Appalachian Forest Discovery Center Museum

This Post is to let you know that the Appalachian Forest Discovery Center Museum has a new exhibit with a nice little section on the DePollo Store.

It’s located right as you enter the door of the museum. Sarah , the lady who put the exhibit together, borrowed a few artifacts from the Purple Fiddle. We provided her with a brief write-up on the history of the family journey from Italy to Appalachia.

If any of you are able to visit Elkins, WV anytime from now until October (Thursdays thru Sundays) drop-in to the Appalachian Forest Discovery Center museum where the exhibit is on display.

The Appalachian Forest Discovery Center is open to the public Thursday through Sunday, 9:30 am to 5 pm, from May through October, or by appointment. Admission is free; donations are appreciated. Contact them at or call 304-637-6182.

The museum is located on the first floor of the Darden Mill, #2 Railroad Ave., Elkins, West Virginia 26241 one block south of the Elkins Depot in downtown Elkins, at the intersection of Railroad Ave and First Street. The GPS coordinates are: 38.9233465 and -79.8532057.

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Still standing in Introdaqua


The image below is from page 56 of the DiPaolo-DePollo history book and picture is thought to be at least 75 – 80 years old.

DePollo Store Introdaqua (Large)

In the wonderful genealogical history that Mary Grace and Janice DePollo put together there is a photo from page 56 that identifies a building as the “DiPaolo Store/Property in Introdaqua, Italy”.  The picture looks as if it is about 75 – 80 years old.  Guisseppe DiPaolo (Joseph DePollo) had apparently bought the building with the idea in mind that he would make his fortune in the United States and at some time return to Introdaqua to live out his life. Of course he never did move back to Introdaqua and at some point the property was sold.

Being curious I decided to do a little street by street exploration of Introdaqua via Google Earth. Even though I’ve actually been in Introdaqua on three (3) occasions I personally had no written information on the places where Guiseppe DiPaolo lived or property he owned. However, on my second trip to Introdaqua, accompanied by my wife, my mother, my aunt and my cousin I was shown the location of the two residences that were allegedly where my grandfather, Antonio DiPaolo was born and lived. I never saw the actual documentation that confirmed those addresses so I assume they were in fact correct . Any documents that confirm the addresses would be wonderful additions to update the genealogical history book.


From 2004, Aunt Bernice (DePollo) McGinn, Mom Adeline DePollo and Gary DePollo in front of what is believed to have been the birthplace of Antonio DiPaolo, Anthony DePollo, in Introdaqua, Italy

Anyway, I used Google Earth at a street level view and worked my way around the streets of the town. I had a landmark, the fountain, in the old picture as something to search for.  I assumed that the fountain would still exist.  In Italy things like fountains always seem to be very. very old.  The other thing was the unique first level walls of the building and the half wall surrounding the fountain.  After about 45 minutes of advancing street by street I caught site of a fountain that had a wall around it.  As you can see in the picture below the fountain is no longer used but it’s location and the building behind the short wall attest to the fact that this former DiPaolo property still stands.  By the fact that scaffolding is piled against the outside wall it can be assumed that some renovation work was taking place inside. Introdaqua in recent times has become sort of a quiet residential retreat from the bustle of larger towns. Many old buildings are being modernized inside and either sold or rented.

Google uses vehicles all around the world to take photos of the roads. The photos are placed together with high power software and powerful computers to create ‘walk through’ views of many places. The images that Google uses are updated every few years. The imagery currently used for Introdaqua and the photo below is from 2011, four years ago. I tried to zoom in on the marker on the building at the left but was unable to get a view that would allow me to see what it says. I guess I’ll have to go back to Introdaqua!

This is a screen capture from my Google Earth exploration of Introdaqua.



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