Formally known as the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of West Virginia, the Colonial Dames have a statewide membership of slightly more than 200 women. The West Virginia chapter was organized in 1900, less than a decade after the founding of the national organization. Membership in the Dames is limited to women whose ancestry in America dates to the colonial era.
The organization exists to collect and preserve bygone traditions, and to educate citizens about the past. To that end, the West Virginia society maintains as its headquarters the historic Craik-Patton House, constructed in downtown Charleston in 1834 and moved to its present site at Daniel Boone Park by the Dames in 1973. The house, restored to its original period and opened to the public in 1985, was built by the Reverend James Craik for his bride. Upon the Craiks’ departure from Charleston, the house became the property of Col. George Smith Patton in 1858. Following the colonel’s demise at Winchester during the Civil War, his widow returned to California. The Patton line later included Gen. George Patton of World War II fame.
This Article was written by Carolanne Griffith Roberts