Preserving Pocahontas

Dr. and Mrs. J. B. Lockridge – 1886

This tribute to Dr. J. B. Lockridge was submitted by Julia Lockridge Elbon

Dr. J. B. Lockridge 1862-1920

One hundred years ago on December 08, 1920, this beloved country doctor died in Ronceverte of an apparent heart attack. He was returning, by train, from attending his ill grandchildren in Fishersville, Virginia. These were the days following the first World War, a raging Spanish flu and the ratification of the 19th amendment giving women the right to vote.

James Bedford Lockridge was born May 03, 1862, at a hotel in Bedford, Virginia, while the family was in transit from Richmond. He was the son of James T. Lockridge and Elizabeth Burgoyne Moser.

September 28, 1886, at Edray, nuptial vows were exchanged between James Bedford “J. B.” Lockridge and Margaret Ellen “Maggie” Warwick.

She was born March 26, 1862, at Glenmary, Nelson County, Virginia, and was a daughter of John Woods Warwick and Caroline Craig.

He was a grandchild of Lancelot Lockridge, and Maggie was a grandchild of George E. Craig and Jacob Warwick, all of whom were early settlers of Pocahontas County.

The couple had seven children – five sons, Raymond (MD), Horace, Newton, Julian, Hal and two daughters, Maude L. Campbell and Georgia L. Neel. Dr. J. B. and Maggie were blessed with six grandchildren, although none would carry on the family surname. Maude married Boyd Campbell and had five children. Julian had one daughter, who married.

Maggie died May 21, 1940 at home in Minnehaha Springs.

Dr. Lockridge received his medical education from the University of Maryland. He then returned home to serve his community’s medical needs. He rode horseback and was frequently paid in baked goods and meat. Until the advent of the car, horses were stabled in the barn ready for the next needed medical call. This barn still stands below the Victorian house the couple built at Minnehaha Springs, near the intersection of Rt. 39/92. His physician office with its own entry, was located in the house. The house and adjacent intersection land was sold to the Ty Tegtmeyer family who have preserved its beauty.

Dr. Lockridge also developed the acreage and the Minnehaha Springs into a hotel and medical spa (now Camp Twin Creeks) and marketed the pure, mineral-rich water.

In the days before car and highway use, people were greeted at the Marlinton train depot and delivered to Hotel Minnehaha to spend weeks of their summer there. Here they enjoyed the “waters,” beautiful landscape, cool temperatures and treatment by Dr. Lockridge. This hotel building was built above the mineral springs which were impounded and ram-pumped to the hilltop hotel. That pool of clear water serves the camp today. Still standing on the same site is a gym building that originally covered the pool. The building matches the architectural style of the hotel. The hotel building was destroyed by fire, and the property was sold.

Hotel Minnehaha was located on a hilltop opposite the Allegheny Lodge property. Horace Lockridge, an attorney and brother of Dr. J. B. Lockridge, was vice-president of a group of investors who developed the Alleghany Lodge as well as the Cheat Mountain Club. This group put conservation laws into the West Virginia Code.

The Allegheny Lodge burned but the grounds and cabins remain a popular tourist attraction. It is now owned by former West Virginia Senator and Agriculture Commissioner Walt Helmick and his wife, Rita.

(Photos courtesy of Julia Lockridge Elbon, ID: PHP001280 and PHP001281)

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If you have photographs or documents to be scanned for the county Historical Archive contact Preservation Officer B. J. Gudmundsson at 304-799-3989 or email Prints of photographs from the archives are available.

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