HINTON, W.Va. -- A 175-acre tract of scenic farmland on the slopes of 3,500-foot-high Elk Knob in Summers County has been protected from development, thanks to the sale of a conservation easement made available through a partnership between the West Virginia Land Trust and the Summers County Farmland Protection Board.The hilltop property "is part of a historic farm in Summers County known locally as the Grace Walker Farm," according to David Richmond, a WVU agricultural agent assigned to Summers County. "It is a special place and a treasure to the county and will remain forever protected because of the forethought shown by the property owners, the West Virginia Land Trust and the Summers County Farmland Protection Board."After Grace Walker's death, the property was sold to a Baltimore doctor who intended to develop the tract into a 75-lot residential development. When those plans fell through, a North Carolina man, Terry Williams, bought the property and returned it to family farm status."I want it to be a family farm for years to come and remain the way it is now," Williams said in a news release about the conservation easement sale. "A thousand pictures can't convey the true beauty of Grace Mountain."
The easement for the Walker farm is the first to be acquired by the Summers County Farmland Protection Board.