Morgantown magazine revisits homes we’ve showcased over the past decade.
Morgantown is full of historical and unique homes that have become a trademark of our fair city. They show us our past while housing our future. In our 10 years at Morgantown magazine, we’ve highlighted quite a few of these standout homes. Here we reprint photos from our archives of three favorites with updates on each of the homes.
The Cow House
Morgantown magazine spoke with Jennifer Forester, owner and cow-loving curator of the Cow House, back in 2011 for our premier issue. Forester says her OCD—obsessive cow disorder—all started in 1988 with a cow-themed doll she received as a gift from her sister. From there, her collection has grown to consist of several hundred cow novelties, from salt and pepper shakers to stained glass windows.
Visitors to the Cow House are greeted by a bull in West Virginia University overalls with his “pretty in pink” heifer by his side. These whimsical wooden cutouts swing open for access to the porch, a gate unlike any other in Morgantown. The porch and mailbox are covered in a signature cow-print pattern, and the theme continues inside, where figurines find their spot on the shelves and a classic white enamel kitchen sink gives this home its proud farmhouse feel. Some say it may be too much for a college town such as ours, but Forester has the perfect response: “How can you not love cows? They’re so—human.”
Forester and her husband have made a few changes to the decor around the home since we last spoke with them. Don’t worry—the cows are still abundant. One of the WVU football cows that hung on the railing of the home’s upper deck underwent a career and cosmetic change: he plays basketball now, allowing two of WVU’s most popular sports to be represented. And what is Morgantown without its Mountaineer?—er, Moo-taineer? The cows enjoying a milk bath in a pink tub on the upper deck of the home had to go, however. “It’s a relief. I was afraid a strong wind was going to blow them over to the neighbors,” Forester says.
In the course of some larger renovations, such as updating her front steps, Forester has collected a few new items to display in the home. While her “Wizard of Oz” set will always have a special spot in her heart, her current favorite item is a small statuette of a man milking a cow, a gift from friend Sonny Chess. “To me, that’s Sonny.”
No matter how much time passes, there is one thing that will never change about the Cow House: the reactions of those who see it. A fixture in the Morgantown community, the bovine-themed home inspires whimsy, a lot of smiles, and some mooing. “Drive-by mooings will start again,” Forester says—since school will be starting back up in August, it’s inevitable that she’ll have some visitors. “Kids love to do it.”
The Waitman T. Willey House
For our April/May 2012 issue, we caught up with Fred Schaupp, who purchased the Waitman T. Willey home in 2008. It was a home Schaupp had always admired but never thought he would have the opportunity to acquire. So when he saw the home’s “for sale” notice in the newspaper, he and his wife had an appointment scheduled with the realtor in a matter of minutes.
The Waitman T. Willey house was named after the man who had it built in the late 1800’s: lawyer, U.S. senator, and writer of the Willey Amendment in the West Virginia statehood bill Waitman Thomas Willey. The residence served as Willey’s home as well as his law office, which explains the two entrances on the same side of the structure. The second story and another living room were added later, and the 1900s saw the construction of a garden area and garage. Despite these modern upgrades, however, the home still maintains its historical aesthetic. A Greek Revival portico and unique five-column pediment make sure of that.
In a house this historic, the Schaupps couldn’t help but fill it with history from all across the world in the form of books, art, and furniture. “I never bought anything as something that would appreciate in value. I bought something because I thought it was neat,” he told us in 2012. Not one for photographs, Schaupp even displayed commissioned paintings of the family throughout the home. With its 1800s design, walls colored richly in cool tones, eight impressive fireplaces, and multitude of historical artifacts, the home invites visitors to settle in and take in its majesty. High ceilings and expansive main rooms, all filled with items that appear to have come straight from a museum, transport you right into a different time.
Elizabeth Vitullo moved into the Willey house with her husband, Christian—son of Fred Schaupp—their two children, and their German shepherd in 2018, with their third child joining the fray in December of that year and a cat and another dog to follow. While they’ve brought in some contemporary artwork and furnishings and converted the sunroom to a home gym, Vitullo says the family is proud to be living in a piece of West Virginia history. They have settled in well, even the pets. “The cat finds so many nooks and crannies,” Vitullo says after laughing over a picture of the feline lounging in a solarium window sill. “He just pops out of random places.” With three kids and three pets bringing new life in, they’re certain that Fred Schaupp and his late wife, Becky, would be happy with the feel of the home now.
The Huggins House
In our 2013 neighborhoods issue, we gave readers a peek into the home of one of the most well-known figures to grace Morgantown: WVU men’s basketball coach Bob Huggins. We spoke at the time with his wife, June, as she showed us around the almost 8,000-square-foot house, built in 2011 by Morgantown’s Larry Goff of Trulargo. The home consists of five bedrooms with five full baths, two half-baths, and walls that showcase a plethora of memories and memorabilia. An open floor plan with dark woods and low lighting gives the home a warm, comforting feel. You’re immediately welcomed in by the owners and the atmosphere. “I don’t want people to be afraid to come in and touch things,” she said. It’s a home meant for comfort, one where things are meant to be touched, used, and enjoyed.
The kitchen and living room are important to the family and are June Huggins’ favorite rooms in the house. She told us her husband enjoys cooking, particularly breakfast, and knows his way around a grill. And when it comes to grilling, they’ve got the perfect spot for it: Their spacious backyard meets up with a stone patio that is just made for summer cookouts. A large stone fireplace flanked on either side by stone countertops, steel cabinetry, sinks, and a minifridge makes this any grillmaster’s dream.
And what do you call Bob Huggins’ home without a few flying WVs? Nonexistent! West Virginia University’s blue and gold symbol is stamped all over the home: an etching on the shower glass, a large slab of bluestone on the patio, neon signs, decor, and wall art.
Friends and family are important to the Hugginses and, with 17 televisions, a 16-seat home theatre, a fully stocked bar, and a pool table, it’s obvious they love to entertain. The bar in particular stands out, nestled snugly under a trophy case displaying basketballs from across Huggins’ career. Overstuffed couches and open planning give room for relaxation and togetherness. June Huggins always wanted such a room, but it wasn’t until the planning of this particular home that they finally got it.
It’s not just family they love to surround themselves with, however, but the community as well. Goods and products from regional businesses were integrated into the construction and brought the home to life. From the granite supplied by Preferred Services in Morgantown to the glasswork created by a man in Ohio, this home celebrates community and hard work, showcasing it all in a way meant to be used and enjoyed.
The couple still reside in their Suncrest home, with Bob Huggins on on track to become the No. 4 winningest Division I men’s college basketball coach of all time in the upcoming season. Let’s go, Mountaineers!