20 Years Ago
Week of August 21, 2003
Of Painter Point
Current interest by the Town of Franklin in annexing Painter Point, a residential subdivision on the hill across from the low water bridge over the South Branch River, isn’t really all that current, according to Mayor Genevieve Glover and customer relations supervisor Kim Pitsenbarger.
In fact, it dates back 15 years.
Glover and Pitsenbarger say, and minutes of town meetings support them, that Franklin city government took initial steps towards obtaining a minor boundary adjustment from the county commission at council’s July 5 meeting in 1988.
Mapping and surveying had also been completed prior to that meeting.
However, the matter was dropped, for reasons that now seem unknown, hazy or obscure.
It was the great flood of November, 1985, that led to the large-scale settling of Painter Point.
A number of mobile homes on Rt. 220 south of town were wiped out, and FEMA helped place those suddenly homeless individuals in temporary emergency housing (mobile homes) on Painter Point, which had very few residents before the flood.
(With the West Virginia Housing Authority involved in the relocation project as of June, 1986, the land was acquired by that agency from Bill Painter, thus the name of the locale which is legally registered as the “Potomac Heights subdivision.”)
In time, Almost Heaven Habitat for Humanity began to assist with the construction of homes on Painter Point on a significant scale.
Since starting work on Painter Point around 1992, Almost Heaven Habitat for Humanity has built some 22 houses there and plans to construct one more at that location.
Altogether, there are about 43 homes on Painter Point, which, if it were annexed, would increase the population of Franklin by at least 100, giving the county seat a population of approximately 1,000.
According to Glover and Pitsenbarger, added benefits of being a town resident would include having a voice in town government, running for office and serving on such key committees as sanitary board and board of parks.
They also said that Painter Point residents would receive town services such as trash hauling and snow removal and said that being within town limits would increase property value.
50 Years Ago
Week of August 9, 1973
Needed in Pendleton
Josph Sterbutzel, county sanitarian, released today the following statement concerning the need for zoning in Pendleton County.
I do not believe that any developer or subdivider ever planned a slum, or at least, I like to think not. Trashy and unsanitary situations are rather a result of an absence of planning.
Capitalizing on the pristine beauty of Pendleton County, developers buy up large tracts of woodland. Then a few primitive roads are cut through the area with a bulldozer, and we have a recreational subdivision. The roads are the extent of the development that takes place.
The promotional phase of the project is more extensive. Brochures with color photographs of beautiful wilderness are assembled and distributed. “Own a wilderness hide-a-way in nearby West Virginia.” “Just a few hours from downtown Washington and you are in beautiful Pendleton County, abounding with fish and game.”
Middle and working class urban and suburban people are easy prey. They drive out, fall in love with the area and rush to pay a few thousand dollars for that wilderness lot. In a short time all of the lots are sold, the subdivider has turned his profit, and he is out of the picture.
The next time our buyer visits his lot, he begins to see changes taking place. Old school buses are rolling in to go up on blocks. Sewage facilities of various descriptions, both legal and illegal, are going in above and around him. Some wells are being drilled, and the last hard rain has rendered the road system impassable. The once attractive idea of freedom to do anything with his land has changed in complexion as his fellow man begins building offensive structures around the lot.
In the later stages of this process, piles of trash and garbage begin to appear nearby, the game has left the area, and the stream no longer supports the fish that were once abundant. A phase of reselling takes place at considerably lower prices and finally the situation is stabilized. Pendleton County has another recreational slum.
The only effective control for this kind of problem is a strong county zoning ordinance. I am exerting what control I can through the West Virginia Board of Health regulations, but the problem goes beyond my authority when it comes to the protection of property values and general land use planning for the general welfare of Pendleton County.
Week of August 16, 1973
Dr. John Harman
Dr. John R. Harman of Franklin has recently been notified by the West Virginia Board of Optometry of his successful completion of the board examination and issuance of his license. He has entered into practice with Dr. B. F. Mitchell of Petersburg, who maintains offices in both Franklin and Petersburg.
Dr. Harman is a 1965 graduate of Franklin High School and he received his BA Degree in pre-medicine from West Virginia University in 1969.
He was awarded the Doctor of Optometry Degree from Southern College of Optometry, Memphis, Tennessee, in June of this year. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. John Harman.
Will Eliminate Mud Puddles from
Franklin High Gridiron
No more mud! No more water! Football fans, cheerleaders, and players will no longer have to wade through the standing mud puddles to reach the bleachers and sidelines during this season’s games.
For a number of years, the sidelines of the Franklin High School football field have continuously been wet. This has been due to a filled up ditch running behind the bleachers that would not carry seepage and surface water away as it ran from the nearby hillside.
Mr. William Crites, football coach, and the Board of Education asked Harold Bailey from the Soil Conservation Service to look at the problem and suggest some solutions for solving it. After an on-site evaluation and survey by SCS personnel, it was recommended that drain tile be installed along the old ditch location.
Work on the 300-foot tile line began July 25 by boys employed under the Governor’s Summer Youth Program. As the ditch was hand dug, 4-inch drain tile was laid and covered to the original ground level with limestone chips.
Installing the drain tile provided other benefits besides controlling water runoff and drying up wet spots. Local youth had an opportunity to work and earn money through the Governor’s Summer Youth Program and Alvy Humphreys, one of the boys working on the project, stated, “Under Harold Bailey’s supervision, we learned a lot about conservation practices, use of the level, and installing drain tile, besides ditch digging.”
60 Years Ago
Week of August 29, 1963
100 YEARS AGO
By LON K. SAVAGE
Editor’s Note—The following is one of a series of articles on the Civil War. Each weekly installment covers events which occurred exactly 100 years ago.
Federals Cross River Near Chattanooga
The sun was rising on August 29, 1863, 100 years ago this week, when the Federal troops began appearing in increasing numbers along the western bank of the Tennessee River. The place was Caperton’s Ferry in Alabama’s northeastern corner; ten miles north was the Tennesee line; fifteen miles east was Chattanooga, Tenn., the Federal troops’ target.
The Federal Army of the Cumberland under Gen. William S. Rosecrans was crossing into Confederate-held territory in a push to capture Chattanooga and destroy the Confederate Army of Gen. Braxton Bragg.
Daylight had just begun when the Federal troops went down to the wide, rain-swollen river hauling large pontoons that they had built several days earlier. The soldiers, most of them from the Midwest, pushed the pontoons into the water, jumped on them and set out across the river. They met minor resistance from Confederates on the opposite shore but quickly dispersed them. Then they got to work, and by late afternoon, the 1,250-foot span was up and Federal troops, cavalry and artillery were pouring across it.
The strategy of the crossing appeared near perfect.While the troops crossed at Caperton’s Ferry—they composed the corps of Gen. Alexander M. McCook—other sections of the army crossed at three other points.
At Bridgeport, Ala., 15 miles upstream, Phil Sheridan had built a bridge, and the traffic grew thick as soldiers crossed it. A few miles further up, John M. Brannan’s men crossed on makeshift rafts and in dugouts at the mouth of Battle Creek, and still farther up, in Tennessee, Joseph J. Reynolds’ men captured some boats and floated across at Shellmound.
Still other troops tied their clothes to their heads and swam across, and some cavalrymen swam their horses. As the crossing progressed, Gen. Thomas Crittenden made demonstrations across the river from Chattanooga to confuse Bragg and his men. In all, nearly 60,000 Federals were involved in the crossing.
Bragg appeared slow in comprehending what was happening. The next day, even though his men had witnessed the crossing, he wrote Richmond: “The enemy’s forces are apparently moving for a union on the other side of the river . . .”
Bragg called for re-enforcements, and the 9,000 men under Gen. Simon B. Buckner moved down from Knoxville and joined him at Chattanooga. Still, Bragg waited with his army behind the city, offering practically no resistance to the crossing.
By September 4, Rosecrans’ crossings were complete; his men were swarming out across Sand Mountain toward Chattanooga, and battle had become inescapable.
Next week: Knoxville captured.
Judging Team Places First in State at Fair
Only seven points separated the two top poultry judging teams participating in the annual State 4-H Poultry Judging Contest held at the West Virginia State Fair, Ted R. Hash, state extension poultry specialist, West Virginia University, announced today.
Top honors went to the Pendleton County team, which scored 936 out of a possible 1,200 points. Runner-up was Hardy County, with 929 points.
The Pendleton team was represented by Charles Calhoun, Stephen Rexrode, and Dennis Mowery, and was coached by John W. Hammer, Sr., Pendleton County Extension Agricultural Agent.
The winning team will represent the Mountain State 4-H’ers in the 17th annual Northeastern 4-H Poultry Judging Contest to be held at Harrisburg, Pa., during the Northeastern Poultry Producers Council Exposition on October 8.
The highest scoring individual in the state competition was Charles Calhoun with 360 out of a possible 400 points. Gary Barr, Wendell Cochran, and Ervin Wilkins, all of Hardy County, and Dennis Mowery of Pendleton, tied for second place with 309 points each. Third place went to Stephen Rexrode of Pendleton with 266 points.
70 Years Ago
Week of August 27, 1953
Over 1,000 Attend
The third Lambert Reunion, held recently at Seneca Caverns, was attended by more than 1,000 relatives and friends.
The chairman, M. V. Lambert of Huntington, presided. The Sunday School lesson was taught by Herman Lambert.
Signs With Washington
Lefty Bob Pope, who has won 51 games and lost 18 in four seasons, and pitched the Franklin Free Staters to two pennants in the Alleghany Baseball League, is now the property of the Washington Senators, having been signed up a few days ago by Ossie Bleuge, veteran Senators’ scout.
He will report to Charlotte, N. C., the Senators’ farm club, next spring. Pope, 21, won 13 out of 17 in 1950, posted a 10-5 record in 1951, scored 17 wins against 3 losses last year, and his record for the current campaign in the South Branch Valley League is 11-6.
Leo Skidmore, manager of the Free Staters, who pitched for the Cumberland Colts and in the Blue Ridge and International Leagues and the American Association, has schooled Pope and helped him to get a better contract than other major league clubs had offered. Bob, who is married and has two children, lives in Brandywine.