Pendleton County Heritage Association

Fort Seybert Heritage Education Association Formed to Preserve

Pendleton County Heritage


Cowger/Buckhorn Mill

Bland Harper Cemetery


The Fort Seybert Heritage Education Association (FSHEA) is a project oriented, nonprofit organization whose projects are designed to research, document, and preserve, in media or appropriate format, the history of Pendleton County dating back to 1747.  FSHEA is the only known organization in Pendleton County that is pro-active in documenting Pendleton County’s remaining structures, cemeteries and settlements before they are completely lost through neglect, destruction, or removal out of the county.  Our history is mostly on private land and subject to the landowners’ cooperation to document that history.  The organizing process began in November 2006; however, the first meeting took place in late April 2007.  Projects became obvious.  

  The pioneers followed “Indian trails and Wagon Roads” to enter what was primarily Augusta County, Virginia.  They formed settlements, such as the Dyer Settlement (Fort Seybert), Upper Tract, and Fort Hinkle and the surnames of these pioneers remain in the area today.  The project is to document the pioneers’ journey into what is now Pendleton County, where they settled, or continued through Pendleton County into surrounding counties or states.  Modern roads have greatly affected the flow of rivers, access to mills, boundaries of land, and in some cases, destruction of cemeteries.  Information on the roads has been gathered from our older citizens making this project top priority.  Unfortunately, it is on hold until interested volunteers are available to complete the information gathering process and document it in the appropriate format.  Funding is needed.

  Communities developed and mills were established.  FSHEA captured many of the mills on a DVD entitled “Water Powered Mills of Pendleton County” which was released in November 2008 and shown on WVPBS in 2011.  Noah Cowger is standing on the wheel in the photo below.  His father Jacob, son of Henry Cowger and grandson of George and Hannah Hawes Cowger, was the owner.  The 74 minute DVD is available for purchase by sending your  check for $25.00 ($20.00 plus $5.00 shipping and handling) made out to FSHEA and send to Deborah Horst at the address given below.

Settlers and their descendants are buried on family property or in established church yards.  These cemeteries, even those of some churches, have been abandoned, plowed under, houses built on top of the graves, and cows continue to graze over the burial sites. Many Cemeteries have been extensively documented and some have had minimum preservation through the Cemetery Identification and Preservation Project.   The cemetery surveys are filed in the Pendleton County Library in the history room.  Copies of the surveys are in the process of being made available to the State Historic Preservation Office.  The surveys are being stored on CD’s and each CD will be made available to purchase as each is completed.

In addition, FSHEA would like to continue exploring potential cemeteries as candidates for the National Register, for grants to preserve our history, and grants to promote tourism through history found in old historic cemeteries.  FSHEA would like to assist with placing an identification plaque with approval of cemetery or landowners owners for all old county cemeteries.  FSHEA would like to provide consultant training for volunteers as part of Cemetery Preservation.  Volunteers are our most valuable asset and their efforts are much appreciated.  

All tax deductible donations in any amount are appreciated.  Checks made out to FSHEA may be mailed to Deborah Horst, 237 Blackberry Lane, Brandywine, WV 26802. If you would like to become a member with funds going into a general fund, the levels are:  General membership $15.00 per person, $25.00 per couple; Project sponsor, $50.00 per person, $75.00 per couple; Heritage Sponsor begins at $100.00 per person.  Volunteer and financial support will make it possible to bring these goals into reality for the benefit of the individual, communities, Pendleton County, and the State of WV. 

 Questions and comments may be sent to Sandra Pope, Chairman/Project Manager, PO Box 321, Franklin, WV, 26807, Telephone 304-249-5004 or cell 903-570-5861, [email protected].  Financial & Membership questions and comments may be sent to Deborah Horst, Fiscal Officer/Treasurer at the address above or [email protected].  Telephone 304-249-5700.



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2001, Janet Cooper

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