BURLINGTON - The Mineral Daily News Tribune, in collaboration with the Mineral County Convention and Visitors' Bureau (CVB), is beginning a four-part series of feature stories called Mineral Hidden Gems.

BURLINGTON - The Mineral Daily News Tribune, in collaboration with the Mineral County Convention and Visitors' Bureau (CVB), is beginning a four-part series of feature stories called Mineral Hidden Gems.
The series will focus on four very special yet somewhat unknown areas of Mineral County that are both an important part of our combined history, and a very significant potential resource for our future.
Over the coming several weeks, events will be taking place across the county that feature these gems and we will focus on the site in the series each week prior to the event: Burlington's Larenin Park Open House, on Saturday, July 21; Carpendale's Knobley Tunnel Trail, Aug. 4; Elk Garden's Jennings Randolph Lake, Aug. 11; and Piedmont / Beryl's Barnum River Day on Aug. 25.
A new leadership team of the CVB's “Tourism Board” is called the External Relations Team; it is tasked with connecting people both inside and outside of Mineral County to increased awareness of and engagement with the assets of the county for tourism. The team, which includes Liz Beavers of the News Tribune, will first reach out to our own community to highlight these four gems so WE become better acquainted with what we already have; to call for more historic memory from the community about these areas; and to work to better develop these areas so they can function and shine to bring outside interest and more visitors to Mineral County.
We begin our series with a focus on Larenim Park, a county-owned 363-acre recreational area and natural resource in the Burlington District of the county near Headsville. Mineral County Parks and Recreation manages the grounds and services of Larenim.
The CVB and Mineral County Parks and Rec, along with the News Tribune, invite our county residents to come take an look at the park in am “Open House at Larenim” this Saturday, July 21, from 10 a.m. till 3 p.m.; a Frisbee Fest will be going on there at the same time with play for kids while parents tour the park. Larenim Park includes over three miles of hiking trails, two fishing lakes, two ball-fields, an amphitheater, and an arboretum.
Directions to Larenim: From Route 50 in Burlington, take Patterson Creek Road (Route 11) north to the entrance to Larenim. From Fort Ashby, take Route 46 west to Patterson Creek Road ( Route 11) turn left, go south to the entrance. From Keyser, travel Route 46 east to Fountain Road, turn right and follow to a merge with Headsville Road (Route 16) heading southeast; follow Headsville to Patterson Creek Road (Route 11) and turn right, proceed south to the Larenim entrance.
Saturday's Open House at Larenim is designed to better acquaint county residents with the beautiful park and just discover how to get there; to give kids an opportunity to get outside in a safe space to play throwing Frisbees or hike the trails with their parents; and to begin anew to collect more detail from county residents most familiar with the history of the park. Parks and Rec and the CVB are calling for old articles, brochures, maps, stories, and any data pertaining to Larenim so a new brochure can properly present this great Mineral County asset.
Already in a bit of a tease on Facebook, a discussion about who named the park arrived at the correct answer: Jane Tetrick Placka. The park-naming contest was sponsored by the News Tribune in the early 1970s. An article from 1974 posted by another described a three-phase master plan for development of the park, said to be purchased by the county in 1973. A helpful Wikipedia page was cited but  clearly needs to be updated. Another provided article from another newspaper in 1973 twice misspelled the park-naming-contest winner's name. But fortunately we have a living Larenim celebrity in Jane Tetrick Placka, who has good personal recall of the dates and many details for the park. Jane and her husband Doug Placka are entrepreneurs in Burlington with the business Placka Storage Buildings.
More history about Larenim is out there, and great care is current by Mineral County Parks and Rec, but it's time to better reveal this first-focus hidden gem of Mineral County. Come out to see Larenim Park on Saturday! Get better acquainted with the great assets of Mineral County. If you have photos, articles, or anything from the past about Larenim and are willing to share them, bring them, or please get in touch with Parks and Rec (304-788-5732) or the Convention and Visitors' Bureau (304-788-2513). See you Saturday!