|Gathering history is an uphill struggle
by Bob Stealey
Certainly there are individuals in Harrison, as well as most counties, who have a profound knowledge of the history of that particular area and are in possession of various related photographs, charts or other materials.
I would surmise that in gathering sufficient information, a historian would have a decided challenge in making his or her material as balanced throughout the respective county as possible -- especially in counties larger in size geographically.
Harrison, for example, is a moderate-sized county relative to the other 54 in the Mountain State. Counties that are much larger in size are Randolph, Greenbrier, Kanawha, Pendleton and Pocahontas. Imagine an individual in Randolph County, for example, collecting enough memorabilia from Helvetia or Valley Head or Harman or Huttonsville as would be available in Elkins.
Kanawha County, with Charleston as its hub, contains some rural areas, but also includes many satellite communities of Charleston. This would surely also be the case in smaller-area counties, which include larger cities such as Huntington, Wheeling, Parkersburg, Martinsburg, Morgantown, Beckley and Weirton.
Back to Harrison County, my home territory, as my prime example. Clarksburg is situated almost in the center of Harrison. To the northwest are Wallace, Sardis and Lumberport; to the north are Shinnston and Wyatt; to the east are Bridgeport and Anmoore; to the southeast are Nutter Fort, Stonewood and Quiet Dell; to the south are Lost Creek, West Milford and Good Hope; and to the west and southwest are Salem and Kincheloe. And I haven't even listed half of the communities in Harrison County.
My point is that as many rural sections or towns as possible should be represented. Unfortunately, this is not an easy task. I have discovered this from my efforts in seeking information from some of the places I listed above here in my home county. It's that much more difficult pulling in material from folks in West Union, Glenville, Walkersville, Rock Cave, Belington, Davis, Thornton, Boothsville and Monongah, to mention just a few.
I guess one thing I'm saying is this: I've striven to make Bob'n'Along glimpses of history from outlying areas as balanced as I can, but this is only possible when the information is made available to me. (I can see why history books take so long to be completed.)
So please, readers from other counties, let me -- and my readers -- know as much about your area as you can. I'd certainly appreciate it.
Occasionally in this column, I have presented musical trivia challenges for readers. These always seem to spur a flurry of responses -- especially when I misidentify the artist of a particular song.
This time, I need a little help. If you have any recollections of the old rock'n'roll groups that performed in the North Central West Virginia area in the 1950s, '60s or '70s -- particularly those that recorded their songs on local or state record labels -- please let me know, but via e-mail or regular mail only.
I recall such performers as Chuck Collins, The Prodigals, The Esquires, The Upsetters, The Fabians, J.B. and the Bonnevilles, and a few others. But I'm sure there's someone reading this column who can remember others.
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or send a card or short letter to me at the following address: Bob'n'Along, c/o Editor Bob Stealey, Exponent and Telegram, P.O. Box 2000, Clarksburg, WV 26302-2000.
Due to the Memorial Day holiday, Bob'n'Along, which ordinarily appears in the Exponent and the Telegram each Monday, will resume in Wednesday's editions of the newspapers. Enjoy your holiday and please, make it a safe one!