Jackson's MillEdit profile
Jackson's Mill was a grist mill in West Virginia (near the present-day city of Weston in Lewis County, West Virginia). The center of the Jackson estate stood in the peninsula formed by the confluence of Freeman's Creek and the West Fork River. Edward Jackson (1759–1828) built a home on a prominent knoll 100 yards from the West Fork, a two-story frontier-style log structure 40 feet by 20. On the other (east) side of the river, he built a sawmill and grist mill in 1808.
After Edward's death, Jackson's Mill was operated by his son, Cummins Jackson, a paternal uncle of future Confederate General Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson (1824–1863). By 1826, Cummins Jackson's brother, Clarksburg attorney Jonathan Jackson (1790–1826) had died of typhoid fever, and his wife had struggled to support her children. In 1830, 6 year-old Thomas and his younger sister Laura Ann went to live with Cummins Jackson. The children's mother, Julia Neale Jackson (1789–1831), died the following year, leaving her children orphaned.
Young Thomas helped around his uncle's farm, tending sheep with the assistance of a sheep dog, driving teams of oxen and helping to harvest the fields of wheat and corn. Formal education was not easily obtained, but he attended school when and where he could. Much of Thomas Jackson's education was self-taught. He would often sit up at night reading by the flickering light of burning pine knots.
The story is told that Thomas once made a deal with one of his uncle's slaves to provide him with pine knots in exchange for reading lessons. This was in violation of a law in Virginia at that time that forbade teaching a slave to read or write, but nevertheless, Jackson taught the man as promised. In his later years at Jackson's Mill, Thomas served as a schoolteacher.
In 1842, young Thomas Jackson received an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, and later became an instructor at Virginia Military Institute. During the American Civil War, he became a prominent Confederate General, and died in 1863 in the Battle of Chancellorsville, following a "friendly fire" incident.
The property at Jackson's Mill was deeded to the State of West Virginia in 1921. In modern times, the preserved grist mill of Cummins Jackson is the centerpiece of a historical site and museum at the Jackson's Mill Center for Lifelong Learning and State 4-H Camp. The facility, located in Weston, West Virginia, serves as a special campus for West Virginia University (WVU) and the WVU Extension Service.