10 Years Ago
Week of October 17, 2013
Old Boggs Store
To Be Dismantled
A part of county seat history is being carefully taken down by a gentleman from Brownsville, TX, a young man with a future in the ministry and a connection to a local family, the owners of the Lovegrove building on Main Street.
The property was once the Boggs Mercantile Store, a general merchandise store originally known as M. K. Boggs and Company. It was moved by the owner, Martin Kenny Boggs, from one Franklin location to the alley across from the Main Street United Methodist Church following the Franklin fire of 1924.
A work of local history, “Pendleton Co. West Virginia Past and Present,” says it was “a variety store, including every item that a family would need. [M. K. Boggs] accepted items for trade such as eggs, chickens, etc.”
State Record Pumpkin
Growing big pumpkins was not even thought about in the Fort Seybert home of Herman and Sandy Hevener until six years ago, when they happened by the pumpkin weigh-off at Treasure Mountain Festival, where the heaviest pumpkin was about 320 pounds.
On the way home that evening, Herman Hevener said he thought he could grow bigger pumpkins than that. He went straight to the magazine cabinet and came out with a seed catalog. Sandy Hevner said she knew then and there she should have thrown those catalogs in the trash when they came in the mail.
Her husband found some seeds called “Dill’s Atlantic Giants,” which were advertised to grow pumpkins up to 1,000 pounds. The order form and check were soon in the mail.
At the planting time the following spring, Sandy Hevener didn’t want a bunch of pumpkin vines in the garden, so her husband tilled up a small area just outside the garden, put up a small fence and planted four or five seeds, which ended up growing two plants. It wasn’t long, with lots of miracle grow, that the vines were growing over and through the fence. Herman Hevener soon found that deer like pumpkin vines, so a larger fence was erected as deterrence.
It took about a month before any small pumpkins showed up, but it seemed they would live a week or two, then dry up and fall off the vine. Finally, one survived and grew to about 150 pounds, but they picked it up and found that the bottom was rotted. Herman Hevener recalls, “no pumpkin for the Treasure Mountain Festival that year.”
Not knowing much about computers, Herman Hevener asked his wife if there would be information about growing big pumpkins on the Internet. Her Google search yielded dozens of sites. One that caught her husband’s eye was “Holland’s Land of Giants.” The site had a DVD on growing big pumpkins with three free seeds included. Herman Hevener studied the teachings on the DVD again and again, taking copious notes.
The next spring, he set out to grow a TMF winner, and his patient wife even let him have space in the garden to set out two plants. The rest is history. That September, the Heveners had first- and second-place winners at TMF.
The quest for growing big pumpkins appears to have grown on Sandy Hevener, because on Christmas 2010, the daughter of Eston Teter surprised her husband with another DVD and more free seeds.
For the next three years, Hevener-grown pumpkins have earned first- and second-place ribbons at TMF, but the highlight of the Fort Seybert couple’s hobby to date is having the largest pumpkin at the West Virginia Pumpkin Festival the past two years.
Next for the Heveners is growing a new West Virginia state record pumpkin, which will mean exceeding a weight of 1,242 pounds. That pumpkin was grown in Ohio County in 2007.
Who knows? With the Hevener’s determination plus a bit of good luck and the right balance of rainfall and sunshine, it “just may be sooner than you think,” to quote Herman Hevener.
30 Years Ago
Week of October 28, 1993
Were the Life
Halloween parties are filled with symbols of the harvest—cornstalks and pumpkins, apples and apple cider, nuts, popcorn and candy corn. Apples have long been a token of love. At the first Halloween parties, people roasted and ate apples and bobbed for them in tubs of water. If a boy came up with an apple between his teeth, it meant that he was loved by the girl he loved. Boys also enjoyed the game of Snap Apple. Each boy in turn sprang up and tried to bite an apple that was twirled on the end of a stick. The first to succeed would be the first to marry. The game was so popular that Halloween was sometimes called Snap Apple Night. Girls found out about their future husbands by paring apples, keeping the peeling in one long piece. This was swung three times around the head, then thrown over the left shoulder. A peeling that fell unbroken was supposed to form the initial of the girl’s future husband.
50 Years Ago
Week of October 18, 1973
Of Golden Eagle, Falcon
Whose Woods Are These . . .
(Editor’s Note–This is the first in a series of articles on nature and the great outdoors entitled “Whose Woods Are These” prepared for The Pendleton Times by the new Woodlands and Whitewater Institute located on Spruce Mountain in Pendleton County.)
Once, long ago, West Virginia’s North Fork Mountain was famous for its breeding population of Golden Eagles. Today not one bird remains in the area. Also, many species of hawk and falcon once populated West Virginia’s mountains and woodlands. Peregrine Falcons could be observed perched atop their lofty eyries built into craggy rock escarpments. Red-Tailed and Cooper’s Hawks could be seen gliding swiftly across highland meadows and thickets in search of field mice and moles, the diet of these birds. Broad-winged, Red-shouldered, and Rough-legged Hawks also abounded. Now many of these proud and majestic birds have diminished to the point where there is no longer a breeding population in the area.
The decrease in the number of these birds is primarily due to their systematic extermination by people who believe they are performing a service by killing birds of prey. It is a common but mistaken belief that farm animals are a major part of the diets of birds of prey. Occasionally an eagle will feed on a dead lamb or a Cooper’s Hawk will snatch a barnyard chicken, hungry after hundreds of miles of migration. Farm animals however are very seldom the prey of these birds. Their diets consist mainly of rodents, insects and small reptiles. The service which these birds of prey perform by helping to control rodents and insects greatly outweighs the harm done by the loss of an occasional chicken.
In the late 1940s, a study was done in Pennsylvania to determine whether it would be advantageous for the state to institute a bounty on birds of prey. It was shown that not only was this project not advantageous but actually very harmful. The state paid 50 cents per bird and 20,000 birds were killed—$10,000 was paid out by the state and it was calculated that $5,000 worth of damage, usually done by these birds, had been stopped. Further calculation showed, however, that on the average a bird of prey consumes six rodents per day or about 2,190 per year. The 20,000 birds killed would have consumed about 44 million rodents in one year. These rodents ultimately cost the farmers of Pennsylvania in excess of one million dollars. The value of birds of prey was realized and the extermination campaign was stopped.
Hawks, eagles, and falcons have a definite nitch in the ecology of the West Virginia highlands. If left to themselves, they will begin to repopulate areas from which they have long been absent. As soon as people realize how beneficial these birds are, we will again begin to see them silhouetted against the skies of the West Virginia highlands.
60 Years Ago
Week of October 24, 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.
As the military might of the Civil War converged on the area of Chattanooga, Tennessee, 100 years ago this week, Americans on both sides of the warfronts were discussing a hodgepodge of news events.
The biggest non-military news came in the form of election returns. Most of the states of the North had held elections in mid-October, and when the votes were counted, the results were clear—with notable exceptions, President Lincoln and his party had been given a vote of confidence.
All of the Northeastern states except New Jersey had voted in favor of Lincoln’s supporters. Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware and Kentucky, too, had backed the Union’s cause, and even in Missouri, where pro-Southern sentiment still was strong, the results were favorable for the President.
New Jersey voters, however, defeated the Republican party, and Ohio voters gave the president a definite scare.
In Ohio, Copperhead John Vallandigham—the man whose pro-Southern feeling had gone so far that Lincoln had exiled him to the Confederacy—was running for Governor against a Lincoln man, John Brough, and much of the election was built around Lincoln’s stature. Vallandigham, living in exile in Canada, roused a powerful vote, but when all votes were counted, Brough—and hence, Lincoln—had a majority by 62,000 citizens.
Perhaps because of his success in the elections—but more likely because he had delayed until after the election—Lincoln issued a call three days after Ohio’s elections for 300,000 more troops, and this time he said the troops would be required. In short, it was another way of saying they would be drafted.
In Virginia, where the front had been quiet since the Confederate retreat from Gettysburg, General Robert E. Lee and General Gordon Meade—the men who had slugged it out at Gettysburg—began sparring again halfway between Washington and Richmond. Lee broke the silence by crossing the Rappahannock River and advancing toward Meade, and for a week the two armies maneuvered, circled, growled and occasionally skirmished before finally returning to their old camping grounds and settling down again.
In the harbor of Charleston, S. C., fighting picked up. Action started when a rumor went around the Federal fleet outside the harbor that the Confederates were remounting guns on Fort Sumter, scene of the war’s outbreak. The Federals, who had reduced the fort nearly to ruins weeks before, opened fire on it again and knocked another wall to debris, leaving the fortress a useless but historic pile of rubble. That marked the last heavy bombardment of the fort for the war.
Down in New Orleans, there was action, too. Nathaniel Banks, the Massachusetts politician serving as a Union general, set sail with a corps of men aiming to capture the state of Texas. It would prove too big a bite for his men to chew.
Next week: A “Cracker Line” is opened.
70 Years Ago
Week of October 22, 1953
Escape – – –
The Montgomery Ward Christmas “wish book” came in the mail a few days ago and many happy hours will be spent by rural Americans from now until Christmastime picture-shopping and wishing through the pages of the new catalogue. During World War II, librarians reported the mail order books to be the most popular volumes on the shelf.
The catalogue serves another purpose, however, that many of us overlook. It has often been said that the economic development of America during the last few decades can be followed in the pages of the mail order catalogue.
The toy section of this year’s catalogue is extremely interesting. Some of the new items listed are electronic flashlight guns; space cruisers, an “interplanetary travel” car with a flying saucer gun; and space ships (ages to 7), a futuristic riding toy with “supersonic” action.
In recent years the youngsters have become interested in interplanetary comic books, TV shows and radio programs. They’re still asking for cowboy suits and electric trains but the trend seems to be moving away from the Roy Rogers and Rocky Lane hero and toward the Brick Bradford, Flash Gordon type.
What the significance of all this is that it would be difficult to say. Children live in a vicarous, imaginary world which grownups seldom understand.
Maybe the children are “fed up” with the tension and insecurity of the H-bomb age and want to get away from it all in the air-tight cabin of a space ship!
Well, it was just a thought.