Watters Smith Memorial State Park
Lost Creek, WV 26385
Phone: (304) 745-3081
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.
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.
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
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.