Franklin, Pendleton County
March 2019 Update: The property owners received a Development Grant from the West Virginia Historic Preservation Office that was used in the summer 2018 to shore up foundations on the main house, granary, and cellar house, which involved replacing rotting logs, restacking parts of the foundation, installing concrete piers and footers under some sill beams. The main chimney and part of the foundation were repointed. The floor was replaced in the cellar house, and part of one interior wall was rebuilt. Some French drains were installed up-hill from the main house to channel water away from the foundation.
There are on-going drainage issues and challenges associated with getting equipment into some work areas. There's constant threat from water, wind, insects, burrowing critters, as well as rotting logs and window issues. The property owners continue their hard work to keep all the buildings standing and have addressed some of the most critical issues as possible.
2017 Update: The site was awarded a grant from WV SHPO for repairs and restoration of many buildings in the historic homestead. A tax credit application was submitted to be applied towards work on the double crib owl hole barn. Lean-tos will be rebuilt on all four sides to protect the logs. Pine trees from the Pitsenbarger Farm have been cut and milled for use in the double crib barn work. In April 2017, the owners have started a Bed and Breakfast, campground, and an event venue which has increased visitation to the farm.
2013: The Ananias Pitsenbarger Farm is a German mountain farm complex tucked away in the rolling hills of eastern West Virginia in Franklin (Pendleton County). From 1799-1973, only three German families owned the self-sustaining farm, which consists of 23 log-and-frame buildings constructed by hand and made from local materials. Except for some deterioration and field overgrowth, the farm looks very much the same as it did 100 years ago, and many of the distinct German building traditions are still evident including hand-carved wood hinges and pegs. The Pitsenbargers were known locally and to this day for their hospitality to travelers and strong belief in Old World German and occult traditions. The current owners are working hard to preserve the site and the unique history, but this is quite a task as most of the buildings have not been maintained for over 40 years. They are seeking help from PAWV in preparing a preservation plan so that the farm can be preserved and used for recreational and tourism purposes.
Endangered Properties List
If you are interested in assisting with any of these preservation projects, contact the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia at firstname.lastname@example.org.