Laura Dean Bennett
Good news for those who collect Pioneer Days badges – although there was no festival, there is a 2020 badge, featuring the historic McGlaughlin House, and it is here.
The cabin, the oldest house in Marlinton, was built by hand by Squire Hugh McGlaughlin.
The Scots-Irish immigrant came to Marlin’s Bottom “with only his wife, two horses, some tin ware, an axe, a maul and a wedge,” his descendant, Ginger Must, said.
McGlaughlin was one of a group of families who came to Virginia from Ireland in the late 1700s when Native Americans were hunting here and the area was just beginning to be discovered by brave pioneer families.
Must (holding the badge) and her sister, Mary Moore McLaughlin, are two of the many McGlaughlin descendants still living in Pocahontas County.
They admired the cabin and recollected how it came to be “discovered” in its original location next door to St. John Neumann Catholic Church.
It was carefully disassembled, transported and rebuilt in 2007 in its present location on Fourth Avenue.
Like many old log cabins hidden inside of more recently built structures, this one could very well have gone unnoticed and unrestored, but thankfully, it did not.
“This badge represents a huge effort by a lot of people,” Must added.
“We have the hard work and generosity of countless members of the community and local organizations to thank for the restoration of this beautiful cabin.”
The McGlaughlin House is presently the home of the Pocahontas County Art Guild, of which McLaughlin is a member.
“It’s so nice that the cabin has a whole new life again,” she said. “I love that people can come inside and look around.
“It’s being useful.
“It’s a living part of the community again.”
There are a limited number of badges available and Pioneer Days Association Treasurer Candy Harper said, “they’re already going like hotcakes.”
The 2020 Pioneer Days Badge may be purchased for $3, and they are available at the Pocahontas County Convention and Visitors Bureau, The Pocahontas Times office, First Citizens Bank and The Cackling Hens.