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Watters Smith Memorial State Park

Watters Smith Memorial State ParkPO Box 296
Lost Creek, WV 26385
Phone: (304) 745-3081

This 532-acre historical park stands as a memorial to the pioneer spirit of Watters Smith who first settled here in 1796. The park came into being when Burr Smith, a descendent, died in 1949 and willed his 236-acre farm to the state to be developed into a park to honor his paternal great-great-grandfather.

Watters Smith, the son of Thomas Smith of England, was himself born in Trenton, New Jersey, on July 15, 1767. In 1793, he married Elizabeth Davisson, a first cousin and neighbor of his father. Smith purchased 112 acres adjoining his father's 1,000-acre tract of land for the sum of $266 in 1792, but the persistent threat of Indian attacks prevented him from moving to the area immediately with his new bride.

In 1796, Watters and Elizabeth moved to their Duck Creek land and began clearing the land for the farm, planting crops and building a cabin. They made their tools by hand and required the building of a blacksmith and a carpenter shop. They acquired their goods that could not be grown or handmade from distant urban areas over �roads� that were mere wide, hazardous trails cut through the wilderness.

Watters and Elizabeth had eight children, and Charles, their second, was their first child born on Duck Creek. The youngest child, Watters Smith, Jr., eventually inherited the property. He, in turn, gave it to his son John, who passed it on to his son Alexander, who was born in 1847. In 1876, Alexander, better known as �Uncle Doc�, had a home constructed to replace the original hand-hewn log Smith cabin. Today, this home is used as one of two museums on the park and is open to the public.

The family operated the farm as a business for four generations, and the gear seen in the museums and in the barns and sheds were used to keep it running. Thanks to the foresight and generosity of Burr Smith, the farm now stands as a lasting tribute to a family who carved a life out of the wilderness and preserves for us a view of frontier life from 1796 to the early 1900s.

You will find a modern swimming pool, an activity/meeting building, game courts, picnic area, hiking trails and gift shop

The swimming pool is open daily 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Memorial Day Weekend to Labor Day (Subject to change).

Guided tours of the Smith House Museum and of the Visitor's Center are conducted daily, 11 am. to 7 pm., Memorial Day Weekend to Labor Day. Other times by reservation. Admission is free, however donations are accepted.

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