Thursday, March 8, 1973
Let’s Face It
West Virginia may be Almost Heaven, as the Department of Commerce claims at the drop of a $10,000 magazine ad, but the names of some of it geographical features are suggestive of another place.
For example, there is Purgatory Knob in Lewis County, Devil’s Gulch in Randolph County and the place that started it all – Hell-for-Certain Branch of Middle Fork of Williams River in Pocahontas County.
Last week, I wondered how Hell-for-Certain got its colorful name, and Bill Blizzard, former State Magazine writer, now with the AFL-CIO, suggested I check a book called West Virginia Place Names,” by Hamill Kenny.
Well, according to Kenny, Hell-for-Certain was given its name by surveyors who apparently felt that such a name fitted the ruggedness of the stream and the region. Kenny suggests that the same surveyors probably named Hateful Run, a tributary of Cherry River.
Ted Stemple, an employee of the U. S. Forest Service at Elkins, disagrees with Kenny’s version of how Hell-for-Certain got its name. Stemple says the stream was named by a logger who agreed to work in that area around the turn of the century.
Frustrated and facing some difficult problems with his contract, the old logger reportedly looked down into the hollow one day and declared “any man who would take a contract logging this section of Williams River was “going to hell for certain…”
George Gum, of Cowen, says the way he heard it is that hunters gave Hell-for-Certain its name. He claims there’s a stream on the Cranberry River side of the mountain that’s called Hell-for-Sure, also named by hunters…
Hell-for-Sure, which is located about 10 miles below the Forks of Cranberry, and Hell-for-Certain were named a few days apart by two individuals in the same hunting party, says Gum.
One hunter was lost overnight and, upon returning, was asked where he’d been. “In hell for sure,” was his answer.
A few days later, another hunter got lost on the Williams River side of the mountain. When he was found two days later and was asked where he’d been, his reply, naturally, was “in hell for certain.”
Almost Heaven, West Virginia?
The Charleston Gazette
March 5, 1973
Pearl S. Buck, 80, the great lady of literature, born at Hillsboro, died Tuesday, March 6, 1973, after several months’ illness at her home in Danby, Vermont…
Since Pearl Buck gave so much of her life to scholarly writing and humanitarian work for children, the Birthplace Foundation intends to carry on in this great tradition by means of a writers’ workshop and an education program for school children at the birth site in Hillsboro.
Twin daughters were born to Mr. and Mrs. Leo Mace, Jr., of Marlinton, February 27, 1973, named Cherie Lee and Carrie Lynn; weighing five pounds and six ounces and five pounds and eight ounces. The mother is the former Mary Irene “Suze” McLaughlin.
Born to Mr. and Mrs. Michael “Mickey” Mullenax, of Boyer, a daughter, named Christina Dawn. The mother is the former Jean McCarty.
Born to Mr. and Mrs. Curtis Landis, of Sistersville, a son, named Craig Alan.
Born to Mr. and Mrs. Paul Sparks, of Marlinton, a daughter, named Catrina Michelle.
Born to Mr. and Mrs. Roger Morgan, of Arbovale, a daughter, named Jody Lynn. The mother is the former Wanda Lou Roberts.
Luther Loy Peck, 86, of Durbin; burial in the Durbin Cemetery.
William Albert Means, 43, of Bartow; burial in the Bethel Cemetery on Back Mountain.