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Bob-N-Along for Friday, September 25, 1998

1935 "State Road Commission Map" contained some useful information

The Division of Highways of the West Virginia Department of Education continues to make available road maps of the Mountain State, showing interstate and corridor highways, as well as other primary and also secondary roads.

Included on these maps are smaller-scale city maps showing main arteries into and out of the larger cities in the state, plus a number of colorful photographs, lists of state points of interest and other useful information.

Among places where these maps are available are chambers of commerce and AAA offices.

This week, Mrs. Catherine Oliverio of Glen Elk agreed to lend me her copy of a July 1935 State Road Commission road map of West Virginia. Needless to say, it was in stark contrast to today's state road maps.

Many of the highways shown to be paved in the 1998 map --this includes some state routes and key county roads -- are indicated as merely gravel, shale or perhaps merely "graded."

State Route 57 from Craigmoor toward Philippi in 1935 was indicated as an "unimproved" road.

Some towns such as Anmoore -- then it was known as Grasselli -- are not even shown. The index of cities on the 1998 map is more than twice as long as that of the '35 map.

On the reverse side of the Ô35 map were six black-and-white photos of rural scenes in the Mountain State, with a brief description titled, "West Virginia's Pastoral Scenes Will Charm."

The governor of West Virginia in 1935 was H.G. Kump, and Ernest L. Bailey was commissioner of the State Road Commission. Chief engineer was Mortimer W. Smith, his assistant was H.O. Wiles and secretary was Edgar F. Dickson. The Advisory Commission consisted of Dr. J.B. Grove of Petersburg and Roy R. Hornor of Clarksburg.

District engineers included: District 1, G.W. McAlpin, Charleston; 2, C.M. Binford, Huntington; 3, W.H. Schimmel, Parkersburg; 4., Frank D. McEnteer, Clarksburg; 5., B.D. Johnson (acting), Keyser; 6. Harry McGraw, Moundsville; 7., E.C. Bennett, Weston; 8., M.R. Hamill, Elkins; 9., E.L. Worthington, Lewisburg, and 10., L.R. Taylor, Princeton.

In 1935 there were only two state police headquarters companies -- "A" in Fairmont and "B" in Charleston.

Also on the flipside of the Ô35 map was a listing of commercial and emergency airports in West Virginia. Included were Bluefield, Charleston, Clarksburg, Parkersburg, Princeton, Martins-burg, Weston, Wheeling and White Sulphur Springs.

Emergency fields included Beckley, Burlington, Clarksburg (Craigmoor), Craigsville, Fairmont (Rivesville), Moorefield, Morgan-town, Petersburg ("Am.Air"), Point Pleasant (Ohio side), Spencer, Hinton-Alderson-Pence Springs, Ravenswood, Williamson (Border-land), Hundred, New Martinsville, Sutton, Marlinton and Logan (Chapmansville).

Clarksburg's airport was described as being six miles east of Bridgeport, two-lane, 2,800 by 3,100 feet with clear approaches. It was designated "no service as yet."

Weston's airport, the Lt. Louis Bennett State Airport, was listed as being four miles north of Weston, with an altitude of 996 feet, dimensions of 1,800 by 1,400 feet, sod (surface) and level. There was one runway, north to south. There was a pole line to northwest, woods to north, trees along creek to south and west. It was designated "service day only."

My appreciation goes to Mrs. Oliverio for this mini-lesson in Mountain State history.

Have a great weekend. Another Bob'n'Along Sunday.