10 Years Ago
Week of October 24, 2013
County Ranks Near Top In Childhood Reading
Only six counties in West Virginia have more than 50 percent of their students reading proficiently by the time those children have finished third grade, and one of them is Pendleton County.
That is an assessment reached by West Virginia Kids Count, which bases its county-by-county survey on data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress.
Indeed, NAEP claims 73 percent of Mountain State students are not reading proficiently at the end of third grade. Only 68 percent of students nationally are reading proficiently at that time, according to standardized test data used by NAEP.
Educators say that reading proficiency at the end of third grade is “a crucial indicator of future learning,” because it is in fourth grade that students switch from “learning to read” to “reading to learn.”
Kids Count annually reports on the health and well-being of West Virginia students in K through 12, and routinely ranks Pendleton County near the top of its survey in a wide range of categories.
According to family records, 10 children were born to John, Jr., and Elizabeth D. Propst. They lived where the Nicholas Amick farm in Dahmer was located, what is now known as the late Ananias Pitsenbarger farm owned by Teresa and Jeff Munn. Two sons, John Albert and Clem Anderson, jointly purchased land on Dry Run from their father. In August of 1896, the two siblings purchased the Jacob Ruleman land on the South Fork. Another brother, James Marshall, had acquired adjoining land in 1894; both James and Clem moved their families to the South Fork sometime before the turn of the century. In December 1899, there was an exchange of the joint properties. John A. retained the Dry Run land whilst Clem kept the South Fork acreage. It was after Clem’s death in 1956 that the US Government began pursuing the land opportunities for their naval base vision. The year this was to take place was 1958, and it was decided that the Pitsenbarger home and farm would become the Navy housing and supportive services. Of all the land that was acquired for this project, only one person became displaced, and therefore, a home was built in Brandywine for Goldie Logan, who once lived in Lick Run.
Many landowners’ properties were needed to complete the naval operation: namely, Roy Bowers, Loula Waggy, Curtis and Hazel Waggy, Emory and Lourine Bolton, Cletis and Jessie Lambert, Kermit and Gladys Lambert, Goldie Logan, Lester E. and Edna Jones, Alvin and Lois Jones, Virgil and Edna Jones, Vistor Hines, Blain Frey, Edwin and Mildred Kiser, Walter and Lou Ella Hoover, Harvey and Ida Moyers, Eldon and Lottie Mitchell, J.H. and Iva Eckard, Ben and Hattie Mitchell, T.T. and Madeline Misner, Berlin and Clona Kiser, Leafy Homan, Dr. Donzel and Florence Chapman, Clem and Margie Rader, George and Myrtle Crider and Carrie Pitsenbarger and heirs. All of the said lands were to be put for military and naval purposes in connection with the naval radio facility.
So, the Navy moved in to build housing and mammoth dish antennas, etc., smack dab on the
South Fork of the South Branch of the Potomac River. Messages from Navy ships and stations around the world are beamed to Sugar Grove via communication satellites and high frequency transmissions. This area is almost totally free of man-made radio or broadcast signals, with no cities or industry to hamper reception with random, signal-clouding interference. Buried beneath the mountain is a 60,000 square foot complex jammed with the electronic nerve center of the base. The sailors have been performing tasks critical to the success of the Navy around the world, a fascinating contrast to the world in which they live, Pendleton County, West “By God” Virginia.
The writer received a North Fork Myers, FL, phone call from Betty Bodkin Lam on Saturday. Betty had lived most of her life in Crummett’s Run and as she says, “It wasn’t until I married my husband, Ivan, and took up traveling as a hobby, that I learned that there was a huge world outside of Crummett’s Run. I enjoy seeing the beauty of this world and how people live and interact.” Betty and Ivan had flown to England where they spent several days touring the countryside with a couple they knew. Then they hopped on a Princess cruise liner and took the Baltic Heritage Tour, where they spent 14 sightseeing days to the capitals of Norway, Sweeden, Finland, Denmark, Poland, Belgium, Estonia and Russia. In this part of the world, Betty noted that people travel by bicycle and that there was no litter along the roadways. Flower boxes were hung from windows; cobblestone streets were common, and the architecture of the churches and castles has lasted centuries. Betty will be sharing her experiences of this trip for many years to come.
20 Years Ago
Week of October 30, 2003
Truckload of Pumpkins,
A Ghastly Delight at Brandywine Elementary School
On Oct. 8, Brandywine Elementary was blessed with a truckload of pumpkins. The cheerful giver, Adrienne and Burt Sherrill, are employees of Lightstone Foundation, Moyers. There were enough pumpkins for all classes and adults to decorate for Halloween.
Mrs. Jane Eye, music and art teacher, allowed each class to decorate their pumpkins for an art project.
50 Years Ago
Week of October 25, 1973
Leaves Give Landscape Beautiful Fall Colors
Whose Woods Are These . . .
(A Weekly column of Wilderness Lore by The Woodlands and Whitewater Institute Staff, Spruce Knob Mountain)
Leaves catch our attention now particularly as many turn into fall colors. Exhausted by spring and summer’s work making sugar for the plants to live off of and oxygen for us to breathe, leaves take these weeks of glory before dropping off. While leaves are off during the winter their plants will rest, in preparation for the resumption of spring and summer growing.
Cool weather with short days and bright sunshine bring out the fall colors. (New England leaves are not as spectacular as West Virginian leaves this year because it has been a little warm up there this fall.)
The yellows and oranges of birch, poplar, locust and hickory have been in the leaves all along, but their earlier strong green hid these colors. As the greens chemically decompose, the yellows and oranges stand out.
The reds of sumacs and maples are new to the leaves. The red pigments must be made specially. As with all leaves, plants with red leaves make sugar to nourish the plant. But because these plants contain more sugar than others, chemical transformations occur that change the sugar into bright red pigments. (These are the same pigments that give another sugary plant, the common beet, its red color.)
As we all know, leaves come in many sizes and shapes. One unusual leaf is that of the Amazon Water Lily. These are six inches thick and grow in almost circular shapes up to six feet across. Children on the Amazon River in South America use these leaves for boats.
Some leaves predict the weather. English chickweed works as a barometer. When its leaves are fully expanded, fine weather can be expected; when they fold or droop, then expect a storm.
Perhaps the most energetic leaf is the telegraph-plant of India. The leaves of this plant jump about on the stem in peculiar jerks, seldom stopping throughout the day and night.
On our American prairies the knowledgeable traveler can find his directions by the leaves of the compass-plant. Especially the young leaves of this plant always point north and south. White gum from these leaves was used by American Indian children as chewing gum.
Many leaves in our West Virginia forests are edible. We will write about these at other times in this column. But in closing, we suggest another use for leaves. If you are low in sandpaper, try the leaves of the tiny purple wild-aster. Or if the leaves and stems of the horse-tail are easier to get, use them. Pawnee and Poncas Indians called this plant “to-make-a-bow-smooth.”
60 Years Ago
Week of October 31, 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.
Supply Line Opened
Eighteen hundred Federal troops moved through the night down the Tennesse River at Chattanooga 100 years ago this week. Quietly, they climbed into a fleet of 60 pontoon boats, pushed out into the rippling water and floated gently downstream out of the town.
It was 3 a.m., October 27, 1863, and it was the beginning of a successful effort to lift the Confederate siege of Chattanooga and open a supply line to starving Federal troops within the city.
West of Chattanooga, the north, then south again, tracing a badly shaped “S.” The 1,800 men drifted around the first loop of the “S” to a place called Brown’s Ferry, where they pulled to the southern bank. There, they overpowered a group of surprised Confederate pickets and fought off Confederate reinforcements.
Hardly had the ferry been seized when Gen. William F. “Baldy” Smith arrived from Chattanooga with 4,000 more men who had come overland north of the river. Quickly, they were ferried across, and a detail hastily erected a bridge on the pontoons in which the men had floated. By midday, the bridge was up.
So far, so good. The Arm of the Cumberland now had a supply line that ran westward from Chattanooga along the north side of the river to the newly-built bridge and into Confederate territory. That was half the job.
The other half was accomplished with equal dispatch. Twenty-seven miles west of Chattanooga, Union General Joe Hooker had moved to Bridgeport, Alabama, on the river and had crossed on the 26th. His men—two corps of them—came straight east into the Confederate-held Lookout Valley, meeting little resistance, and then moved northward, connecting with Smith’s force at Brown’s Ferry. The line was complete.
Immediately, supplies began moving from the railway at Bridgeport across the river, along Hooker’s line throughout Lookout Valley, up to Smith’s pontoon bridge at Brown’s Ferry, thence straight west to Chattanooga. Long trains loaded with food, clothing and ammunition began arriving in the city, and the Federal soldiers there—on reduced rations for more than a month—took a new lease on life.
General Ulysses S. Grant, who had just arrived at Chattanooga and had supervised the operation, watched the arrival of the supplies. “It is hard for anyone not an eye-witness to realize the relief this brought,” he wrote later. Fewer than 20 men had been killed on both sides in the operation.
Confederate General Braxton Bragg, waiting nearby with 50,000 soldiers, took a different view of the matter, however. Discovering that the line had been opened, he launched an attack on the 28th against a portion of Hooker’s army, and fighting broke out again. Hooker ordered up re-enforcements and in a day and night of fighting, drove back the attackers.
The line—dubbed the “cracker line” by Union soldiers—was open for good. Chattanooga was firmly connected with the North.
Next week: Bragg’s bold move.
A list of names of those who attended the Lone Oak School in 1907 in the region of Doe Hill were boys: Berlin L. and Luther R. Armstrong, Oliver J. Dove, David E. Foley, Robert Roy Moyers, Harry E. Rexrode, Samuel E. Frank, Ashby, Clarence and Perry Simmons; and girls: Mattie, Phoebe M., Louise J. and Fanny B. Armstrong, Martha L., Mertie M. and Rubie C. Puffenbarger, Lucy F., Ursula M., Maud and Minnie Simmons, and John Dahmer, teacher.
West Virginia Economy Reaching Highest Level In History
CHARLESTON—West Virginia’s economy this year appears well on its way to reaching its highest level in history, and Governor Barron thinks one of the principle reasons is “the cumulative effect of the intensified industrial development program that began in 1961.”
Last year was a record 12-month period, with the state economy surpassing the old mark by a comfortable margin, but 1963 thus far “is soaring to new heights,” Barron said. Based on a 1957-59 average of 100, the composite index of the state economy in 1961 was 101.3. It rose to 105.2 in 1962, and this year had jumped to as high as 112 by late summer.