History of Edray Community
By S. B. Moore
My father, Isaac Moore, settled in the woods where I now live. Father’s house was a hewed log house, about 16 x 20 feet; shaved shingle roof, chinked and daubed walls; one door and one window in the first story, and same in the second story. The porch was on the side and stairs went up from the porch. In 1911, I built a new frame house on the spot where the old house stood. R. S. Jordan and Jeff Killingsworth were the contractors.
The soil of Edray Community is productive. The upland is largely limestone, naturally sod, with blue grass, when shade is taken off. The flat land below the mountains is sandstone; not as rich as the limestone and not so good for grazing, but better for farming, when improved produces well and is less liable to wash from heavy rains.
As to timber, this community has been covered with all kinds of hardwood; basswood; some spruce high on the mountains and hemlock along the streams. Some of the most valuable timber is black walnut, ash, cherry, red oak and white oak, a great deal of which has been cut and shipped. Other hardwoods are chestnut oak, some black oak, pink oak and sugar. There is some yellow pine on the flats.
Edray community can boast of the best water in the state. Both limestone and free stone. There are many bold springs around the foot of the mountains, always flowing, never dry, namely at Elmer Sharp’s, E. R. Sharp’s and also a sulphur spring at E. R. Sharp’s, a bold spring at the Cochran place, at A. C. Barlow’s head of Big Spring, now owned by the Bank of Marlinton and sufficient to run a grist mill with twenty foot overshot water wheel. Other bold springs at Mrs. M. K. Sharp’s, G. W. Mann’s and Drinnon Spring at Mrs. J. W. Price’s at Edray. John D. Gay owns head of Indian Draft. Other fine springs are not named. There are many drilled wells in the flats; all good water.
Some of the first schools were taught in the old farm homes. One among the first, if not the first, was in an old house near Mrs. George Baxter’s home. The house was a round log structure, clapboard roof held in place with press poles. The fireplace took up most of one end of the house. It was made of rough stone, chimney made of slats and mud. Now, for light, paper was pasted over cracks and greased to let in the light. Other cracks in the building were chinked and daubed. Seats were made of split logs or poles, holes bored and pins put in for legs. The term of school was about three months. The salary was one dollar per scholar a month. Writing was done with quill pens. The teacher boarded with the scholars. My father taught at this school when a young man. The first schools were called “Open Schools.” Everyone spelled and read aloud. The first school I attended was at Indian Draft, now called Mt. Pleasant. The building was constructed of round logs, chinked and daubed, covered with boards, a rough stone chimney and large fireplace. Seats were of split logs or poles set on wooden pins. Figuring was done with quill pens. The desk to write on was a plank against the wall. There were one or two small windows, and for additional light, greased paper pasted over cracks.
The first church in Edray Community was built on Stony Creek and called Hamlin Chapel. It is a hewed log building, cracks chinked and daubed, shaved shingle roof, side galleries, seats – long benches with slat backs, door in one end of building, elevated pulpit in the other end, two small 12 light windows on sides. Some years ago the side galleries were taken out and the building ceiled, benches were taken out and chairs put in. This church is still in use and was built near 1835; as the records show it was deeded July 4, 1835.
Edray Church was built in 1863. E. D. King was the contractor and builder. Contract price above foundation $700.00. For this work, Lakin & Peters furnished about twenty thousand feet of lumber from their mill at Clover Lick, delivered at the Gay Siding, which is now the Fairgrounds, for ten dollars per thousand, white pine lumber. All heavy lumber was sawed at Edray by D. H. Garber & Bros. Everything summed up, all told, the Edray church cost $2,032.25
Edray Post Office was the first post office in the Edray Community. When looking for a name, Mrs. Eliza Moore, mother of the late Geo. P. Moore, being a Bible reader, suggested a Bible name and said, “Call the post office Edrei.” Leaving off the “ei” and adding “ry” making Edray the name of the first post office.
This office was established about 1850. As soon as Geo. P. Moore was of age, he became post master and continued to be until his death in 1922. He was the oldest post master in the U. S.
Viewing the past and present, we see that old things have passed away and all things have become new.
Historical Sketches of Pocahontas County ~ 1901
By William T. Price
The people whose lives make up the past whose history so few survive to repeat, sowed in tears, in privations and hardships what we who now live are reaping in a joyful harvest.
We, the living, may reap with grateful joy, if we have proper appreciation of what they did and suffered in their day and generation. Let us not forget that the frugality, industry and careful attention to duties that enabled them to secure this goodly heritage, is all important for us to observe and imitate in order to keep it from slipping away and vanishing from our reach.
Like busy bees, the pioneer people all over our county tried to improve every shining hour, and turn to some good account every opportunity in sight, no matter how hard it may have seemed. It has been well said that those who look only for easy places, will finally wind up in the hardest places and have no way to get out except by death.