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We are so glad you found our

West Virginia Country Bed and Breakfast-

Country Road House and Berries B & B

Clendenin, WV

West Virginia can be full of exciting surprises for folks who want to learn about her history and explore the natural beauty of her hills and water. Our farm also has much history that can be experienced by staying in our 135-year-old Farm House, Cellar House, and Barn Loft. Our buildings were crafted from the materials available on the property-that’s how folks used to homestead.

Coal and timber were the first industries in the area. Many of our neighbors have worked in area mines or have timbered much of these beautiful hills over the years. Native Americans who were the first guests on this land and used to hunt Elk, Deer, and Turkey. They had a large settlement by the Elk River near one of the many area salt springs.

Salt was an important industry in the Charleston area back in the 1850’s but before then, the area Indian tribes would take turns using the springs to collect brine and dry off the valuable salt used for medicine and to preserve meat, fish, and flavor dishes. Unique fish lived in the Elk River because of the salt content.  Many unique fish still exist today such as the Muskie and Needle Nose Gar. As you can imagine the Native Indians did not want to let this life-giving area to go to the earliest settlers and fought very hard to keep white men from getting settled here.

Settlements did not really get a foot hold until the late 1790’s and once people came to these West Virginia Hills it was hard to get them to leave and still is. Many families have been here for 100’s of years with their descendants still growing family gardens, canning, hunting, and foraging the land for edibles (mushrooms, ramps, paw paws, black walnuts) and ginseng. My family grew tobacco, raised chickens, and grew huge gardens. Everything we ate growing up we grew. Its an old way of life but one worth considering for today. It’s a way that is slowly dying and many children do not know where their food has come from as do many young adults today.

Part of what we love about our property is we can give the younger generations an upfront look at how people used to live in earlier times. Our Dairy Barn gives a great example of housing cows for milking but also having the ingenuity to collect and save manure for use in naturally fertilizing gardens and pastures.

Our Cellar House gives a great example of using earth to provide insulation to cool and keep warm stored produce for the season. Rough cut lumber forms the walls of the upstairs living space too and gives the perspective of the craftsman ship that our early neighbors held to.  

 

Our Farm House shows how one family used their home to house several families in times of need with placement of doors and room additions. The doors could be opened in such a way to capture the cool summer breezes that would come out of the holler each night (guests can still feel these same breezes when they walk to the back of our property).  Early West Virginia families were especially resourceful and still are.

 A 1940’s Public Works Outhouse still sits on the property that guests are welcome to use. The old Welford Post office was moved here in the 1970’s when the interstate was being built and has been converted into a working office for our family. Some West Virginia families may still use an outhouse, but most have indoor pluming today. But when I get local folks talking, many have stories of using the outhouse as children. The Farm House got indoor plumbing for the first time in the late 1960’s.

The great American Chestnut tree was becoming extinct around the country at the turn of the century. In the 1970’s one of the last West Virginia Great American Chestnut trees grew at the back of this property. Scientists would come out each year to conduct tests and marvel how this tree had resisted the blight that had destroyed all the others around the country. Neighbors say the chestnuts that this tree produced where huge and sweet-no other chestnuts could compare. The tree is no longer here. We have had locals stop by and ask to search for its remains. Guests are welcome to explore as well.

Today when guests visit, they are welcome to walk our berry fields. Depending on the time of year we may have Strawberries, Blueberries, Black Raspberries, Black Berries that can be picked. We grow Shiitake mushrooms and asparagus. Paw Paws can be foraged in mid-September from the Paw Paw thicket in the back of our woods along with Black Walnuts that cover our back field each Fall. We incorporate much of our produce that is grown on our farm into our breakfasts for our guests. All dietary restrictions are considered when preparing breakfast for our guests.

One of our older neighbors asked us if we had found the old orchard up in our woods. She had memories of being a 14-year-old girl carrying down 100-pound sacks of apples she had picked. She then would take the sacks to the kitchen and can them after picking earlier in the day.  

We have searched for several years and we finally found this orchard area from her childhood.  We also found the rock that has a year-round natural spring. The bucket that collected the water to drink while working in the orchard was still there. Unfortunately, none of the fruit trees were still living but we have cleared and fenced a section for future peach trees. Our son dug out the dilapidated bucket from the still flowing spring.  Hopefully peaches will be available for picking in 2027.   We can tell you where the spring rock is if you want to find it. The water looks very clear but I have not had a drink from it.

While walking on our steep trails at the back of the property you can still see large piles of stones covered in moss from the original clearing of many areas used to grow corn and other fruit trees. We have only cleared one section of this vast area that the family used to grow persimmons, apples, and pears. Their orchard was huge. The need for flat land in West Virginia has always been a challenge and our property is a great example of how resourceful our early neighbors were to utilize every piece of land to grow something necessary for survival.

While exploring our trail, guests are also welcome to visit our spring fed pond. Catch and release only (no barbed hooks) and please bring your own tackle and bait. The spring has never gone dry. There is also another natural spring a short way down the road that flows year-round and provides refuge for many frogs. This was cleaned out in the past to provide a water source for livestock but for now it just serves a wetland area up in our woods. Keep in mind that our trails have steep inclines followed by flats that require some level of fitness.

Many guests take time to visit New River Gorge National Park. There is a scenic back road that takes you from our farm through Clay County and past the home of the Golden Delicious Apple to Gauley Bridge, Hawks Nest, and Fayetteville where the New River and white-water rafting is located. Some guests have tried out the ziplines or have spent the day hiking the numerous trails in the park. I always enjoy a quick visit to Babcock state park after stopping at the Falls, Hawks nest, and the Bridge overlook.  Sometimes I will take the interstate way back home but sometimes returning the back country way through Clay County is just what I need.

Many guests just want to stay nearby and enjoy swimming and kayaking the local Elk River-it is a beautiful river. My family enjoys swimming and fishing near the Queen Shoals Bridge Beach.  There are two rental companies that can help you enjoy your day on the river with tubes or kayaks. Locals own their own kayaks. There are many local places to eat too. Clendenin is an ATV friendly town, and you can drive on main roads and off roads-there are many trails in the area. You many see my neighbors driving by on their ATV’s going to town.

Bike riding or walking on the Elk River Trail can also be an adventure. Many new bridges and parking areas to access the trail have been constructed in recent months. Bike enthusiast locally and out of state are just finding this natural beautiful bike trail system. There has been talk about someone offering bikes to rent in Clendenin. But as of now I would plan to bring your own bike with you if you are interested.

West Virginia is a beautiful state with so much natural beauty. We would love to be a part of your visit as you explore the beauty of the Elk River and other area sites. You are welcome to call directly or text questions about our Bed and Breakfast-Country Road House and Berries B & B.  We want to make sure you are comfortable with your choice to stay with us.

Reservations for the Bed and Breakfast can be taken on our website, on Air BB (fees will apply), VRBO, and Expedia, Hotels.com, Travelocity too. For folks working in the area, we have special rates that do not include breakfast-please call us for details. We love hosting families, couples, and solo travelers looking for a country get away.

Reservations to pick strawberries in the month of May will be uploaded to our website hopefully by mid April but no later than the end of April. Guests may reserve a row to pick in for the day plus have access to explore our farm during the visit. If you are staying at our Bed and Breakfast, you can have the option to pick strawberries as part of your stay too.

A quick overview of your Innkeepers-John and Angela Born. John grew up in South Bend, Indiana and has much family still in the Northern Indiana/Southern Michigan area. We met and married in St. Louis, Missouri-I had moved to St. Louis for Graduate School and stayed to work in the Pharmaceutical Industry. John graduated from Purdue University and moved to St. Louis for his first job out of college. We met at church and got to know each other in a weekday Bible Study. We lived in St. Louis for 20 years before returning to West Virginia. We have six children.

 

 I (Angela) grew up in St. Albans, West Virginia on the other side of Kanawha County. I attended college at West Virginia Wesleyan College in Buckhannon, WV.  I love that we have been able to come back to West Virginia to raise our family. John loves living here too.  John is a software engineer by day and works in the post office at the back of the property.  He spends his evenings juggling various farm related activities, my honey do lists, and the kids after school activities.

Growing and eating healthy local food is very important to us.  He and I love cooking and serving breakfast for our guests together-its one of our favorite things that we do.