Wayne Toney (shown with friend Tom Petit) spends
a lot of time on the porch of one of his many
'treasure' buildings, greeting those who pass by
By Bob Weaver
If TVs 'American Pickers' came to Munday, West Virginia, they would be whoopin' and hollerin' about the collectible 'junk' they'd find at Wayne Toney's place.
Munday is in Wirt County, a suburb of Calhoun, near Brohard.
The 67-year-old Toney says if pickers came to his place, "I'd have a hard time sellin' them my stuff...but I do give some of it away to help my neighbors."
Toney (right) who was a union construction worker for 44 years, has been collecting for years, "I collect things that fascinate me, and things that are useful and can be fixed."
There are buildings full of strange artifacts and just about everything that could be found on a homestead in the West Virginia hills at one time or another.
Toney and his wife Earline Cain have seven children. "The grand-kids come and play with lots of the old toys, bikes, sleds, and hobby horses," he said.
Like most folks who collect, Toney revels in the history of his community and is a storyteller.
Toney and Petit reenact boxing bouts on Munday bridge
"When I was a kid we'd have boxing matches on the bridge beside of Shimer's Store. It was the size of a boxing ring," He said.
Shimer's Store was a community fixture for about a half-century.
"Seems like someone was always burglarizing the store. One time the thieves went across the creek to the woods to try on their new socks and shoes, and Mr. Shimer spotted them and got his gun and made a citizen's arrest."
"Another time Shimer was awakened at 4 a.m. to chase the burglars with a buddy all the way to Smithville, catching up with them as the State Police arrived."
Endless collections in buildings of worthy
artifacts - wade in a find a treasure
The store was such a community place, that after it was burglarized and burned to the ground in the 1960s, people came forward and actually donated money and time to rebuild it.
Toney recalls that in the 1950s, they came from Elizabeth to show movies in the community school, usually westerns, charging ten cents.
From snakes to old telephones ...
"We even had a funeral parlor, owned by Creed Skidmore. He worked with Elizabeth's Don Pomroy to bury our citizens. Toney's family later owned the old funeral parlor building.
"I took one of the old wooden caskets and made a boat. It floated down the creek during a flood, never to be found," he said.