20 Years Ago
Week of May 23, 2002
The first high school seniors in West Virginia to receive PROMISE scholarships from Governor Bob Wise were 30 college-bound students at Pendleton County High School.
Although Wise was scheduled to hand out those scholarships personally at the PCHS auditorium on Monday, May 20, the governor’s helicopter was fogged in that morning, and he was unable to attend the ceremony.
Letting a Child
Go Their Own Way Is Similar to Flying a Kite
May presents graduation. The task of letting children go is rather like flying a kite in this manner. Mom and Dad run down the road hoping to catch a breeze. With much effort, they manage to get the kite a few feet up in the air. Danger looms as it dives toward electrical lines and trees. But then suddenly, a gust of wind carries the kite upward. Feeding the line as rapidly as they can, Mom and Dad find the kite more difficult to hold. As the end of the line is reached, they begin to wonder what to do next. The kite demands more freedom, rising higher and higher. Then comes the moment of release. It soars majestically into God’s beautiful sky, while the parents stand proud of what they’ve done. Sad to say, they realize their job is almost finished. The kite is free. Mom and Dad’s labor of love is well on the road to success, as their child graduates.
Primary Care Clinic Dedicated April 21
Although the delivery of quality health care in rural Appalachian communities remains one of the region’s most pressing social problems, Pendleton County is experiencing a boom in the construction of gleaming new medical clinics thanks to community activists, the not-for-profit, Charleston-based Center for Rural Health Development and Pendleton Community Care (PCC).
On a rainy Sunday afternoon near Riverton on April 21, more than 100 people celebrated the opening of a new, 3,000-square-foot medical clinic which provides health care to the North Fork Valley and is now a part of PCC.
30 Years Ago
Week of May 28, 1992
82 to Graduate
Pendleton County’s two high schools will confer diplomas upon seniors in commencement exercises this weekend.
Sixty-three graduates will receive diplomas at the Franklin High School exercises Saturday at 6 p.m., and 19 seniors will receive diplomas at Circleville High School Sunday at 6 p.m.
To Be Photographed
Colorful old quilts, treasured by family members for generations, will take their place in history as members of the West Virginia Heritage Quilt Search, Inc., spearhead an effort to preserve the past. The statewide project began this month to photograph, catalog, and document thousands of the patchwork quilts and coverlets of West Virginia origin made prior to 1940.
“We’ve honored soldiers and statesmen, and it’s nice to honor the quiet people who settled this area so they are not forgotten,” said Jean Talbott, vice-president of the WVHQS and coordinator of the organization’s quilt project in Randolph, Upshur, Barbour, Tucker, Pendleton, Pocahontas, Webster and Lewis counties.
“Owners will not be asked to donate or sell the quilts. The quilt will stay with the owner throughout the documentation process,” she said. “It is not the purpose of this project to provide appraisal estimates of the value of the quilts nor to act as a broker for the purchase or sale of quilts.”
In Days Gone By
“Those were the days” seemed to be a special trait of our community. Time has changed us somewhat. Hardly anyone used to lock their doors unless they left for several weeks. In that case, the neighbor knew where to find the key if someone needed to get in to check up on specific things. Everyone showed up at church on Sunday mornings; “put it on the bill” meant getting gas and groceries; and doctors used to make house calls. Perhaps we no longer know all the dogs in the area by name, however, we still greet our Sugar Grove mayor with “Hi, Walter” and constable with “Hi, Gordon.” People are still kind, gentle and show respect and concern for one another. Reunions are still very much a part of our lives, as also is sending a friendly wave to those passing by. It basically boils down to folks trusting each other. In some ways we still have “those were the days.”
Keeps Weeds Down,
Soil Cool and Moist
Organic mulch can be a weed-hating gardener’s best friend.
Not only do organic mulches keep weeds down, they also help keep the soil moist. And, they can lower soil temperatures eight to 10 degrees—a real benefit for vegetables on scorching summer days.
Mulching eliminates the need for hoeing and cultivating, which means less work in the garden. As the mulch decomposes, it adds organic matter, which improves the soil for seasons to come.
Apply mulches on soil around well-established plants. Be sure the soil is moist before putting down mulch.
- Leaves make an inexpensive mulch that adds trace minerals to the soil. However, they may blow away or become soggy and pack down. For best results, shred the leaves before putting them in the garden.
- Pine needles will not pack down. As they decompose, however, they turn slightly acidic.
- Grass clippings are readily available and a good source of nutrients. They mat together, and they may have weed seeds. For best results, let them dry and mix with leaves to avoid packing.
- Hay and straw add nutrients to the soil and are readily available in many areas. These materials may also contain weed seeds and can be expensive.
- Sawdust should be applied in a three-to four-inch layer. Use only aged sawdust.
- Ground corncobs inhibit weed growth, but they may keep water from reaching the soil.
- Compost adds nutrients to the soil and has an attractive, natural appearance. However, it may harbor weed seeds and diseases if you do not allow it to heat sufficiently before using it.
- Peat moss is free of weed seeds, but it is expensive. It also adds few nutrients to the soil, and it may shed water when dry.
- Newspapers and magazines are readily available and contain some trace elements. They sometimes decompose too quickly, plus they may be blown away by the wind or pack down too tightly.
40 Years Ago
Week of May 27, 1982
To Graduate 99 Sunday
A total of 99 Pendleton County students will formally complete their high school careers Sunday night when they receive their diplomas during graduation programs at Franklin and Circleville High Schools.
Sixty-seven students will be awarded diplomas at Franklin High School, and 32 seniors will graduate from Circleville High School. Commencement exercises will be conducted at Circleville School at 6 p.m. and at Franklin at 8 p.m.
Price of Poultry
The retail cost of poultry (price to the consumer) has decreased about 80 percent from 1940 to 1980, according to a recent issue of “Poultry Times.”
The conclusion was reached by USDA Economic Research Service analysts who measured the “real cost” of various foods to the consumers. Based on a comparison of personal disposable income with food prices, the statistics translate the price of food compared to the work time required to earn its cost. For poultry, the price has come down 80 percent in the past 40 years.
60 Years Ago
Week of May 24, 1962
Local High Schools
Will Graduate 95
In Annual Exercises Next Week
A total of 95 seniors will receive diplomas during commencement exercises at Pendleton County’s two high schools next week.
Twenty-six students will be graduated at commencement exercises next Tuesday night at Circleville High School, and 69 students will receive their diplomas next Wednesday night at Franklin High School.
100 YEARS AGO
Jackson Routs Banks, Puts North in Panic
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.
It would hardly be an overstatement to say that Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson altered the course of the Civil War 100 years ago this week.
For on May 20, 100 years ago, there were signs that the Civil War was about over. Gen. George B. McClellan was almost within sight of Richmond with more than 100,000 men and was driving hard at his target. Gen. Irvin McDowell, with another 40,000, was less than 50 miles away and pushing in from the north. Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks, the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Gen. John C. Fremont, former Republican candidate for President, were in northwestern Virginia with another 25,000 men, capable of moving in on Richmond should the necessity arise.
But a week later, Washington was in a state nearing panic. Banks had been whipped and driven back across the Potomac River. McDowell had been turned around and was heading for the Shenandoah Valley. Fremont, too, had turned toward the valley to join McDowell. McClellan was biding his time, waiting for help. And United States Secretary of War Edwin M. Staunton issued a call to the loyal governors for militia, saying there was “no doubt that the enemy in great force are marching on Washington.”
And all of this was because of the quiet, religious, Presbyterian “Stonewall” Jackson, who had the strange habit of sucking lemons.
Jackson had been surprising the federals in the Shenandoah Valley for more than a month. He had struck the federals at Kernstown, and though suffering a defeat, had scared the men in Washington. He had soundly whipped a detachment of Fremont’s army at McDowell near the West Virginia border two weeks earlier.
Now, as the third week of May began, Jackson was marching his army of 17,000 men north down the valley toward Strasburg.
He reached New Market, and suddenly his army turned right and disappeared into the Massanutten Mountains. Three days later it was creeping up on the town of Front Royal, where federal Col. John R. Kenly kept a garrison of about 1,000 troops.
On May 23, Jackson attacked. His first line shot down the federal pickets, and four more lines followed. The surprised federals fled across the Shenandoah River, but even there they were met by Jackson’s cavalry which cut them up even more. Only 400 of the 1,000 escaped.
Jackson pushed on. Banks, hearing of the catastrophe at nearby Strasburg, turned in retreat for the North, but it was too late. Jackson’s army hit him from the side en route. Farther down the valley, Banks turned to do battle at Winchester, and the Southerners ripped into his army again.
Banks’ men fled on foot for the Potomac, and Jackson, leading his army, stayed right behind them. By noon of the 26th, Banks and the remnant of his army was across the Potomac and Banks was congratulating himself that he was safe in Maryland.
Jackson went on to the river’s bank, then turned south again. In hardly a week, his men had marched more than 150 miles, had whipped an army of 12,500, had paralyzed an army of 150,000, had scared Washington into believing he would invade the North and had captured 3,000 prisoners and $300,000 in property.
McDowell and Fremont were ordered to turn around and stop Jackson, and the danger of Richmond’s fall was beginning to fade away.
Next week: Seven Pines.