Pioneer Village deeded to non-profit group

By Kimberly Jenkins -

A section of the Pioneer Village in Wheelersburg

A section of the Pioneer Village in Wheelersburg

The inside of one of the cabins at Pioneer Village

In Wheelersburg, there is a nice little area called The Pioneer Village.

Many members of the Wheelersburg community and surrounding areas may have fond memories of visiting this area and looking back at the things in local history. The Pioneer Village and the surrounding area has been owned by the Litteral family since its onset, until now.

The Litteral family (Ray and Lacy) had been well-known and respected members of the Wheelersburg community, they owned the Nancy Rae Grocery Store that was built in honor of their daughter, who died in the Wheelersburg tornado. Also, according to their son Bob Litteral, Ray was the one who campaigned for the Wheelersburg Fire Department and helped get it started back in 1947.

A few weeks ago, Bob, now living in Florida with his son, and owner of the Pioneer flea market, signed over the deed to Pioneer Village and the house in Wheelersburg, to the 5013C group founded five years ago, Pioneer Village of Wheelersburg Inc.

Litteral said the property was his mother’s and father’s house that they had had since 1980. “I own the flea market right next to that, I inherited that and my father started building those cabins in 1972. The pioneer village flea market, I wanted to make as a memorial to my father and I wanted to include the village with that, I thought it would be appropriate and a good memoriam to them and to give it to the non-profit group. Pioneer Village was set up several years ago, but the house is still mine and I just deeded it over to them. It will be a living memorial to my mother and father.”

Litteral, who is a missionary and spends a lot of his time in other countries, said he will usually come home in December. He spends time with his family in Florida and comes to Wheelersburg a week in the Winter and a week in the Fall, and will be here in late April. The Flea Market is not necessarily with the village, but it is right there by the cabins and is owned by Litteral. The entire area with all three parcels was originally all together as the Litteral estate.

Lucas ,who takes care of the village, and is with the 5013C group, says he has been involved in Pioneer Days and Old Fashion Days for five years. “We have been trying to do things to fix the place up, trying to draw more attention to the place and get it back to where it was years ago.”

Jenkins said it was not a total surprise that Litteral deeded the property to the non profit group, saying they had been talking about it for a while. “Originally, I started out at the Blacksmith’s shop and Litteral bought everything that was in the cabins, plus the buildings at the auction that the estate had. Then, I started working on that building and then the other cabins. With our 5013C status and now that we own the property, we’ll be able to file for some grants with the Ohio Historical Society and the Scioto Foundation.”

“The house where Bob’s mom had lived, was not in the best shape, the water pipes had burst among other things, but I started refurbishing things. We’ve got one big room that has a kitchen and a bathroom and we want to rent that out for parties and meetings. It will be so we can have a little income from that to help.” Jenkins continued that they are going to try to have some pioneer skills classes soon and will post that on their Facebook page.

Jenkins also mentioned they are looking for new recruits to help volunteer with the village, anybody with a love of history or anything of that nature, saying the group could really use some help.

Litteral, who is a Bible translator in Papua New Guinea, says he is more a Guinea than an American. He lost his wife in 2007 and since then he said, “I’m going around the world every year, teaching multilingual education, how to teach children their first language over to their national language. I go to Kenya, then India and then Nepal and to Papua New Guinea. I spend about six months in the states and travel six months. I just take one year at a time.”

“I really like to help,” Litteral said. “My father was so much a community member of Wheelersburg, with both the grocery store and that of being involved with the beginning of the fire department, I wanted to honor him.”

A section of the Pioneer Village in Wheelersburg section of the Pioneer Village in Wheelersburg

The inside of one of the cabins at Pioneer Village inside of one of the cabins at Pioneer Village

By Kimberly Jenkins

Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740) 353-3101 ext. 1928

Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740) 353-3101 ext. 1928