WV Historical Markers - Let's Find All 700

Discussion in 'Southeast, The Lair of the Dragon - The Blue Ridge' started by pnoman, Nov 16, 2008.

  1. pnoman

    pnoman Just Average

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    Many of you are familiar with Helvetia because of it's most popular landmark - the Hutte Restaurant. I am probably one of the last West Virginians to have not eaten there since I'm not there at mealtime or there was a long line out the door. One day, soon!

    (From Wikipedia)

    After the end of the Civil War, a group of Swiss and German-speaking immigrants calling themselves the Gruetli Verein formed in Brooklyn, New York. The members agreed that they would all emigrate to another section of the country together when the time was right.
    A member of the society named Isler surveyed large swaths of the eastern West Virginia mountains for a Washington-based firm, and reported back to the society on the richness of the country. A committee of six men was assembled, and left Brooklyn by rail on October 15, 1896. They arrived at Clarksburg and began the difficult work of traveling by foot over the mountains.
    They reached a plot that was on offer for sale on October 20, and were disappointed by the extreme thickness of the wilderness in this lightly settled and rugged country. The land was very reasonably priced, though, and they had offers of other assistance from the land agents in Clarksburg if they would encourage further settlement in the area. After hearing the report of this exploration, the society members all decided they would go to West Virginia.
    Because of the low cost of the land, all of the settlers were able to buy their own tracts, ranging from a small house lot to hundreds of acres. One hundred acres were set aside at the center of the community and laid off into lots, which were sold to skilled tradesmen as an incentive.
    At the beginning of 1871, there were thirty-two people living in the community. A new arrival in that year, C.E. Lutz, became the local land agent and wrote advertisements in English and German for papers across the country extolling the virtues of the settlement. New settlers came from various parts of the United States and Canada, and some immigrated directly from Switzerland.<SUP></SUP>In addition to farmers and herdsmen, many craftsmen and professionals were among the settlers: stone masons; carpenters; painters; wagon, shoe, watch, hat, and cheese makers; musicians; teachers; ministers; and doctors. By 1874 the community's population had grown to a heady 308. (End of Wikipedia quote)

    See the Wikipedia article for a list of fairs and festivals in this interesting town.


    CR 46 passes through Helvetia, heading east from just below French Creek (where it starts out as CR 11) and continuing east (where it joins CR 46 and continues on to Mill Creek) is a great ride. It's a narrow, twisty road with lots of hidden driveways and slow traffic (sometimes), but if you take your time it's a road you will want to re-visit often.



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    Historical Marker - located by the Community Center on CR46



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    Community Hall - site of the Community Fair in September - just like a county fair with food and craft exhibits and blue ribbons.


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    View down "Main St". Nice quiet town.



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    Town Library and historical center (lots of old photos and memorabilia)



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    The Hutte - Swiss/German Restaurant. I've heard many people talk about the great food, but my timing is bad - I'm either passing through at 2:30, running late, or there is a long line out the door (City Fair). It's on my list of "must do's."

    ** NOTE - The WV Historical Marker website lists a second identical sign down by the Hutte. I missed that one, if someone else is going by and wants to add it.......... Thanks.
    #41
  2. J-Rock!

    J-Rock! Adventurer

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    Im so glad i can Chime in on this,, Ill get to taking some picures after my surgery on WED. I know where theres a bunch of these,, is there really 700 in the state?
    #42
  3. pnoman

    pnoman Just Average

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    Glad to have you join the fun! Hope your surgery goes well on Wednesday.

    Yup, there are 700+. Click on the link back in Post #1, and you can read about the history of the markers. There's also a link to a complete list of the original signs and which ones are missing. Over 1,000 were erected, but 30% or so are either moved, torn down, etc. That leaves about 700 or so.

    I was surprised, and also ashamed, that I had passed by these signs thousands of times without stopping to find out what they identified. Oh well, better late than never.

    Looking forward to your additions to the thread.
    #43
  4. sekalilagi

    sekalilagi Been here awhile

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    Well it finally quit snowing....so off for my first post-surgery ride!

    WVU

    ahhh.... my alma mater .... came to Morgantown back in the winter of 85, during the heyday of the Chevy Celebrity and the year the drinking age bumped up to 21. That was back when they didn't close school for the teeniest snow flurry. The old stadium was still about and I certainly fell more than once on the slippery, icy steps around stadium loop!
    Here's a bit of trivia, freshman enrolment this year actually had more out-of-state students than WV resident students! Aside from Mylan Pharmaceuticals and the hospital system, WVU is the industry of Morgantown.

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    See that austere building in the background? spent many a late, late night up in the 9th floor labs blowing stuff up.
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    couple of pics from the downtown campus (this is where the pretty girls were, the same ones notably absent from the engineering college)
    Oglebay Hall ... took my one and only Psych class
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    Woodburn Circle ... where I wussed out on foreign languages and took Philosophy instead and now regret it as I might have to learn a little Spanish for work!
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    This marker is located along US19 (Mon Blvd) immediately south of the intersection with Patterson Drive.
    Links to map with marker location and a general map with other markers.
    #44
  5. pnoman

    pnoman Just Average

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    Simpson Creek Covered Bridge is located off I-79 at Exit 121 (Meadowbrook Rd). Head west on CR 24 about 1/4 mile, and it's on your left. Turn off the main road like you are heading into the State Police Barracks.

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    Historical Marker.



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    View from South entrance. The front facing extends out at the top, making it appear like it is falling over from this angle. (Don't worry, it's not)



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    Inside photo. There is a picnic bench inside if you want to come on a rainy day.


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    View from the road. Unfortunately, this scenic bridge is stuck in kind of an un-scenic location, just across the road from Toys R Us and the mall entrance. I'd love to see it 50 years ago - bet it was a peaceful setting. Wait, I did see it 50 years ago, but I was only 1 year old. :doh
    #45
  6. PABiker

    PABiker Anywhere but here

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    I've been driving past that bridge for 15 years on the way to the Harrison Power Plant in Shinnston and didn't even notice it. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.
    #46
  7. pnoman

    pnoman Just Average

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    Thanks - I'm finding a lot of interesting historical landmarks that have been right under my nose half of my life, and I never bothered to "stop and smell the roses" until now. Speaking of Shinnston, see my next post. (I rode up there this afternoon)
    #47
  8. pnoman

    pnoman Just Average

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    The Levi Shinn Family: The settlement of Shinnston dates to the building of Levi Shinn's log house in 1778. The Levi Shinn log house is the oldest standing structure in North Central West Virginia at over 229 years old. The house, which still stands today along US Route 19, is maintained by the Shinnston Historical Association and is sometimes open to the public.

    Read more on the city of Shinnston History web site - click here.


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    Historical Marker located on the south side of Shinnston along Rt 19. Tomahawk Rights??? :huh :eek1 :huh :eek1 :huh :eek1


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    The Levi Shinn House.



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    View from Rt 19.
    #48
  9. sekalilagi

    sekalilagi Been here awhile

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    Thanks to fellow ADV-rider WRrioR, together we 'toured' about Mon and Marion counties today in search of the historical markers. Here's a preview click here... we've some writing to do! Not only does the guy know where these signs are...he is also superb at extricating fallen bikes from the snow.

    BTW the Prickett's Fort sign is missing....we looked pretty hard for it. There appears to be a case that it might've been in at one time but no longer.


    #49
  10. pnoman

    pnoman Just Average

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    Sekalilagi,

    Hey! We almost bumped into each other. I went up Rt 19 to Enterprise to get the Harrison/Marion Co. sign. Not too far from Monongah.

    I know a guy who has lived just a couple miles on the other side of Prickett Fort all his life, so I'll ask him about the sign. He has driven the PF road every day for the past 70 years.

    Looking forward to your report. I'll have about 6 more posted soon. Gotta do my homework first, though.

    Hope your Ulysses wasn't hurt. "Holy One-Man-Bike-Show, Batman, how many bikes do you own?!?!?"
    #50
  11. sekalilagi

    sekalilagi Been here awhile

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    hey pnoman.... we must have been wandering about the same area. The fall was silly error on my part, misjudged how close to the ditch I was and just how soft the ground was. Scratched the lens on the turn signal, fortunately the Buell bits are reasonably priced. I think the entire assembly is $11. I'll get cracking on the writing! Meantime, check this out...what do you think?
    #51
  12. pnoman

    pnoman Just Average

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    Located on Rt 19 about 1 mile north of Enterprise at the Harrison / Marion County line. (**NOTE - The WV Historical Marker Website lists this sign as Missing**)

    Harrison County was created in 1784, formed from Monongalia County and named for Benjamin Harrison V, a Virginian who was the father of William Henry Harrison, the ninth President and great-grandfather of Benjamin Harrison, twenty-third President. County Seat is Clarksburg. (More from Wikipedia)

    Marion County was created in 1842 from parts of Monongalia and Harrison Counties, and named in honor of General Francis Marion, of American Revolutionary War fame, known in history as "The Swamp Fox." County Seat is Fairmont. (More from Wikipedia)


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    Southbound on Rt 19 entering Harrison County. (It looks like someone took a saw and cut off the lower portion of this sign) :huh



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    Northbound on Rt 19 entering Marion County.




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    Looking northbound into Marion County.
    #52
  13. pnoman

    pnoman Just Average

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    Enterprise (pop 939) is located along Rt 19 north of Shinnston, just south of the Marion County line. Click here for Wikipedia information.

    Rt 19 north of Clarksburg is a pleasant ride, but can be interrupted by large trucks going slowly (or on your butt - there doesn't seem to be a middle ground) and with lots of hidden entrances and businesses.



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    Historical Marker. Located along Rt 19 at junction of CR 19-2. I looked for the McIntire Blockhouse for 30 minutes before finally finding one of the 939 habitants of this fine community. He informed me they tore the blockhouse down about 10-15 years ago. Mystery solved.

    From the "History of Harrison County" by Henry Haymond:

    In May, 1791, as John McIntire and his wife were returning to their home about two miles above the mouth of Bingamon Creek, in what is now Clay District, they passed through the yard of Uriah Ashcraft, and in a short time after Mr. Ashcraft startled by the sudden growling and springing up of one of his dogs, stepped quickly to the door to see what had aroused him. lie had hardly reached the door when he espied an Indian on the outside with his gun presented. Closing and making fast the door, he ascended the stairs that he might better fire on the intruder, and after snapping his gun several times and discovering that there were other Indians in the yard he raised a loud shout to apprise those who were within the sound of his voice that he was surrounded by danger. Upon this the Indians moved off and three brothers of John McIntire coming to his relief they all pursued the trail of the savages.
    About a mile from Ashcraft's they came upon the body of John Mclntire tomahawked, stripped and scalped, and concluded that Mrs. McIntire had been taken prisoner. They sent intelligence to Clarksburg.

    It was here first ascertained that Mrs. McIntire had been killed, her scalp being found among the things abandoned by the Indians. Her body was afterwards found a short distance from where that of her husband had been previously discovered. :eek1



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    View northbound on Rt 19 at Enterprise. CR 19-2 is about 50 yards north and to the right.
    #53
  14. sekalilagi

    sekalilagi Been here awhile

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    I spent a decade living in quiet, sleepy and mostly tranquil Grant Town. However, to get to either Morgantown or Fairmont required a commute on secondary highways. Entering Marion County on US19, you will see this marker on your left. It hardly ever got my attention as I was busy regaining consciousness after holding my breath on the pretty set of twisties coming up the hill. Perched on top of this hill is also the water tower to the Greater Paw Paw Sanitation District who happily charged me double for sewage than what I paid for tap water. Marion County once thrived on the labor of coal miners, mostly evident in Fairmont, the county seat. Anyway, if you happen to be riding north or south bound on US19, be careful on this stretch. There is little room for error, coal trucks still rule the day and there are numerous washouts from driveways draining over the road. There is sometimes a state trooper located on the downhill stretch past Arnetssville but he is mostly there to keep an eye for the liquored-up drivers in the wee hours of the morning. (there are a number of watering holes between Morgantown and Rivesville) Travelling southbound, the grins you had ascending the hill to the sign transition to gentle sweepers as driveways come increasingly frequent. Slow down as you pass Bub's (not sure what it is called these days) and you won't miss the ice-falls that are common in the winter; it also keeps you in good standing with the local police officer in Rivesville (just round the bend). I'll save the yammering about Mon County for the next marker.

    You will see this marker traveling southbound on US19 here
    Some nearby markers here.
    Ran across a good site for some marker data (GPS coords) here

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    #54
  15. freaking RT

    freaking RT will golf for food

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    #55
  16. WRrioR

    WRrioR Been here awhile

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    I think the stop in monongah, seeing the memorials to the mine disaster, was most interesting part. That and the West Virginia crossiant break. (pepperoni rolls). :clap There is a new bronze bell in the valley at Monogah. It was cast in a region of Italy and sent over by the locals as a memorial to the dead from the mine. Apparently, that particular region and town in Italy is from where a good portion of those miners originated.

    It's amazing: i've really never stopped to read what is actually written on these signs. There is some interesting history in this great state of ours. I had no idea what i was going to learn by stopping and reading these, but, i'm sure glad i did.
    #56
  17. sekalilagi

    sekalilagi Been here awhile

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    I agree completely on the site in Monongah, it is quite sobering. It didn't even occur to me as we ate those rolls at the Exxon how that was a uniquely Fairmont thing. There used to be a place (chunky joes?) in Baxter that had amazingly fresh pepperoni rolls daily.

    aaah evidently I had not searched hard enough! good resource!
    #57
  18. pnoman

    pnoman Just Average

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    Saltwell is located on Rt 131 midway between I-79 Exit 125 and Shinnston to the west. Nice curvy road - pleasant scenery. Too bad it's only about 8 miles long before ending at the Interstate.


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    Historic Marker.


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    View down the road - Rt 131 eastbound. This is about all there is to Saltwell nowadays.
    #58
  19. MAN OF BLUES

    MAN OF BLUES COG #5977 EX-TECH EDITOR

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    7 generations back, on my mothers side, originally emmigrating from Canada into Ohio (not sure if he came to Canada from Scottland/Ireland prior) was a John Mc Intire.... he, along with 4 other families settled in the north coast of Ohio at the time, and gave name to this region as "The Black Swamp".
    The land was all divided up, I believe from Toledo, to Geneva, and over the years was sold off. The last of many individual parcels/properties were sold off by my mothers father, again a John McIntire, which included land from Trumbull in the north, to Mesopotamia in the south, and from Montville on the west, to New Lyme on the east...an area encompasing almost 200 sq miles, granted it was not all his, but a major portion still remained in the family to be sold off. He was an inventor, engineer (as was the first John I speak of) , and lived a very fruglal simple life, those acres sold for mere pennies. I do not have the original book in my posession currently, I returned it to my sister for safe keeping, but there was a book written documenting the history of these 4 families entitled "The four Families of The Black Swamp". The only other family name that comes to mind was the Caldwell family (who made their way south in Ohio, settling and originating a city of that name). I do not recall John's demise in the book, but I must admit it was pretty boring reading for me as a child (ahh what we find now to be valuable...) but there was a sepia toned photograph stuck in the book, with his and his wifes names and a date on the back.. again, I don't recall the date, but I am sure it was circa this similar time period.
    Creepy part #2, his wife was an Indian squaw, big head, very gnarly looking, and he was a tall man in his 50's (I would suppose) , as he was sporting a full head of white hair, and awesome monsterous mutton chop sideburns.... I was always so impressed by that look that I grew mine in the same manner in my senior year of high school, and when I got flack for it, I brought the photo in and handed it to them, explaining it was a family thing...:rofl

    I will have to get my hands on this book, and find out if it relates to the same person... hmmmm small world.
    #59
  20. vatrader01

    vatrader01 vatrader01

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    I went for a ride yesterday that took me into West by God Virginia. I saw this marker at the state line and remembered this thread. I went back and clicked a shot of both sides of the marker. Not glamorous by any means, but I guess we have to get the vanilla signs, too, in order to get them all. Here's the marker at the state line on RT 340 between Berryville, Va. and Charlestown, W.V.

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    Heading into WV, you will read:

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    Am I mistaken, or is someone of Scotland referred to as a Scot? Scotch, I believe, is a nectar preferred by the Gods and people who don't put ketchup on steak.

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    The flip side, heading south on 340.

    I wish I could pontificate on the historical, social and / or civil significance of this here marker, but I'm afraid I'm just too ignorant to add more. Kinda self expanatory.
    #60