Seventy-Five Years Ago

Thursday, April 27, 1944

Some Recollections

Last summer near the end of July, we were crossing Cheat Mountain by way of old Cheat Bridge, and stopped to see our venerable friend, Harvey F. Cromer. We told him we hoped to celebrate with him his 100th birthday.

Said he, “Come back in fourteen years from now.”

Recently The Pocahontas Times announced the passing of this honored mountaineer at the age of 87 years. We were saddened a bit. He had spent many years on that mountaintop. He had reared a large family. Taught them honor and honesty, hospitality and kindness. He had given a good account of himself in every way. We always enjoyed his letters to the Times.

Reference to the passing of this hardy mountaineer caused me to recall a number of things long gone by.

More than fifty years ago, Jack Steel was running a lumber job in the neighborhood of Cheat Bridge for a Michigan concern, I believe. In those days, little attention was paid to the prevention of fires, so after a fire had spread through areas where timber had been cut, blackberry briers would come up thickly to cover the earth. In that soil at that altitude, the briers would grow to 15 and 18 feet in length and bend over like rainbows. Each vine would bear a good quart of fine berries big as thimbles.

People from down in the valley would form a company, and with wagons and tents, fruit jars and kettles would go for the blackberries. The women would can them in the camping place. Once, some of the wagons had camped just below the old Club House. Sportsmen from all over the country knew of this place. It was once an institution in itself.

The Club had some fish vats, or pools, nearby, where some fine mountain trout were kept. One of the berry pickers wishing to see the trout, bent over to observe, lost his balance and plunged headlong in among the fish.

Mr. Bruce Wallace, of West Union, told me of staying with the Cromers while fishing in Shaver’s Fork, and one day, coming in with his catch, offered a few small trout to a yearling bear, which was tied. The bear eagerly gulped the fish, reared, broke the leash, and made for Mr. Wallace. He was in peril for a minute, when a Cromer son came running to the rescue, and led the young bruin away. Young Cromer told Mr. Wallace never to give fish to a bear if he wished to keep the balance of his catch for himself…

W. W. Sutton
Middlebourne, W. Va.


Mrs. Emerson Newman, a Pocahontas County poultryman’s wife of the Millpoint Community and also the Health and Nutrition Chairman of the County Farm Women’s Council, reports to Mrs. Esther LaRose, County Home Demonstration Agent, that eggs are one of the best foods to serve to members of your family whose taste for winter meals has suddenly gone “pale.”

Mrs. Newman says that their hens are laying more eggs now than at any other time, and that while you have probably had eggs in your diet often during the winter, there is no questioning the fact: eggs are low in price, and nutritious, commented Mrs. Newman. You have three good reasons for using eggs. But there is more. They can be used in a thousand different ways and there is no reason why anyone should ever grow tired of them when they are served in a variety of ways. And, too, they can be prepared easily and quickly.

The USEA says that it is important that the bountiful supply of eggs that will continue for the next four to six weeks be used so that poultrymen will carry over their layers for another year and thus prevent a drop in production. The American poultrymen have done an outstanding production job, which has made it unnecessary to ration poultry and eggs, so it is up to all of us to make generous use of eggs while they are abundant…

Our Army and Navy Boys

George Duncan has completed his boot training at the Great Lakes Naval Training Station and is home on leave with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Austin Duncan, at Buckeye. His brother, Paul also of the Navy, stationed at Wahpeton, North Dakota, arrived Monday, for a leave with his wife and parents.

Lieutenant Sherman Beard, of the Air Corps, was in Marlinton last Saturday. He has just been awarded his Wings at Frederick, Oklahoma. He will now be stationed at Fort Worth, Texas. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Henry W. Beard.

Corporal Minter Moore is home from Alaska, after spending almost two years in the Aleutian Islands. He killed some of the big bears of that region. He is a son of Mr. and Mrs. Ressie Moore, of Marlinton.

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The following letter was sent in by Mrs. B. F. Long, from her son, Ernest O. Long, who is stationed in Hawaii.

Dear Mom, Dad and All;

Will answer your letter I received today. I’m getting along just fine. How is everything going?

I was at a big “blowout” yesterday. It was called West Virginia Day. I ran into three or four boys from Marlinton, “Pooley” Curry, the jailor’s son, and a VanReenan boy. We had quite a time. We had all the beer and eats we wanted.

Tell Bus I said to take it easy. I don’t think he wants any part of this kind of living. They must be calling all the men for the service. One of the boys told me that French Johnson was in the Navy.

Have you seen Eunice lately?

I haven’t heard from her for some time.

Well, Mom, as news is scarce, I will close for this time.

Answer real soon.

Lots of Love,


Mrs. Sarah Loving has returned to her home in Washington, D. C. after spending the Easter holidays with relatives here. She was accompanied home by her mother, Mrs. Sarah Cashwell, her niece, Valanetta Stewart, and her granddaughter, Elizabeth Ann Walker.

A surprise party was given at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Knapper on Wednesday evening in honor of the former’s birthday. A pleasant evening was spent in games and music. Among the many gifts received was a copy of “The Country Church and Public Affairs” by a lifelong friend, Dr. Henry W. McLaughlin, Richmond, Va. Those present were Messrs. Walter Tibbs, Leal Truss, Ernest Cashwell, Cecil Boggs, Mesdames Gray Walker, Mabel Hill, Ada Alexander, Misses Faye Dunlap and Gladys Walker.

The Marlinton Singers are prepared to render services on request. Write or phone the manager and accompanist, Mrs. Edna C. Knapper.

A letter from U. S. Marine Carl R. Smith states that while he cannot divulge his station, he can say that he is in that theatre of war, where a piece of pretty cloth is legal tender, and not the good old American greenback.

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