St. Albans Historical Society Newsletter - Fall 2009 • St. Albans Main St. • The Renaissance Committee of the St. Albans Historical Society is accepting quotes from various business owners for a store-front restoration grants (façade grant) of their historic building. We have $3,600 to supply businesses that was left over from the St. Albans Renaissance Group budget. Owners must match the grant. • Christmas Homes Tour • The 16th Annual homes tour will be on Saturday, December 5 from 6-9 pm. More later. • Books for Sale: • All of our books we have for sale are available at the Curosity Shop. • - “Early History of St.Albans” (NEW)$5.00 • - “Coalsmouth Journal, 1982” $5.00 • - “A Historical Sketch of St. Albans WV – • 1938” $5.00 • - “St. Albans Historic and Architectural • Survey” $5.00 • - “Bicentennial of the Burning of Fort • Tackett, 1790 – 1990” $5.00 • - “The Last Dollar” $5.00 • - Tornado Remembered” $5.00 • - “Cemeteries of St. Albans” $25 • - “Upper Kanawha Valley Cemeteries”$30 • - “History of St. Albans” (Video) $20 • Dues: • If you have not paid your 2009 dues….make a check out and give to Jane Milam. $7 individual and $10 family. Our new year will begin with the February meeting. • Election of Officers: • The election of officers will be during the September meeting. Up for election are the office of Vice President and Secretary (2 yr. terms) • Morgan’s Kitchen Fall Festival • This year’s 6th annual Morgan’s Kitchen Fall Festival will be on Saturday, October 10 from 10-4 pm at Morgan’s Kitchen. Apple Butter making, Re-enactors, Cabin tours, Scout demonstrations, old time music. Volunteers needed. • The 4rd Annual St. Albans Founder’s Daywill be held on Saturday, Oct. 10 from 10-4 pm. Numerous activities are planned with the St. Albans Historical Society having an Open House at the Historical Society Building, a Pow Wow and numerous activities on Main St. throughout the day. • Wm. P. Burdette Building Summer • Open House • We had the Historical Society Building open this summer for visitors from Memorial Day thru August from 10-4 pm every Saturday. This gave people a chance to not only see our Military displays and photos, but to do some family history research through our records and books. We had over 100 visitors this summer Thanks to all our volunteers. • Morgan Kitchen Summer Open House • Morgans Kitchen was once again opened this summer for visitors from Memorial Day thru Labor Day, from 2-4 pm every Sunday. This is our 16th year for doing this. We had over 75 visitors this summer…many first time visitors. Thanks to everyone that helped !! • 2009 Upcoming Events • October 10, 2008 - Morgan’s • Kitchen Fall Festival / Founder’s Day • October 17,18, 24,25, 2008 - Fall • Train Open House at Historical Bldg. • 8-9:30 am • November 8, 2008 – Regular Meeting • December 5, 2008 - Christmas • Homes Tour, Saturday, 6 - 9 p.m.
THE SIMMERINGS – MAY 1934 (St. Albans High School Newspaper) St. Albans Commencement (1934) Baccalaureate Sermon at Baptist Church, June 10, 1934 - Reverend Lynne B. Meade will deliver the annual baccalaureate sermon to the Seniors of St. Albans High School at the Baptist Church, Sunday, June 10 at 8 P. M. - The complete program is as follows: - Musical Prelude - Fifth Grade Chorus, Central School, 7:45-8:00 P.M. - Processional - School Orchestra. - Invocation - Rev. J. E. Myers. - Hymn: “Day is Dying in the West,” “The Heavens are Telling” by Beethoven, High School Chorus. - Scripture Reading and Prayer - Rev. J. S. Thornburg - “I Come to Thee” by Caro Ronia, Martha Kindt, Paul Dawson. - Hymn - ”Holy! Holy! Holy!” - Sermon - Rev. Lynne B. Mead. - Hymn - ”Faith of Our Fathers.” - Benediction - Rev. C. L. Nisbet. - Recessional - School Orchestra. Jennings Randolph To Give Commencement Address (1934) Hon. Jennings Randolph, West Virginia congressman from the Second Congressional District, will deliver the Twentieth Commencement address to the 1934 graduating class on Thursday, June 14, at 7:00 P. M. Mr. Randolph is a graduate of Salem College, and although a very young man, has had a great deal of experience as a commencement speaker, especially in the past few years. In college, he was a prominent member of the debating team, and has a reputation as an entertaining and fluent speaker. Elliott Street & Zerkle Street Houses These houses were built in Pt. Pleasant around 1940 for the boat building plant (or possible the ammunition plant) in operation during World War II for the defense workers. After the factory closed shortly after the war, they were no longer needed. The Union Carbide plant in the Kanawha Valley was increasing production with returning soldiers to the workforce and desperately needed housing. These three- dozen or so houses were bought and moved to the hilltop of St. Albans in 1948. Five were shipped on barges with all five on one barge. They were presumably unloaded from the barge from the Kanawha River near the old ferry site (Lou Windell’s Marina) and trucked to the old Campbell farm. The remaining houses were brought by truck form Pt. Pleasant. The Campbells still own adjacent property. The new streets became Elliott and Zerkle Streets and Summit Drive and formed a circle near the top of the hill there. This area is known to many as Eldot. Each house had a basement and two bedrooms and they were really quite small. In order to purchase one of these homes, an owner had to prove employment to the bank that they worked at the Union Carbide plant. It is thought that Elliottt Street is named after a Carbide official and Zerkle is named after on of the first businessmen and banker in town, “Doc” C. A. Zerkle. Due to their small size and the small lot size, many of the homes today remain unchanged, except for perhaps new siding and windows. The houses on the upper end of Elliott Street past Summit Drive are later additions but are similar in style. Photos were supplied by Rick Norris who lived in one of these houses in the 1950’s. Information is supplied by Richard Milam, whose family acquired one of the 1st of these houses.
Cont. SENIORS SNEAK TO UPPER FALLS Several notable things happened that day never before did we know that Kathryn Lynch could perform the Indian war dance so perfectly. But when Shorty Hardman aided her by putting a small frog down her back, Kathryn did that dance better than Chief Flying Cloud could have done. After the dance there were a great many pictures taken and the cameras and Kodaks are still in working order. Imagine that! A few of the boys and girls ate their lunches but what a sad thing it proved! Although they had eaten in the best of spirits, few ventured into the water again lest the lunch they had eaten should sink and take them with it. If you doubt this, ask Helen Trowbridge, she was swimming across the river; Homer Robinson swam up behind her and gave her a little ducking. When she came to the top she was afraid, not because Homer had ducked her, but she thought that the cheese she had ate had weighted her down. Funny ideas, these women! We couldn’t help but worry about J. D. Treanor who looked so pale and wane, and spoke few words all day long. He spent most of the day looking for rare flowers, but no “Roses” were in bloom on that river Everyone wanted to go a long ways on the sneak so that caused an early departure. Some returned by car, some by train and others walked or got home the best way they could. Lawrence Gatens was in such a hurry, he forgot his pants—bathing trunks, I mean; and Eva Saynes forgot her vanity case. We never knew a girl to do that before! However, Shorty Hardman was with her, and that accounts for it all. (cont.) Jennings Randolph To Give Commencement Address (1934) In addition to Mr. Randolph’s address, which will be the main feature of the evening, other interesting parts of the program will be the valedictory by Maxine May, the salutatory by Jessie Jacobson, the presentation of the class, by principal Mr. B. E. Liggett, and the presentation of diplomas by Mr. H. T. Crawford, president of the Kanawha County Board of Education. The annual commencement program June 14, 1934 is as follows: - Processional—School Orchestra. - Invocation—Rev. C. L. Nisbet. - Salutatory - Jessie Jacobson. - “The Green Cathedral” by Carl Hahn - High School Chorus. - Valedictory - Maxine May. - “Homing” - Del Riego - Evelyn Johnson. - “Nightfall” (arranged from “Lubestraum”) Listz - Margaret Weimer, Evelyn Johnson, Dorothy Nisbet, Jerry Johnson, Sue Hagaman, Laura Woodard. - Presentation of Class - Bassell E. Liggett, Principal of High School. - Presentation of Diplomas - H. T. Crawford, President of Kanawha County Bd. of Ed.- Recessional - School Orchestra. THE SIMMERINGS – MAY 1930 SENIORS SNEAK TO UPPER FALLS The Senior “sneak” has come and gone and few will forget it. The custom is that the Seniors each year take a sneak, but it takes four years to become a senior. On Thursday, April 24, the Seniors arose early, packed what lunch they wanted, and carried themselves to the vicinity of the Upper Falls of Coal River. Arriving at the Falls, the Seniors wandered through the country, in search of a suitable place to stop and leave their food. The “Falls” was supposed to be the destination but a few ventured to other parts.
THE SIMMERINGS – MAY 1935 High School History (later the Jr. High School) St. Albans High School was organized in 1913 under the supervision of Mr. Charles P. Guice. The building used was a six room red brick building, situated just above the graded school building. This building is now used as a part of Central School. There was also a small concrete block building just across the street from the main high school building which was used as a classroom by the commercial department. Mr. Guice was superintendent for six years. Mr. M. P. Summers became principal of the high school in 1922 serving two terms as principal and then was made superintendent of the St. Albans’ schools. Mr. John E. Hughes succeeded Mr. Summers as principal and served two terms 1924-25. The attendance at the high school had been increasing so rapidly that a larger building was needed. The St. Albans Independent District School Board decided to build a new fourteen room building which is the present high school building. The new building was finished for the 1924-25 term of school with Mr. John E. Hughes as principal. This building contains fourteen large, well ventilated, and well lighted rooms. It is equipped with a modern hot air heating plant and a modern clock system. It has a well equipped commercial department and chemistry laboratory. In 1927 the gymnasium was added which was a big aid to the athletic department of the school, permitting the addition of physical education to the curriculum. From 1925 till 1930 the high school had no principal but was under the supervision of Mr. Summers. For the term 1930-31 the school board appointed Mr. W. A. Burgess as principal with Mr. H. C. VanCamp as supervisor, and again in 1931-32 Mr. Burgess was appointed principal with Mr. L. K. Lovenstein as superintendent. Mr. B. E. Liggett was made principal in 1932, which position he has held continuously since that time. • From: “THE KANAWHA VALLEY – 1872, Resources, Developments and Special Business Directory” • Prof. Harries S. Daddow, geologist and mining engineer, has made the most recent reliable mineral exploration of West Virginia, and in a practical and exhaustive book, called “Coal Iron and Oil,’’ has so thoroughly and truthfully discussed coal interest of the Kanawha Valley that the reader will be abundantly repaid by the reading of the following extract of the coal in this region. • “THE COALS OF THE GREAT KANAWHA” • “Coal River, Elk River and Gauley diverge from the Great Kanawha and spread their branches over one of the richest and most magnificent coal regions in the world, and bring down their wealth to one common center on the Great Kanawha; or such might or may be the result under future developments. The coals of this region generally are better, purer and more available for all the requirements of trade and manufacture than the coals of any other portion of the Allegheny coal field. • The seams of coal are more numerous and their thickness greater than any other portion of this coal field. It can be mined cheaper and with more economy generally, under the same rates of labor, than in any other in this country without exception. • The markets of the West, and the great Ohio and Mississippi Valleys, are open beyond any controlling competition to the trade of the Kanawha in coal, oil, salt, iron and lumber.
cont. The coal area of West Virginia exceeds that of Europe, 6,000 square miles, two thirds of which lies upon the Kanawha, and its tributaries; and the yield per acre is greater than that of Europe; consequently we have in this region more coal than all Europe. Reducing the average thickness of the coal fields of West Virginia to 6 feet, we have over 94,000,000,000 tons, which at the average home value of $3 per ton gives us the enormous coal wealth of $282,000,000,000. At the rate of the last annual production, the coal of West Virginia would last over 100,000 years. If this production was increased twenty times it would still last 5,000 years. The foregoing remarks have been based upon the trade in coal ; but when we add that vast iron ore beds that are found in immediate connection with it, the importance of this region as a coal field is greatly increased on account of its use in manufacturing iron. It may be thought that the magnitude of our coal interests has been exaggerated, but we only urge the skeptic and capitalist to come and see, and we dare say they will exclaim with the one of old, “the half has not told me”. The Cincinnati Commercial says : “It is evident that Cincinnati must look to West Virginia, and more particularly to the Kanawha Valley, for her future coal supply unless she chooses to be bled to death by the Pennsylvania monopoly. The total area of coal is greater than that of Pennsylvania by one thousand square miles, and contains one-thirteenth of the coal area of the whole United States, by surface measure only, no account being taken of her greater aggregate thickness of workable seams. The seams of coal are more numerous and of greater thickness here than in any other part of the great coal field.” cont.From: “THE KANAWHA VALLEY – 1872” Charleston is 200 miles nearer Cincinnati than Pittsburg, and always open to navigation; while the Ohio to Pittsburg is frequently closed by ice in winter and interrupted by low water in the summer. The principal volume of the great and rapidly increasing trade of the West may be diverted to the seaports of Cities East via, of the Kanawha Valley, with much economy in time and transportation power.” Many of the predictions of the Professor have been realized already; and the Kanawha region is fast approaching the prominence that has been assigned it by the Professor. Above Charleston there are no less than eighteen workable veins of bituminous, splint and cannel coal, ranging in thickness from 2 ½ to 11 feet. The coal of Paint Creek section, has proved by Wilson’s survey, and by many actual openings, are as follows, the first vein lying 25 feet above the mouth of the creek : Above Mouth of Paint Ck. Thickness of vein No. 1 - Coal - Bituminous 25 6 ½ No. 2 - Coal – Bituminous 50 6 ½ No. 3 - Coal – Bituminous 65 4 No. 4 - Coal – Bituminous 75 2 ½ No. 5 - Coal – Bituminous 85 2 ½ No. 6 - Coal – Bituminous 100 3 ½ No. 7 - Coal – Bituminous 150 2 ½ No. 9 - Coal – Cannel 230 4 No. 10 - Coal - Bituminous 270 3 ½ No. 12 - Coal - Bituminous 380 3 No. 13 - Coal - Bituminous 400 3 ½ No. 14 - Coal – Cannel 430 7