The Whitehorse Mountain Woodworks Spinner

Among my collection of wheels is this little artisan spinner:

It is a sturdy, fast little wheel with goodly sized bobbins and an interesting tensioning device:

The underside of the bench is stamped: Whitehorse Mountain Woodworks, D. Yeager, Green Spring, W. VA. and the zip code which my old eyes can’t quite decipher.

All I’ve been able to find out about the maker is this: Dan Yeager lived and worked in Green Spring, West Virginia in the 1970s and built these wheels from scrap lumber. No two are exactly alike.

If anyone out there knows anything about Mr. Yeager or these wheels, I’d love to hear from you!  So far, all I’ve been able to find are other people trying to find out more.

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19 Responses to The Whitehorse Mountain Woodworks Spinner

  1. Dan says:

    After I emaild, I finally thought to go back and check the site – didn’t realize it was yours.

    Carry on!

    Dan

  2. I think the zip code on the White Horse Mt. Woodworks, Green Springs, W. Va is 26722. My husband gave me the spinning wheel for Christmas probably in the ’70s. I call it my virgin wheel, because it’s never been used very much. I’m more of a weaver. We bought the wheel out of an ad in probably Shuttle, Spindle and Dyepot, or Handwoven. Sorry, I don’t know anything about the woodmaker.

    • Many thanks for the note! I did find Dan Yeager and will make a follow-up post; he was most surprised to hear that folks still had these wheels. If you are ever looking to re-home yours, please let me know!

      • Rebecca Connor says:

        Wow! I’d love to know more about the maker of these wheels! I’ve got one that was my Grandmothers, but I think she modified it, cause my flyer assembly looks totally different from yours! I found an ad in an old Shuttle Spindle and Dyepot for the wheel – and it is also listed in a book about spinning wheels from the ’70s. It was originally sold for $75 and the ad says it has a “lifetime warranty”! My original wood flyer whorl is cracked, so I’ve substituted a larger metal whorl. Unfortunately, this makes it a slower wheel for me. With my flyer assembly, I can use Ashford traditional bobbins on it as well as the two (maybe) original bobbins that I have.
        It’s a good little wheel, though! I learned to spin on it and still use it for most of my spinning. My other wheel is my nana’s Cadorette CPW. I’d love to compare notes sometime in more detail.

      • Wanda says:

        I’ve recently become an owner of a Wildhorse Mountain wheel. My craft guild was destashing and making room for new – so the Wildhorse came to live with me. A little cleaning, a little oil and lube and he works like a charm. I have one out of three bobbins that will need repaired but – hey – that’s some glue and a clamp. How many of these did Mr.Yeager make in his shop?

  3. For Rebecca Connor, I don’t know if this would work or not. I had two extra bobbins made to match the one that came with the Whitehourse Mt.Woodworks Spinning Wheel. I took it to a shop that specialized in tools for workmen/carpenters, The Workmen’s Emporium in Las Vegas, NV. The owner liked to mess around with a lathe and duplicated the bobbins. I would think that the same could be done with your cracked flyer whorl. Find someone who has a lathe and likes a challenge :).

  4. Is this the same Dan Yeager that was friends with the Jenkins family
    who lived at Molors X Roads, West Virginia. Roy Jenkins, Elizabeth
    Jenkins, Catherine Jenkins, Lucille Jenkins and Anna Jenkins.

    It was probably in the mid 1950″s

  5. Jess G. says:

    I recently picked one of these up from a local fiber festival. A vendor had it back in a corner marked $25, so I scooped it up!

  6. chris race says:

    I own one… bought in the mid 70s.

  7. Cheryl Geddes says:

    I bought a Whitehorse Mountain spinning wheel today as a gift for our daughter who wants to learn how to spin. It needs to be restrung, and my husband and I are not sure how restring the drive wheel, what to use, and how to get it ready to spin. Any and all advice would be so welcome! Thanks in advance!

    • Lucky you! Whitehorse Mountain spinning wheels are excellent buys. I am in touch with the original maker, Dan Yeager, who still can’t quite understand what the lure is. He used to make these 20 at a time with scraps of local lumber and then moved on to other things, including becoming a professional luthier. The wheels are double-drive, meaning that the drive band crosses over itself in a figure 8 — one loop goes over the bobbin whorl and one loop over the little tensioning knob. To tighten the driveband, all you need to do is lift the tensioner a little. Which version did you find — one with shorter wood flyer and bobbins, or the one with the longer metal shaft flyer and longer bobbin? I will try to pull one of mine out and get photos to post!

      • Cheryl Geddes says:

        Thank You! With you help, we were able to get it working! We had seen photos with only one loop and others with two. It made sense to my Darling Husband to have two loops, but he had been trying to string it with thicker twine Your help got us on the right track. By comparing it with posted photos, I believe we have the shorter bobbin version.
        Sweet Daughter recently won First Prize and Champion Ribbon at Montgomery County Fair in MD for spinning done on a drop spindle. She will be Absolutely Thrilled with her new spinning wheel! I’ll post a photo of her then, Thanks Again!

  8. Dana Geddes says:

    Thank you so much for your quick reply to my mother (above). With your help my parents were able to get the wheel up and running (which didn’t take much, these things are clearly meant to last!) and present me with the wheel and a basket of roving to play with. I was absolutely thrilled with the surprise (and there’s video to prove it!). It is a wonderful wheel! Please pass my compliments on to Dan Yeager – I’m amazed he did it all with scrap!

    Thank you again and Happy Spinning!
    Dana

    “StitchenWitch” on Ravelry

    • Dana, congratulations on your new wheel! I think you will enjoy spinning with it — these are nice, sturdy artisan-made wheels. Dan is now a luthier in Maryland, making guitars, so still in wood working. He is bemused at the continuing interest in his wheels. I am due to interview him for an article for the Spinning Wheel Sleuth newsletter and will pass along your well-wishes to him. Let me know if you have any questions on your wheel! — Kat

  9. How much are the Whitehorse Mountain Woodworks spinning wheels worth please?

    • Originally, these wheels sold at $75 and were later raised to $100. That was in the 1970s. Today, I have seen them sell anywhere from $50 to $175, depending on the condition. Also, the flyer size — the original wheels had a small flyer that will fit an Ashford bobbin but the later models had a much larger flyer with a metal shaft bobbin. The metal shaft is rattly, but holds more yarn.

      • Marian says:

        I recently got a farm fresh (literally) Whitehorse Mountain wheel. We affectionately call it “The West Virginia Wheel” (being as I’m a native West Virginian, it has special meaning to me). The problem is that it’s missing the flyer. You mentioned that older ones could use an Ashford flyer – any particular one?

        Thank you!

  10. Irene Boersma says:

    I just became the happy recipient of the Whitehorse Mountain Woodworks spinning wheel. I am looking for bobbins, as mine only came with one.

    • My apologies for the delay in responding. If I recall correctly, the single -drive Ashford bobbins will fit the Whitehorse Mountain wheels. That is, if you have the version with the standard flyer — there is one with a longer flyer and I’m unsure of any modern bobbins that would fit!

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