Scrapbook – a book with blank pages to which you attach photographs, letters, newspaper stories, etc., that help you remember a person or time. ~ Merriam Webster Dictionary
Scrapbooking became quite the rage a few years ago, but, in fact, scrapbooking has been around for a long, long time.
I have gained much pleasure and a sense of history from a generation, twice removed, who took time to “cut and paste” the old-fashioned way.
Among the many things my great-uncle Ralph Buckley left behind were two volumes of history – of scrapbooking – containing written family history, photos and newspaper clippings. These scrapbooks contain a wealth of history of our family, including the arrival of the first Buckleys to Pocahontas County:
“The first account we have of the Buckley family was in Ireland at the time of the “Bulldog Kings.” This family was of the Protestant faith. At that time the Roman Catholics were in power there, and the Buckleys, being persecuted for their faith, moved, along with many others, to Belgium and Holland.
“When word came to them that the colony of Virginia had been established, these families became interested in coming to America. They returned to England and made arrangements to sail for the new World…
But we do know that Joshua Buckley came from Winchester, Virginia, to settle in Buckeye, and Buckley Mountain gets its name from the family.
Uncle Ralph “scrapbooked” for many years, “cutting and pasting” some items of local interest, but focusing more on births, deaths and highlights of the lives of extended family members.
There is a handwritten account of the Messer and Colley murders, an event that took place at the head of Monday Lick below Stillwell; a narrative of Devil Anse Hatfield’s visit to Concord College to right the wrongs done to “Moon-Eye Hatfield; the genealogy of the Kees, McNeills and Adkisson families; and lots of panther stories.
His last “cut and paste” was of the birth of his great-great-nephew, Zachary Graham, on November 22, 1989.
Uncle Ralph suffered a stroke the following day, which took him to the hospital, the nursing home and to his death on February 23, 1990.
I am the keeper of Uncle Ralph’s books, but I am a certified scrapbook slacker. I cut out things, or collect articles and shove them between the pages of the volumes, but I do not have the passion nor the patience to do it right – as he did.
Perhaps I will try to do better now that I have made my weakness public.
Among the haphazard collection in my home office are two scrapbooks put together by Ida Beverage McNeill.
Ida, who passed away September 12, 1978, lived on a farm at the top of Campbelltown hill. She was the paternal grandmother of my cousin, Helen Lee McNeill Bertelkamp, now of Nellysford, Virginia.
Ida had three scrapbooks which she gave to her oldest granddaughters – Helen Lee, her sister Brenda McNeill Amos, who passed away at a very young age, and Delores Johnson Clark, who lives in Hawaii, but whose heart is still in Pocahontas County. Helen Lee has temporarily entrusted me with her two books.
Ida’s scrapbooks are fun, and they even have “Scrap Book” stamped into their covers. Today’s scrapbookers take great pains with the cover of their books, but it’s what’s inside that counts.
Ida didn’t restrict herself to family histories and local events. If it was interesting, she “cut and pasted it.”
Marriages, births and deaths of county residents are included, as well as panther stories and far reaching articles that caught her eye. There is even a copy of the Memorial Service for Pearl S. Buck, presented by Mrs. Maynard Crawford of the Marlinton Woman’s Club, March 9, 1973.
Here are excerpts from a few articles Ida found to be worthy of saving:
Atom Spies Maintain Silence to Their End
Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, the atomic spies who committed the “crime worse than murder,” paid in full measure for it tonight in the seething electric chair at Sing Sing Prison, N.Y.
Their deaths wrote finis to an historic two-and a-half year legal battle which aroused the entire world and caused their ultimate fate to come down to an extraordinary session of the Supreme Court and a second and last presidential dismissal of their plea for mercy.
Prayer of Rickenbacker is Answered;
A miracle from the skies answered the prayer of Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker and his sickened crew for deliverance from the final torture of death by starvation in the limitless wastes of the South Pacific, the ace of aces revealed today.
An hour after Capt. Rickenbacker led his men in a prayer for life, a gull swooped out of nowhere and landed unflinchingly on his head. Rickenbacker carefully grabbed the bird that gave him and his hollow-eyed crew their first food in a week. They used the entrails as bait to catch fish that carried them through the rest of their ordeal.
“Frankly and humbly, I prayed to God for deliverance,” the grim-faced flying ace said quietly today.
Telling the terrible saga of 21 endless days in a rubber life raft on the uncharted South Pacific, Rickenbacker said that God and God alone was responsible for their rescue. In another 48 hours, he revealed, he and his men would have been dead…
Miss Moss Miller died at her ancestral home near Buckeye on Sunday morning, June 1, 1941. She was the youngest daughter of Colonel Gratton and Caroline Miller, born August 16, 1867. She was the last member of her immediate family, but is survived by several nieces and nephews.
Miss Miller was the great-granddaughter of Henry Miller, who came to Virginia with his kinsman, Daniel Boone, trapping furs and trading with the Indians. Boone went farther west but Mr. Miller having noticed on his hunting trip the deposits of iron ore, founded the first iron works near Millboro, Virginia, about the year 1778. Many Virginia families trace their relationship to the Miller ancestors.
Miss Miller was buried beside her parents, brothers and sisters in the Old Brick Church Cemetery in Hillsboro, on Monday, the service being conducted by Rev. J. C. Wool.
SHARP PRODUCTION CO.
Fairview, W. Va.
1961 Baby Model: Ronald Wade
Released 9:40 a.m. Wednesday, April 19, 1961 at Pocahontas Memorial Hospital.
“Boots” Sharp, Designer and Chief Engineer
Helen Sharp, Production Manager.
Dr. R. R. Pittman, M. D., Technical Assistant
Features on New Model –
Two Lungs; Knee Action; Free Squealing; Water Cooled Base; Weight 6 lbs., 3 ozs.; Wheel Base 19 inches; Vacuum Feeding and Changeable Seat Covers.
On Display at Family Residence.
Helen and “Boots” Incorporated
The hills and mountains all surround,
A little town I love so well.
And peace and happiness abound.
More than my tongue or pen can tell.
Knapps Creek flows by with cheerful sound.
Along its banks the children play.
The birds sing sweetly all around,
From morning until close of day.
Upon its streets from day to day,
The same old friends you always see
And greet them in the same glad way
All just like one big family.
Let troubles come, let joys abound
You know your friends are always there.
And kindness everywhere is found,
And each one’s joys and troubles share.
Sometimes when from this place I go
And visit east or visit west.
Full well within my heart I know
I’ll come back to the town that’s best.
~ Mrs. Alice Jackson
We may consider the stories of today to be mundane, but in a few years, like fine wine, they will age and bring pleasure and a sense of history to another generation.
Scrapbook – a book with blank pages to which you attach photographs, letters, newspaper stories, etc., that help you remember a person or time.