Pocahontas County

In the final pages of The Third Rainbow Girl — a new book about the aftermath of the murders of two young women who were hitchhiking in West Virginia in 1980 — author Emma Copley Eisenberg interviews a friend of the victims. Elizabeth Johndrow parted company with her friends a day before they were murdered; she's the "third rainbow girl" of the title.

Eisenberg asks Johndrow, now in her 50s, why she and so many other young women hitchhiked back then. Johndrow says:

November 19, 1899: Sculptor Gladys Tuke Born

Nov 19, 2019
In 1956, Tuke reopened The Greenbrier’s Art Colony.
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / Gladys Tuke, The Greenbrier, The Greenbrier Resort Art Colony, Pocahontas County,

Sculptor Gladys Tuke was born in Pocahontas County on November 19, 1899. After studying art in Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia, she returned to West Virginia in the 1930s. She took up residency at The Greenbrier resort’s Art Colony and became well known for her sculptures of horses. During World War Two, Tuke taught sculpture and pottery to soldiers who were recovering at The Greenbrier, which had been converted into an army hospital. She set up her own studio in White Sulphur Springs after the war.

Jesse Wright/WVPB

Increasingly, teachers are finding that spending time in nature with their students is essential to learning. In this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia, we’ll hear from educators who are knocking down classroom walls so that kids can get some fresh air and exercise, and improve test scores in the process.


November 6, 1863: Battle of Droop Mountain

Nov 6, 2019
Observation tower at Droop Mountain State Park overlooking the Greenbrier River valley.
Chad Matlick

On November 6, 1863, one of the most important Civil War battles in West Virginia occurred in Pocahontas County. In August of that year, Union General William W. Averell had launched a series of raids to disrupt the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad in southwestern Virginia.

Eric Douglas / WVPB

A large wooden sign that says “Yew Here” greets visitors as they drive into the Yew Mountain Center. Nestled in the woods of Pocahontas County, West Virginia, the property for years operated as a farm. A few years ago, a group of community members sought to repurpose the land to create a place for outdoor education. 

“It was really a neighborhood effort to turn this property into something that would preserve the land and also serve the community,” said Erica Marks, the center’s director.

The Green Bank Telescope at Green Bank Observatory
Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Astronomers using the Green Bank Telescope in Pocahontas County have discovered a massive neutron star. Scientists believe this is the largest neutron star ever discovered. 


Earthworks at Fort Milroy on Cheat Mountain Summit
Brian M. Powell

On September 12, 1861, the Battle of Cheat Mountain was fought near the Randolph-Pocahontas County line. Taking place just five months into the Civil War, the battle was a significant loss for the Confederacy.

General Robert E. Lee—at the time commander of the Department of Northwestern Virginia—was trying to protect railroad lines in Western Virginia while keeping what would become northern West Virginia in Confederate hands, thereby thwarting the young statehood movement.

US Department of Agriculture

On Monday, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice shared his recommendations for the next round of Appalachian Regional Commission projects in the state. 

The ARC is a partnership between the federal government and the 13 Appalachian states. The agency awards federal dollars for infrastructure and economic development projects across the region.

WV State Police Cruiser
WCHS-TV

Authorities say a West Virginia state trooper has killed a man who shot him during a pursuit in the woods.

The West Virginia State Police on Tuesday says Trooper First Class J.M. Tallman was airlifted to a hospital.

June 14, 1957: Newspaperman Cal Price Dies

Jun 14, 2019
Cal Price, Pocahontas Times
E-WV / WV Humanities Council

Newspaperman “Cal” Price died in Marlinton on June 14, 1957, at age 76. Price—the longtime owner and editor of the Pocahontas Times newspaper—was known for his civic involvement and conservation endeavors, such as his famous “Field Notes” column and his panther and bear stories.

The 10,000-acre Calvin W. Price State Forest in southern Pocahontas County was dedicated in his honor in 1954.

October 29, 1861: General Lee Ends Three-Month Campaign

Oct 29, 2018
The rest of his Civil War career would rank Lee among the greatest generals in history. However, his first campaign was a total calamity.
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / Robert E. Lee, Traveler, Pocahontas County, Cheat Mountain

On October 29, 1861, Confederate commander Robert E. Lee departed present-day West Virginia, near the end of his ill-fated western Virginia campaign. The rest of his Civil War career would rank Lee among the greatest generals in history. However, his first campaign was a total calamity.

He had been dispatched to the region to regain territory for the Confederacy. His plans came to a head in September 1861 atop Cheat Mountain in Pocahontas County. Lee’s attack, though, fell apart. His troops made a hasty retreat, and he soon abandoned the effort.

On February 16, 1917, the West Virginia Legislature established what was then known as the West Virginia State Colored Tuberculosis Sanitarium at Denmar. It opened at a time when the state’s public institutions were segregated by race. The Pocahontas County facility treated African American patients who suffered from TB. It was part of a movement by black legislators to build more facilities for African Americans. Prior to that, African Americans with TB had to be sent to a facility in Virginia.

The Green Bank Telescope at Green Bank Observatory
Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The National Science Foundation heard public comments as part of a process to consider changes to the Green Bank Observatory in West Virginia.

Downtown Richwood, WV, at dawn after hours of heavy rain flooded the little town.
Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting file photo

Almost $5 million in federal funding has been awarded to some of the counties ravaged by floods in 2016.

Pocahontas, Randolph and Greenbrier Counties will receive more than $4.8 million to help repair federal roads from the United States Department of Transportation.

Purple Orchid
Claire Hemme / West Virgina Public Broadcasting

If you live in West Virginia, chances are, you’ve driven past a cluster of wild pink or white orchids just off the side of a curvy road. Some of the best opportunities in the country to find them are located along our rural mountain hillsides.

A few years ago, two orchid enthusiasts discovered a rare and previously undiscovered species, known as Platanthera shriveri, or Shriver's Purple Frilly Orchid. 

Wikimedia Commons

Two groups aim to improve conditions for aquatic wildlife in Pocahontas County.

The Monongahela National Forest and Trout Unlimited are working together this summer to improve conditions for aquatic life in the town of Bartow, in Pocahontas County.

Pearl S. Buck
E-WV / WV Humanities Council

Author Pearl Buck died in Vermont on March 6, 1973, at age 80. She was born in 1892 at her maternal grandparents’ home at Hillsboro in Pocahontas County. Buck grew up with Southern Presbyterian missionary parents who traveled around the world. To her, the family home at Hillsboro—now a museum—represented “security and peace.”

At an early age, she spent time with her parents in China and learned to speak Chinese almost as early as English. She later visited small Chinese farming villages, which would provide settings for her most popular novels.

The Cass Scenic Railroad in Pocahontas County is offering holiday train rides.

The "Elf Limited" train will debut on Nov. 25 and run through Dec. 11 on a recently repaired section of track next to the Greenbrier River.

Keith Alan Sprouse

On October 3rd, BBC News published an article with this headline: “Among the forested hills of West Virginia, residents of a small town have taken to cooking roadkill to revive their flagging economy.”

The lead photograph was of an older gentleman missing several teeth.

Eddon Hammon on Fiddle
e-WV / WV Humanitites Council

On September 7, 1955, the great fiddler Edden Hammons died at age 80. The Pocahontas County native was part of an extended family known for its music and traditional ways.

The family had migrated into the Webster-Pocahontas county area just before the Civil War.

In 1947, Edden Hammons was recorded by folklorist and West Virginia University professor Louis Chappell in a Richwood hotel room. The resulting 52 tunes document a frontier fiddling tradition with links to the Old World. Here’s a sample:

The RCB Radio Telescope
e-WV / WV Humanitites Council

On August 25, 2000, the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope was dedicated at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Pocahontas County. At 16-million pounds, it’s the world’s largest fully steerable radio telescope.

Its accuracy is so precise it’s like seeing the width of a human hair from six feet away. The telescope’s 2,004 panels are mounted on actuators, little motor-driven pistons that adjust the shape of the surface.

The telescope replaced an earlier 300-foot meridian transit telescope that operated from 1961 until collapsing in 1988.

Unemployment Line
Matt Rourke / Associated Press

West Virginians who are out of work due to recent deadly floods are facing a deadline to apply for unemployment benefits.

The deadline to file a claim for employees or residents of Kanawha, Greenbrier and Nicholas counties is Wednesday.

Megan Meggers Ramsey

A grapevine clipping from the home of Pearl S. Buck, a world renowned author with West Virginia roots, just arrived in Michigan and soon will be planted at a high school literary garden.

It began as an idea last summer. Jennifer McQuillan teaches literature at West Bloomfield High School in Michigan, and she wanted to give her students something that would get them off their phones- and become better connected to the writing in decades old books.

WV Division of Tourism (WVDT) / Steve Shaluta

On April 14, 1928, the West Virginia Fish and Game Commission purchased Droop Mountain Battlefield in Pocahontas County. Three months later, Droop Mountain was dedicated as West Virginia’s first state park. In November 1863, one of the most important Civil War battles in West Virginia occurred at Droop Mountain, when Union forces repulsed one of the last major Confederate advances into West Virginia.

en.wikipedia.org

The Pocahontas County school system is going to try to implement new school bus routes on days where classes might have previously been canceled because of snow.

The school system's Director of Transportation Ruth Bland tells The Inter-Mountain that the move will preserve instructional days and prevent cancelations from cutting further into summer break.

Andrew Carroll / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A team of researchers at West Virginia University is creating a unique portrait of the Mountain State. The Historic Timbers Project is unveiling West Virginia’s human and environmental history one dusty old barn at a time.

Pocahontas County Historical Society Collection (PHS006181)

 

The West Virginia Humanities Council and West Virginia University say the first three-day "Living Gateway" conference will begin Sept. 11 at the Erickson Alumni Center at WVU. 

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, a look back at the flood of 1985 from a reporter who covered the devastation in Pocahontas County.  That’s  on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.

wvdnr.gov

Officials say the transfer of operations for Pocahontas County's historic Cass Scenic Railroad to the State Rail Authority is expected to go seamlessly.

In 1956, Tuke reopened The Greenbrier’s Art Colony.
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / Gladys Tuke, The Greenbrier, The Greenbrier Resort Art Colony, Pocahontas County,

Sculptor Gladys Tuke was born in Pocahontas County on November 19, 1899. In the 1930s she took up residency at The Greenbrier resort’s Art Colony and became well known for her sculptures of horses. During World War Two, Tuke taught sculpture and pottery to soldiers who were recovering at The Greenbrier.

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