Pocahontas County Bicentennial ~ 1821-2021

Q. What kind of logs were floated in the log drives on Knapps Creek and the Greenbrier River to the mill in Ronceverte?
A. Pine
Q. Where is the camp that hosts the National Science Camp and 4-H Camp?
A. Camp Pocahontas near Bartow

Historical Sketches of
Pocahontas County – 1901
By William T. Price
Natural Features and Social Customs

The second use of mountains is to keep up a constant change in the nature and currents of the air.

A difference in soils and vegetation would have, in a measure, caused changes in the air, even if the earth had been level. This change would have been far less than what is caused now by the chains of hills, which divide the earth not only into districts but into climates and cause perpetual currents of air to traverse their passes in a thousand different states, by moistening with the spray of waterfalls, beating the air hither and thither in the pools of rushing torrents, closing the air within clefts and caves where the sunbeams are never seen, and all becomes cold as autumn mists. By means of the hills this cooled air is sent forth again to breathe lightly across the velvet fields of grass upon the slopes, or be scorched among sunburned shales and grassless crags, and then, when pierced by strange electric darts, flashes of mountain fire, the air is suffered to depart at last, chastened and pure, to refresh the far away arid plains.

The third important office of the mountains is to bring about perpetual change in the soils. Were it not for this office, cultivated ground would in a series of years be exhausted and would require to be upturned most laborously by human appliances.

Elevations provide for this a constant renovation.

The higher mountains suffer their summits to be broken into fragments and to be cast down in sheets of mossy rock, replete with every ingredient needful for the nutriment of plant life.

These fallen fragments, broken by frosts and disintegrated by torrents into various conditions of sand and clay – materials which are distributed perpetually by the streams farther and father from the mountain base.

The turbid foaming of angry looking waters in time of flood, tearing down banks and rocks are not disturbances of the beneficent course of nature, but are operations of laws necessary to the existence of man and to make the earth beautiful. This process may be carried on more gently, but not less effectively, over the entire surface of the lower undulating districts. Each filtering thread of summer rain trickling through the short turf of the uplands is bearing its own appointed burden of earth to be thrown on some new natural garden for some one to work and enjoy long years in the future.


Soon after the War of 1812 there came to our county one of the most interesting and eccentric personalities that our older people remember anything about.

Mrs. Diana Saunders, late of Rocky Point on Dry Branch of Swago. She was the widowed mother of four children, Anna, Eleanor, Cyrus and Isaac…

Eleanor Saunders was married to Barnett Adkisson, from Madison County, and lived on Spruce Flat on the head of Swago, on the place now occupied by James Adkisson. In reference to her children we have in hand the following particulars, communicated by John Adkisson.

Catherine first became the wife of William Tyler, from Madison County, and then Mrs. Jacob Weiford, near Millpoint.

William Adkisson, whose wife was Martha Jones, from Madison County, lived on Spruct Flat.

Abel Adkisson, whose first wife was Susannah, daughter of the late Daniel Adkisson, and whose second wife was Frances Hughes, lived on the head of Swago, where his son, Oliver Blake, now lives.

Daniel Adkisson married Mary Holmes, of Madison County, and settled on Spruce Flats.

Isaac Adkisson married Martha Young, and lived at the “Young Place” on Rich Mountain.

Frances Adkisson first became Mrs. James W. Silvey and lived at the head of Swago. She was afterwards married to the late Joseph Rodgers, and lived near Millpoint.

Nancy married Benjamin Taylor, of Nicholas County, and settled on New River. He was a hatter by occupation.

Martha Jane Adkisson married James Arthur, of Webster County, and went to the western part of the state.

Lucinda Adkisson, the youngest of Eleanor’s daughters, was married to Rev. Joshua Buckley, and lived at Buckeye…

But few persons have left their impress upon the writer’s memory more vividly than Mrs. Diana Saunders…

As to her personality, she had been formed in “Nature’s choicest mould,” and in her youth must have been the peer of Edgar Allen Poe’s “rare and radiant maiden.” The writer recalls one or more of her granddaughters as among the most perfect models of feminine form and feature that he has observed anywhere.

From the way Granny Saunders used to speak of Jim Madison, Jim Monroe and Tom Jefferson, and wonder how such finicky, limber-jointed, red headed, tiddling and dancing customers had ever been made Presidents of our United States, it is inferred that her blooming youth must have been passed in the Orange and Albermarle atmosphere…

It would be hard to exaggerate the useful services performed by Mrs. Saunders for half a century or more, when there was no resident physician nearer than the Warm Springs or Lewisburg.

For years and years her time was virtually spent in the homes of the suffering. Stormy nights, swollen, raging mountain streams and torrents were braved by this heroic woman to be with the sick in their distress…

Late in the fifties or early in the sixties, she went to make her home with Isaac and Anna, on New River, where she died fifteen or twenty years ago, aged about a hundred and three years, as most of her acquaintances believe.

Dear old friend, the Creator has not sent many like her to our part of the world as yet.

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