Thursday, March 6, 1947
Mrs. and Mrs. Harlow Waugh have received the news that their son, Major Meade L. Waugh, has arrived in Seoul, Korea, where he will be stationed in W. S. Army Headquarters.
FIRE AT MONTEREY
An early morning fire swept through Virginia’s “Little Switzerland” town of Monterey today and with an assist from frozen fire plugs and a breakdown of the town’s new pumper engine, wrecked the century old Highland county courthouse and three other buildings and for a time threatened the entire town before it was brought under control.
Shifting winds caught the blaze that sprang up in the kitchen of the Hicklin Star restaurant and for a four-hour period it was touch and go for the entire community of less than 500 as the flames skipped back and forth across the town’s main street.
Save our town calls, however, brought quick response from Staunton city, Augusta county and Franklin, W. Va. and reserve fire fighters from those areas moved in fast. A pumper pulled water from two mill streams and bucket brigades wet down buildings that were scorched and threatened.
Mt. Lebanon School
Eighth Grade: Randall Cutlip, Richard Cutlip, Robert Cutlip and Joan Morrison.
Fourth Grade: Reta Morrison and Elliott Pritt.
Fred Bedford Alderman, of the North Fork of Anthonys Creek, came to town through the deep snow last Thursday. I foolishly inquired if he was on a pleasure trip. Business, strictly business, was what caused him to buck the drifts to the broken highway. Mr. Alderman said his part of the country was suffering from a plague of weasels. These pests kill for the love of slaughter long after even their lust for blood is satisfied. They take on anything from a song bird up to and including a turkey gobbler. Where rabbits, squirrels and other wild things are not convenient, to the hen houses they will go, to cut the throats of every chicken in convenient reach. Before the war, in the successful varmint killing contest, a weasel ranked high in points. This helped to thin their numbers down. Then came years of good prices on fur. This year with low prices on fur, the weasels have increased to numbers beyond reason in the North Fork. Mr. Alderman has the constructive suggestion to put a bounty on weasels, as is now being put on gray foxes and wildcats. Gray squirrels in hollow trees, rabbits in burrows are safe from varmints, except weasels and minks. The uniform high price on his fur keeps minks thinned out.
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Feed is being spread by game protectors to many turkeys in various parts of the county. The number in Seneca State Forest is lumped off at 100. Henry Perkins of WiIliams River, is feeding 100, where he took care of 40 last winter. Frank Crigger is looking after several flocks of turkeys on Alleghany Mountain.
SOME LOCAL HISTORY
The earlier years made mention of Knapps Creek, the largest tributary of Greenbrier River, as Ewing Creek. The name Ewing was for James Ewing. Against orders of King, Council and Colonial Governor, he, like many others, settled west of the Alleghanies, to move back across the mountain when threatened by hostile Indians. The Ewing lands on Knapp Creek are now held in part by Mrs. Price Moore. The sale of Moses Moore took place about 1770, and part of the consideration was a bear trap.
In the early 1760s, a man by the name of Napthalem Gregory was in the Greenbrier Valley, trapping furs and hunting. His camp was up in the limestone on Browns Mountain side, somewhere near the Hevener Dilley farm. One day he was out bear hunting, and on his return he found a band of renegade whites, dressed as Indians, robbing his camp of his catch of furs. In the ensuing fight, Gregory was killed. The outlaws knew of a sinkhole with water in it about half a mile away, and they dragged the body to dispose of it there. In the meantime, Gregory’s dogs came back from the bear chase. They took to the trail made by dragging their master’s dead body and ran it in full tongue. They came upon the robbers and murderers at the pond. The dogs attacked so savagely, the men killed them in self defense, and threw them in the water hole, too.
Who told about all this? Tradition is silent. I do know what the records of Augusta county court show that Napthalem Gregory did come up missing about the year 1763.
Then the records and land grants entered after 1777 began to make mention of Naps Creek. Then in the early 1800s a family by the name of Knapp moved up from Greenbrier country and soon the spelling of the name of the creek in the record begins to appear as Knapps instead of Naps.
On a certain night each fall during the hunter’s moon, if you happen to be at the right place at the right time and blessed with second hearing, you can still hear the phantom hounds of poor Napthalem Gregory going full mouth on the trail of their master’s dragged body – to end in silence at the water hole.