I know I usually cover modern toys, things like action figures and cool pop culture stuff like that, but this week we’re going old school to look at a company located right here in West Virginia that makes high-quality, old-fashioned toys that are sold all over the world.
Mountain Craft Shop Company, located in Proctor, West Virginia, has been producing hand-crafted reproductions of folk toys for nearly fifty years. Their products, collectively known as American Folk Toys, are reproductions of toys once made at home and handed down from one generation to another.
Most of their toys are made of native hardwoods, such as poplar, walnut, cherry, beech, or maple. The toy names sound like mountain poetry, with names like “WhimmyDiddle” and the mighty “FlipperDinger.” Mountain Craft Shop also uses local products such as Marble King marbles, which are made in Paden City, West Virginia at the Marble King factory. Marble King is one of the last remaining marble factories in North America.
Mountain Craft Shop Company products can be found at many national museums and state park gift shops such as Independence Hall in Philadelphia, PA, Bunker Hill in Boston, MA. Appomattox Battle site in Appomattox, VA and The Smithsonian in Washington, DC. I stumbled onto their products locally, at the gift shop at Thomas Memorial Hospital, in South Charleston.
Mountain Craft Shop Company toys are also sold at craft fairs around the region and at their sister company, ThistleDew Farm’s gift shop. The shop is located 40 miles south of Wheeling, in Proctor. You can visit their website for directions and store hours. It looks like it’d be a fun day trip, especially in the summer if you have kids in tow.
You can also order from their website, where you will find dozens of cool old folk toys, like the Limberjack (know as “Old Limberlegs” to fans of Mr. Show) and that weird set of little wooden slats held together with straps that does strange things (AKA Jacob’s Ladder).
It’s great to know that you can still find quality, hand-made toys, and it’s even cooler that they’re made here in West Virginia. You can visit the website, or call 1-877-FOLKTOYS for more information.