra Alta. (Mile 12.5)
How many of these are in West Virginia? I know of at least 3. (Mile 13.5)
Thought you might want to see what this Possum Hollow looks like.
No, I didn't see any.
Just north of Terra Alta is this sign for the Sunshine Daydream Memorial Park.
It used to be a sort-of-Woodstock outdoor hippy concert place. (Mile 15.5)
(FILE PHOTO FROM 2011)
A few years ago, I rode up the gravel path to the entrance of the park.
(FILE PHOTO FROM 2011)
This was the old sign at the entrance. Now it is covered up.
Back to today's ride. Welcome to Terra Alta, WV. (Mile 18)
Historical Marker in downtown Terra Alta.
Sign for the next leg - Aurora Pike.
In the background is the hardware store where I parked.
I guess I'm not the only person who rides a scooter in Terra Alta.
Nice Honda Helix.
View down Main Street (Rt 7) Kingwood.
Time to head south on the Aurora Pike.
Leaving Terra Alta and getting back into farm land. (Mile 20)
Lots of small farms along the way.
Very peaceful ride through the countryside and woods.
This stone house along the way is interesting. (see next photo for close-up) (Mile 26.5)
Looks like it is (or was at one time) a church. (Mile 26.5)
Continuing south on the Aurora Pike near Amboy. (appx Mile 27)
Southbound on the Aurora Pike nearing Rt 50. (Mile 28)
Shortly, I will veer off the Aurora Pike on Fox Road for the last mile.
This brings us directly across from Stemple Ridge Road (our next leg).
Junction with Rt 50. (Mile 28.3)
Stemple Ridge Road continues straight.
Rt 50 is seen to the left (eastbound) and right (westbound)
Sign at the junction with Rt 50 shows where we've been and where we're going.
If you are coming out Rt 50 and want to start here, Donna Jean's Diner is a good landmark.
Located just west of Aurora, WV.
Stemple Ridge Road starts out through a residential area. (Mile 28.5)
Just south of Rt 50, this interesting old machine caught my attention.
I just had to turn around and get a closer look. (Mile 28.5)
Daniel Warner from www.VintageMachinery.org was kind enough to provide the following
Information on this machine based on these photos:
Hoyt was part of a merger in 1897 that created the
An original drawing
Some details for your machinery/woodworking folks.
Interesting specs on the belts required.
Where do you find a belt (leather?) 26 feet long and 5 inches wide???
There's the "No. 29" Model number.
Funny this was made in Aurora, Illinois and now rests in Aurora, West Virginia.
This thing was built for hard work!
Time to continue the southbound journey.
Stemple Ridge Road. Nice views from either direction. (Mile 29.5)
Watching the road meander off into the distance.
Scenic old farm along Stemple Ridge Road. (Mile 33)
At the junction with Location Road. (Mile 35.2)
From here, it appears the name of the southbound road changes to Limestone Road.
Stemple Ridge Road now becomes Limestone Road, it appears.
I will continue on Limestone Road.
More peaceful scenery - changing every minute from this to woods. (Mile 36)
Limestone Church. Love seeing these old churches still going strong! (Mile 39.5)
Back to the woods. Not too far north of St George now. (appx Mile 40)
The road is interesting, with enough curves to make it fun. (Mile 41)
Nice hillside vista! Only a few miles to St George now. (Mile 41)
End of the road! Limestone Road comes out onto CR 1 in St George. (Mile 46.7)
Sign marking the southern terminus of today's ride.
St George was once the County Seat of Tucker County
before the residents of Parsons thought otherwise.
In the early 1890s, a dispute known as the Tucker County Seat War took place between the people in the town of Parsons and that of St. George over the location of the county seat. Although nobody was killed in the "war," the situation came to a climax when a mob of armed men from Parsons marched on St. George and took the county records by force
Hope you enjoyed today's ride.