climbing the steps of history

the steps to Thornhill hug the side of a steep hill, peopled with seasoned and scrawny trees, and blanketed by a healthy dose of autumn leaves…


…remarkable for digging into the soil and staying for over 130 years…


with a little help…


and an occasional big tree to make sure it doesn’t roll downhill someday…

but it is at the top that the stones sit in patterns, telling their story without words, cleared from heavy brush that obscured most of it for many years. now, the offbeat traveler can find the archaeological surprise at the top of a steep climb overlooking what was once the boomtown of Volcano.


it was the three story mansion of J.C. Stiles, oil and gas baron of the late 1800’s.


now telling stories of the past from the remaining stones…as it weathers the storms and basks in the sunshine, hidden from most tourists off a wild little drive through tanglely wood…


and pieces of a past too far back to catch…with no witnesses but the stones themselves and the interpretative signs.



and a few mysteries still…



you won’t likely find a brochure…but if you are ever in West Virginia, look for the welcome center and ask about Thornhill. Not only is it an interesting archaeological site, accessing it can be a fine walk on a brisk Fall day.

About thelostkerryman

Thelostkerryman is an author, and entrepreneur, living in the forests of a consistently confused country. Here in this hill country, hurling doesn't usually involve a hurley; store-made soda bread has the consistency of a sea sponge; and Kerrygold butter has finally found a permanent place on the grocery shelves everywhere. His blogs are an account of his adventures, thoughts, eclectic -and eccentric- ramblings, random or insightful poetry, humor and non-humor, pictures (photos), video, essays, fiction, poetic fiction, nonfiction, drama, and writing he has not classified in the description above. All of his posts from,,, and are copywrited according to international copywrite law.
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3 Responses to climbing the steps of history

  1. Wow, that place looks great! I love stuff like this 🙂

  2. ksbeth says:

    such a cool discovery )

  3. reocochran says:

    I enjoy the ruins of buildings and the lost history of places, too. Great stuff here!

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