30 Years Ago
Week of November 4, 1993
By Rail Fence
As Halloween Prank
The most mischief that the writer can recall on Halloween that was done here was in the fifties at the top of the Capito Hill. The rail fence on both sides of the road was used to build two fences across the roadway. Two gates were taken off. The old school bus building was turned over in the road on its top and along the road bank a big chestnut log was rolled in the road, almost impossible to move. Hendren Propst moved it with his horses and dragged it home for wood. At Dahmer Gap, the Dry Run Road was blocked by building a rail fence across and using some big rocks, too. At Mill Lane (now Hanover Shoe), the road was blocked with bundles of corn fodder, stacked in the middle of the road.
In the United States, we think of the Pilgrim’s feast as the first Thanksgiving. Actually, the custom of giving thanks for harvests or other good fortune goes back thousands of years. One of the oldest known thanksgiving festivals goes back to the days before Christ. The Bible tells of the Hebrew Feast of the Tabernacles, or tents. For seven days in the fall, the Hebrews lived in tents made from boughs. The shelters were decorated with fruits, palm leaves and other branches. The people fasted and thanked God for the harvest. Actually, the holiday was more than a harvest festival. It was also in memory of the Hebrew’s 40-year search for the Promised Land. During their wanderings in the desert, the Hebrews had also lived in tents or tabernacles. Today, good harvests have always been very important. They were even more important in early times when canning or freezing food was unknown. Then, when crops failed, starvation lay ahead. That is why a good harvest was a reason for celebration.
Week of November 11, 1993
Two Pendleton County artists are helping decorate the White House for the Christmas holidays.
Creations of Janet Underwood and Alice Hartman, both of Franklin, will be admired by thousands of visitors to the White House this Christmas season.
Mrs. Underwood, who has developed an extensive reputation for her artistry in quilt making, was asked by the White House to provide a quilted block representing West Virginia for the Christmas tree skirt.
Mrs. Underwood’s contribution will be one of 50 blocks contributed by skilled artisans in each of the 50 states. Her block is an appliqued, multi-color map of West Virginia on a green velveteen background.
Mrs. Hartman’s contribution is a Victorian style Christmas tree ornament made of crazy quilt patchwork with elaborate embroidery work.
Nancy Clarke, director of the White House Flower Shop, is in charge of the Christmas decorations. The decorations are for the Christmas tree in the Blue Room.
The artists’ works have been widely exhibited, including exhibitions at the Renwick Gallery, the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival at Williamsburg, the West Virginia Cultural Arts Center and Pendleton County’s Treasure Mountain Festival.
In the New World, Indian tribes had Thanksgiving feasts. The Iroquois held celebrations for the spirits of the strawberry, raspberry, bean and corn. Their final celebration included thanks for all the crops and also prayers for the future harvests. Corn was the Indians’ most important crop. Along the eastern seacoast, all the Indian tribes held a Green Corn Dance. This feast lasted several days. When the Pilgrims invited the Indians to their first harvest Thanksgiving, the redmen were not at all surprised. They, too, were used to celebrating harvest festivals!
40 Years Ago
Week of November 10, 1983
Of Operating Rooms Sunday
There will be an Open House to show the operating rooms at Rockingham Memorial Hospital, Harrisonburg, Va., Sunday, November 13, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. The public is cordially invited.
Featured at the open house will be tours of the operating and fracture room, equipment and operating instruments and displays of pace-makers, eye surgery and ear surgery.
“There will be something of interest for all ages, including children,” commented Mrs. Lillian Hilbert, an R.N. and staff member of the operating room. In announcing the open house Mrs. Hilbert said, “We want to give people a better idea of what is involved with our operating rooms–like the equipment, our staff, and of course, the costs.” Mrs. Hilbert noted that only half of the operating rooms will be on tour because of the need to be prepared for an emergency operation.
50 Years Ago
Week of November 8, 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)
Autumn, in the yearly cycle of growth and life, is a time when things begin to slow down, a time when nature in an almost premeditated fashion prepares for a period of rest. But autumn is also a time when nature refurbishes her resources preparing for spring and rebirth. These preparations are clearly seen in both the plant and animal kingdom.
In the fall of the year, trees and other woody perennials go through a series of very complex changes in order to enter a frost proof winter rest period. These winter alterations are necessary to insure that the sap will run again in the spring and that new life will surge into the forests.
The shortening autumn days cause these changes, two of which are the dropping of seeds and the shedding of leaves. Both of these have beneficial effects necessary to the perpetuation of plant and animal life. Fallen leaves, while providing an insulating blanket for many plants and seeds during the winter are also going through a degradation process to form future top soil. Seeds produced by mature plants lay dormant during the cold winter months but if conditions are right, growth and active life begin in the spring.
The major theme in the animal world is hibernation. As was true with plants, this is a time of changes permitting the animals to survive the winter. Nut grubbing squirrels, chipmunks and field mice scamper about fat jowled, with cheek pouches and dens full of acorns and seeds enough to see them through the winter. Beaver go efficiently about the business of storing bark and tender branches of near-by birch, poplar and maple in the muddy pond bottoms close to their hutches. The larger mammals from skunks to the black bear accumulate as much fatty tissue as possible. This extra weight will provide warmth and energy to den up and weather the harsh winter. Hibernation is a period of rest but contained in the concept is the belief that activity and life will resume in the spring.
Autumn is a time of changes, a time when the old is divested in anticipation of the new. Fallen leaves whirl and eddy in the breeze, dislodged from the branches which held them aloft for almost a year. New leaves will grow on these same branches in the spring. Brown grass rustles against the trunks of ancient trees. Green grass will grow from the same roots. Fern fronds are found curled up close to the ground, brown and lifeless. With the first true warmth of spring these ferns will unfurl and meadow and forest alike will sport those green harbingers of warmer weather. Autumn is a time of maturity and decline but through this maturity and decline the groundwork for spring and rebirth is laid.
- Va. Marijuana Crop
$80 million worth
“The estimated price of marijuana which has been destroyed in West Virginia to date would exceed $80 million on the street market,” Agriculture Commissioner Gus R Douglass stated today.
When asked how marijuana originally came to being in West Virginia, Douglass explained that marijuana was originally planted in the state during World War I. The fibers from hemp or marijuana were used to make rope. Planting was discontinued after the war. “However,” Douglass added, “uncontrollable spreading of marijuana had occurred since the original plantings. This resulted in vast acreages of marijuana growing primarily in the South Branch River Valley.”
60 Years Ago
Week of November 14, 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.
Sherman Joins Grant; Plan Major Battle
General William Tecumseh Sherman, the hard line Federal fighter who had helped win the Vicksburg campaign, came marching into the area of Chattanooga, Tenn., 100 years ago this week to help win a new campaign.
His arrival was enough to do that, too. For Sherman came at the head of four crack Federal divisions, veterans of Vicksburg. They had come all the way from Memphis and they arrived at a time when their strength spelled the difference between victory and defeat.
Sherman’s men swelled the forces at Chattanooga under Gen. Ulysses S. Grant to 60,000. There was the Army of the Cumberland under George H. Thomas, the army that had been beaten at Chickamauga; there was the army of “Fighting Joe” Hooker which had come a-running from Virginia to Chattanooga; now there was Sherman’s army of the Tennessee.
Confederate Gen. Braxton Bragg once had had nearly 60,000 troops, too, but he had wasted fully a fourth of them. Before Sherman’s arrival, Bragg had sent 15,000 men under James Longstreet to Knoxville to beat down a little Federal Army there. Now, Bragg found himself outnumbered 60,000 to 40,000.
Grant fully realized his advantage and hastened to capitalize on it. Sherman reported to Grant on November 15; Grant immediately explained his plans to Sherman and his other generals, and by next morning, Sherman’s men were on march for battle.
Grant’s plans were as follows: he would send Sherman around behind Chattanooga to the east where he could off Longstreet and be in position to strike Bragg’s left at Missionary Ridge.
Hooker and his Easterners were to strike Bragg’s right at Lookout Mountain. Thomas’ Army of the Cumberland was to hold the center, keeping pressure against Bragg while Thomas and Hooker advanced.
While Grant’s men moved into attack formation, Longstreet was busy in his little campaign against Knoxville. Even as Sherman arrived at Chattanooga, Longstreet arrived at Loudon, Tenn., 90 miles to the north. There he crossed the Holston River and moved on the army of Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside.
Grant wired Burnside to “hold Longstreet in check,” and Burnside acted accordingly. He withdrew slowly before Longstreet’s advance, pulling back toward Knoxville.
On November 15, Longstreet caught up with a portion of Burnside’s army at Campbell’s Station, 15 miles south of Knoxville, and attacked. Burnside repulsed the attack long enough to get his army back to the city’s defenses. Longstreet came on and began a siege of the city.
Time was passing—and that was what Grant wanted. It allowed him to organize one of the great battles of the Civil War.
Next week: Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.
Kennedy Signs Bill for Project at Sugar Grove
President Kennedy signed a bill last Friday authorizing $1,642,253,380 for construction at 400 military bases in the United States during the current fiscal year which ends next June 30.
The measure includes $3.8 million for construction of a radio installation for the Navy at Sugar Grove in Pendleton County.
36 from County
Pendleton County ranks 37th among the state’s 55 counties in the number of students attending West Virginia University this year. There are 36 students from Pendleton County as compared with 1,460 from Monongalia which is in first place. Total enrollment at the beginning of the fall term at WVU this year was 8,656.
70 Years Ago
Week of November 12, 1953
An NBC camera crew was in Franklin Tuesday filming scenes of the business section and the Pendleton Times to be used in the “Big Story” TV show of the two Washington boys who were rescued from Trout Rock Cave last February. The program will be telecast over a national hookup on NBC TV Friday, November 20, at 9 p.m.
The post office, court house, fire house, Main Street and the Pendleton Times were among the scenes filmed.