Friday, June 29, 2012

West Virginia Memories website

   Eva Smith of West Virginia Memories website reached out to me.  She has a great collection of stories, articles, photos, and detailed information pertaining to branches of the Vest, Cochran, Gadd families that originated in White Oak Mtn/ Summers Co. area.

   She sent me a digital copy of the photo, marked, "probably White Oak Mountain school"

Click image to enlarge
Thanks, Eva!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Doc Lilly

     The following is taken from my grandmother's notes (digital copy in photo archive) and secondary sources via the web.

      My grandmother (writing about her mother, aunts, and uncles):

"Ida Basham's [Ida Jane Albatine Lilly Basham] bros. were Sampson (Semp), Green, Dayton (Date), Joshua (Josh), Sister Melissa (Mit), Half bros. Edward (Ed), Robert (Bob), Mennon, and Joseph, half sister Roberta (Bertie).

  "Aunt Mit married Doc Lilly, had 1 son Dr. Lonnie of Flat Top."

   Doing my own research on the web I discovered that Dr. Lonnie Lilly married Sue Tickle.  They built a Queen Anne Victorian mansion on Flat Top.  It is called Mavis Manor.   There is a wiki article about it:



Friday, June 22, 2012

At Aunt Eula's and Uncle Lester's

    Aunt Eula (Eula Basham Hatcher) was my grandmother's half sister.  I remember as a little boy going to Aunt Eula and Uncle Lester's with Mom, Dad, Pawpaw and Mawmaw Halstead above the Rhoda Ann Church.

   Pawpaw loved to play croquet, so all the adults would set up a croquet set in the yard and they would play  for hours.

   As a little boy I would get bored and try to pull up the hoops.  Pawpaw would yell at me.  He had this distinct and authoritative tone that would frighten me.  Of course, I knew even then that I deserved the scolding.

Lester Hatcher And Eula Basham Hatcher seated.  Macy Basham
Standing behind and her dauther Bettie Basham Booth speaking with Eula
(photo taken by my mother at a Streeter Reunion)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Hayes' Camp in 1862

For the Civil War enthusiasts out there it's worth reading Rutherford B. Hayes' Diary and Letters pertaining to the summer of 1862.

From about May of that year to July he encamped at "Camp Jones" at Flat Top, then moved to "Camp Green Meadows" near the junction of New River and Bluestone.

 He makes some interesting observations: a description of Flat Top, Packs Ferry, his encounter with Mrs. Fowler at Indian Creek, and numerous battles with Rebels (particularly around what is now Summers County)

  There are a number of free sources for the diary.  I used Google Books "Diary and Letters of Rutherford B. Hayes 1861-1865".  When you find the book on GB, type "Flat Top" in the text search function.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The following is a reposting of "Streeter sold for a dollar" which I wrote several years ago.

Alfred Beckley, the founder of the city of Beckley, sold many acres of his 170,000 acres in the 1830's and 40's. Samuel Pack was one of many buyers.

Samuel Pack, "living under the White Oak Mountain" as Beckley describes in his notes, caused a stir among members of Beckley's family. In 1833, William and Samuel Pack bought a total of 1,800 acres from Beckley. But this wasn't the end of the story. In 1840 there was a compromise in a District Court lawsuit (Beckley vs. Pack) in which Beckley sold to Samuel 185 acres including Pack's Mill for $1.00.

I am curious about this because local historians have written that Pack's Mill was built in 1845.
If the details of this suit are correct, then there must have been a mill in existence before the Pack acquisition.

Either way, it is an interesting piece of history that the area of Streeter was bought for a buck.

Source: History of Raleigh County, by Jim Wood, 1994.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

McGuffey Reader

My grandparents often credited McGuffey Readers as the definitive textbooks of their childhood.  From the mid 1800s to the mid twentieth century McGuffey Readers were instrumental in teaching children how to read and write.

Google books has a 1901 version. Click the link below for a look...