Logan County Tidbits

Logan County Tidbits of History and Facts

This page is a collection of short (only a paragraph or so) tidbits of facts and history about Logan County too small to post in a separate page. To contribute a bit of information or history about Logan County, please use the Contact Page or submit it via email to the admin at loganwv.us@gmail.com.

Originally, this page also served to post short articles about Logan County memories. However, a new page titled “Logan County Memories” was created to better serve this purpose. The posts about Logan County memories here were copied to the new page.

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By Admin
July 24, 2013

Melville Mine Fire Kills Two

Thursday evening, January 19, 2006, a fire began at the mine and two miners did not made it out. Their bodies were found Saturday, January 21, 2006. The deceased miners were 33 year old Don Isreal Bragg and 47 year old Ellery “Elvis” Hatfield.

By Shelby Burgess
June 10, 2011

In reading the early mining days of Logan County, I learned the first coal mine near Logan was the mine owned by Harry S. Gay. The railroad had been built to Logan, but no spur line was yet built up Island creek. So, Harry hired wagon teams to haul the coal to Logan. This was about 1905.  Later, Aracoma mine started up; then Wilson Co. on the east end of Logan. The railroads opened up Logan County to future prosperity. The C&O railway later started up passenger trains, and people could travel much faster than before.

By Pam Brennan:

January 9, 2011

My mom says that in the 50’s people would pack a picnic lunch and spend the day at a local cemetery. There would be other families there and the kids would all play while the adults visited and tended to the graves. It was a way of staying close to their lost loved ones as well as socializing with the neighbors.

She said the lunches were wonderful. Her mom would pack roast beef sandwiches made with huge slabs of roast beef on homemade bread and they would drink milk or water from jars that were kept cold in the creek.

Back L-R: Uncle Toby, Anna (Saunders) Farley, Lloyd Farley, Edna Ruth (Farley) Mitchem
In front: Betty Jo (Farley) Brennan and Mary Ann Farley

By Frank Thompson:
August 22, 2010

Joanne Dru (January 31, 1922 – September 10, 1996) was an American film and television actress, best-known for such films as Red River and All the King’s Men.  Born as Joan Letitia LaCock in Logan, West Virginia to Ralph and Jean LaCock, nee Macaro.

By Frank Thompson:
July 29, 2010

I remember my Dad using some expressions when I was growing up that were only particular to WV or some specifically to only Logan County. One was “I will do it directly.” It took me some time to realize that this did not mean immediately but “later”. Also when you’d asked him where he was going his answer would sometimes be “Naugatuck”. This was like saying “none of your business”. Another expression I recall hearing growing up in Logan was “Peach Creek below Logan”. That meant a lady’s slip was showing.

By Frank Thompson:
June 28, 2010

In 1955 when my brother was a baby, my mother used to sing him a little song that I thought she made up.  I later learned that it was part of an old Appalachian folk song.

Mom’s song:

Ralph’s got a girl who lives in a hollow
Hum dum de diddle o’day
Oh, she won’t come and Ralph won’t follow
Hum dum de diddle o’day

A song from the book “Christy” by Catherine Marshall:

“I’ve got a gal in the Buffalo Hollow
Hey-tank-toddle all the day,
Oh, she won’t come and I won’t follow,
And a hey-tank-toddle all the day.”

Christy by Catherine Marshall (1914-1983) published in 1967 is about a nineteen-year-old girl that leaves home in 1912 to teach school in one-room school in Appalachia.  CBS created a TV series based on the book.

By Frank Adams:
April 17, 2010

Logan had several “big rocks” on top of the surrounding mountains. Ward Rock was up where WLOG and WVOW had placed their towers. There were large rock formations above Deskins Additions and I remember at one time the paper rumored that there were prehistoric animals up there. It turned out to be goats. The large rock formation above Midleburg Addition was known as Devil’s Hole and you could get on top but it was difficult. The rock was noted for a large hole in the middle. I think the proposed new road to Man has cut into this hillside and it certainly is not the same. We spent a good bit of time on the hillside looking for grapevines to cut and then swing on. We would test them with the weight of two or three boys to insure that they were strong enough. All went well until the vine died about the third day and then it would break while you were over the great abyss. In the 50′s the Guyandotte was polluted with the washings from coal cleaning plants. It was jet black and in times of drought, almost ran like syrup. Untreated sewerage also was dumped into the river and game fish were non existent. The annual floods did serve a purpose of giving the river a good flush.

By Herbert (Porky) Blankenship:
April 13, 2010

When I was student at the Coal Branch grade school in 1949 or 1950, the white kids were invited to the black school for a May Day celebration. They had a May Pole with red and white streamers or ribbons attached to the top of the pole. All the kids danced around the pole, each holding a streamer, half were going clockwise and half going counter clockwise. When the pole was finished it had been woven top to bottom with red and white. Lunch of hot dogs and Kool Aid was served inside the school. I can’t remember if there were two or four rooms but it seems to me like there were two large rooms. I was most impressed with the hot lunch. I don’t know if they always served hot lunches or this was just a special occasion.

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17 Responses to Logan County Tidbits

  1. Bob L. Esque says:

    Love your site. I am a first time visitor. Keep up the good work!!!

  2. Beulah ( Whitt ) Cremeans says:

    I just found this Web Site and I have enjoyed reading the little tidbits and really enjoy the pictures. I’m sorry I didn’t get to see any of Dodie’s pictures that she had to remove. I love pictures, especially the older ones. I grew up at Shamrock and I don’t recall seeing any pictures from there on this site.

    • Dodie (Smith) Browning says:

      Beulah, I believe you and I were classmates in another lifetime (Logan Jr High), unless you are a different Beulah Whitt. Have you ever visited my Class Of ’55 Memories website? Go to this link and if I’m not mistaken you will find at least one picture of yourself that has been there for at least 12 years!
      Here is the link for our main page- There are over 60 years of pictures here, so grab a cup of coffee and get lost in the fifties for awhile.

  3. madeline says:

    Frank, the Picture you posted says Mary Ann Farley and Betty Farley. Is this my Grandmother? and my cousin Betty.

    • Pam Brennan says:

      In the picture are Betty Jo (Farley) Brennan and Mary Ann Brennan. Betty is my Mom. She has no grandchildren named Madeline. Mary Ann is my Aunt. She has no children.

      Her parents were Floyd Farley and Anna (Saunders) Farley. Could we be related some other way?

  4. Lori Clevenger says:

    Does anyone remember Haislyp (?) Bakery at the edge of town? It would have been in the early to mid 40s. My mom, Ruby Saunders, and her sisters Liz and Virginia, and her brother Jim all worked there. I think they either closed or moved the bakery later in the 40s.

  5. Dodie (Smith) Browning says:

    Especially for Lori Clevenger:
    Lori, look at the 1950s view of Logan in the Photo Gallery and you will see part of the “backbone” and how close it was to town. The houses on the hill on the right of picture are on City View Hill. Going farther around that hill is where the old county cemetery is located. Coal Branch is between the backbone and City View Hill. I should have posted my memories about Coal Branch and City View Potters Field on this page-but we didn’t have a “Tidbits” page then. Sorry I “rambled” about City View on the Old Homeplace On Harts Creek page in the beginning, but glad you found us!

    • Lori Clevenger says:

      Dodie I just asked Mom about Shamrock..she does vaguely remember him but shes a little foggy. I also clarified the cemetery on the backbone..you are right, the one she was talking about is on City View..she said she always heard there was an Indian burial ground on the backbone. Thats where i got mixed up :p

      • Dodie (Smith) Browning says:

        I do remember the Haslip Bakery! We used to go to the post office (had a box) late at night and stop by the bakery and get a fresh loaf of HOT unsliced bread, dig out the center and there was nothing better!!! I think (not sure) that Haslip was on Water St. across the street from the skating rink/Natl. Guard Armory. Seems like they later moved to Cherry Tree and we used to go up there to get fresh HOT bread after my sister got a driver’s license. We took home churned butter in the car with us!

      • Dodie (Smith) Browning says:

        I had forgotten the story about an old Indian burial ground being on the Backbone. Thanks for the reminder. I always believed it because the Backbone was just across the River from the Island where the Battle of the Island took place. As I now recall, some people believed that Princess Aracoma and Boling Baker were buried on the Backbone, but according to The “Aracoma Story” play, “In 1915, while the Abdoney Building was being constructed on the 100 Block of Stratton Street, workmen uncovered a grave that was eight feet deep which was considerably deeper than other Shawnee Indian graves in the county. In the grave was a skeleton of a young woman wearing a necklace of buckhorn beads. The string had rotted away, but the necklace was still arranged around her neck. The gravesite was located at the bend of the Guyandotte River, almost exactly where the old and half-forgotten folklore claims was the final resting place of Princess Aracoma.”
        (I have an old very poor black & white photocopy of of the necklace).

        Looking forward to more of your Mom’s memories! I don’t suppose she would have (or know of some who has) a picture of the little two room school we attended at Coal Branch? I have tried for 30 or 40 years to find a picture of that little school. Who were her teachers at Coal Branch?

        • Lori Clevenger says:

          She remembers a Miss Carter very fondly because, as she loves to tell it, Miss Carter set mom up on her desk and made her Teachers Pet lol. She also remembers a Miss Parsons, she thinks. She tells the story of one day having a talent show, or a show and tell at school, and she and my aunt got up and sang “My Filipino Baby” and got in trouble for it lol. Shes not sure if that was at Coal Branch, or later on at Chapmanville..they lived there briefly.

        • Lori Clevenger says:

          She remembers a Miss Winkie or Winky who lived past the cemetery on City View..she would save clothes for my Grandma and they’d go to her house when they needed something to wear. Isn’t that something…

          She also says there was a tunnel that ran straight through the backbone, and that she saw the ghost of an old woman dressed in white and carrying a staff walk out of it one day. I have heard so many ghost stories about Logan through the years. When we’d drive down home on summer weekends when i was little, i’d be laying down in the backseat watching the trees whiz by in the dark on those windy roads, and i just KNEW a ghost was going to run down the mountain, out of the woods and across the road…i still feel the butterflies in my stomach when i think about it.!

          • Dodie (Smith) Browning says:

            I think she must be talking about a Mrs. Dean (I’m trying to remeber her name) that lived 3 houses from the cemetery. Seems like her nicname was “Winkie” (?) She was very active in local theatre groups and charity groups in town. There was only one house past the cemetery though and it was not considered part of City View. It was a Combs family and they had a bazillion kids and nothing to spare. Mrs Dean had a daughter with flaming red hair and freckles, who was my BFF until they moved away. They had a son too, but I can’t remember his name (Mabe Pete?) He was younger than Barbara.

            Love the story about your mom getting in trouble for singing “Filipino Baby” in school. I can’t stop laughing! Used to hear it on Perunie’s program all the time, but had to Google it on Youtube to remember all the lyrics. Wanna bet it would be considered “Politically incorrect” today?

        • Dodie (Smith) Browning says:

          Frank, No I don’t recall ever seeing a marker. The one at Chapmanville must have been erected after I left there. I’m glad that Logan County residents are still working to preserve our heritage.

        • Lori Clevenger says:

          I asked Mom about Mrs. Coleman, and she does remember an elderly black lady by that name..not the candy bars though. But she does remember her being very sweet to everyone, if its the same lady. My mom is 84 so I’m sure her memories are much earlier..
          She doesn’t have a picture of the school..it’s possible my Aunt Sis does, but she doesn’t part with pictures easily…I’ll have to beg!
          And yes, thats right..Aunt Sis! Her name is Virginia but she’s always been called Sis. I have an Uncle Brother too! (Jim) 😀

  6. Frances Pierce Hampson says:

    I remember two out of the three – can’t recall “Naugatuck”, but then I can’t recall a lot of things. LOL Thanks, Frank for the “tidbit”