CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Near Eureka Road along Corridor G, a huge banner hangs on a weathered white frame carport:
Available for the FIRST TIME!
Preoccupied drivers zipping by on the busy highway give little thought to this pending demise of history.
Unnoticed in the rush of everyday life, a tiny outbuilding beside the carport hints at a pastoral past consumed by the ravenous jaws of progress.
"That was the boiler room," she said. "That's where they heated water to wash the milk bottles. The milk house was right over there.
"No one knows it was a dairy," she said. "There are a lot of memories here."
On a breezy spring day, 87-year-old Virginia Pruett Pauley roams the grounds of her homeplace at 1230 Oakhurst Drive, steeling herself for the inevitable day when she finally walks away.
In December, challenged by the upkeep on a home built 115 years ago, she put the place on the market, all 1.6 acres of it -- the last vestiges of the 40-acre Pruett Dairy Farm.
"It needs to be developed," Pauley said. "Somebody needs to buy it and build condos. Maybe they would give me one as part of the deal."
That's the practical side of things. The sentiment, the heartache of letting go, tugs at her every day.
Her father, Denver Pruett, grew up here with his siblings, Garnett, Ben, Bern, Bessie, Ada and Kate.
"My father was born here, and all five of us girls, me and my sisters -- Marie, Elizabeth, Irma and Thelma. It was just wonderful, the five of us playing here together."
Denver Pruett and brother Garnett started the Pruett Brothers Dairy in 1922. "We would go to town in the milk truck," Pauley said. "We sat on the milk bottle crates. I've still got daddy's milk carrier."
The brothers sold their dairy route to Valley Bell in 1958.
The milk house vanished. The picturesque barn, home to 25 cows and a horse named Barney, bit the dust 32 years ago.
"I wish even a piece of the old barn was still there," Pauley said wistfully.
Chunks of concrete from the barn's walkway protrude from the brush, marking the location like a crumbled tombstone at a neglected gravesite.
As plans revved up for Corridor G in 1980, a salvage company bought the barn from the state highways department for $1 and carefully dismantled it. The salvager predicted he'd fetch $5,000 for the wormy chestnut lumber, highly coveted after the chestnut blight of the early 20th century killed virtually every chestnut tree in the country.
A painting of the old barn hangs in Pauley's kitchen, framed by wood from the barn.
"Our property went all the way up to Smith Road," Pauley said. "We called it Ridge Road then."
Up the hill from the barn was a garden where her mother raised strawberries and rhubarb. "In strawberry season, mother would make strawberry ice cream. We cranked the ice cream maker by hand."