July 2012 Newsletter


Volume 1, Issue 8
July 1, 2012

Rowlesburg News
July 2012


News & Events

Fun & History

Church Schedule


Rowlesburg Reader Lion
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The Claire Lynch Band headlines an impressive list of Bluegrass bands in Rowlesburg July 6, 7 and 8 this summer. Mark those calendars! Plenty of wonderful music, food and beverages. Ample parking nearby. Plan to come for the weekend. Camping allowed at the concert. The venue is the Rowlesburg, WV Park, long recognized as one of the most scenic in West Virginia. The Park lies along the Cheat River with mountains jutting up on all sides. For details call John McGuinn: 1-304-454-2444. All proceeds go to the Shriners. Complete schedule of bands to follow.


“Claire Lynch Band For years a creative force in acoustic music, Claire Lynch is a pioneer who continually pushes the boundaries of the bluegrass. The current Claire Lynch Band is a powerful juggernaut, a quartet that can perfectly interpret the beauty, subtlety, and sophist-ication of Claire’s music.

Lynch’s career is fittingly bookended by two IBMA Female Vocalist of the Year awards: in 2010, in recognition of her current work with the Claire Lynch Band, and in 1997, for her influential work with the Front Porch String Band, and as a solo artist. In the mid 70's Lynch made history when she led the Front Porch String Band, which evolved, in the 80’s and 90’s into “one of the sharpest and most exciting post-modern bluegrass bands on the circuit,” according to one writer.

Back Creek Valley Boys. Playing raw, no nonsense bluegrass for audiences in the Washington, DC area and beyond, the band hails from Hedgesville, WV. The group has "officially" been a band since 2009, but most of the members have been playing together for years. Ike Jordan (mandolin) and Randy Kenny (bass) have played together with Nestle Quarry Boys, (continued on nest page)


Berkeley Ramblers, Bluegrass Drive, Ernie Bradley and Grassy Ridge and Jack Fincham and Dixie Grass.

Berkeley Ramblers, Bluegrass Drive, Ernie Bradley and Grassy Ridge and Jack Fincham and Dixie Grass.

With a career beginning in 1979 in San Clemente, California with the Smokey Valley Ramblers and Hangfire, Frank Maietta joined as the bands' banjo player in 2010. The newest member of The Back Creek Valley Boys is fiddle player Brandon Michael, who previously played with Ernie Bradley and Grassy Ridge. They have three albums – “Bluegrass, Plain and Simple”; The Back Creek Valley Express”; and “Real Live Bluegrass.” The band is heading back to the studio soon to cut a gospel album.


Marv Ashby and the High Octane Band. From the West Virginia Panhandle comes another hard-driving ‘no holds barred’ bluegrass music courtesy of Marv Ashby and the High Octane Band. Marv is joined by some the region’s finest entertainers, delivering a high quality and fast paced show. Both traditional and contemporary bluegrass genres are showcased during High Octane performances. The band features Marv’s aggressive flatpicking style and straight-ahead vocal arrangements. ‘Beardie’ powers the low end with percussive doghouse bass and brings to the show traditional bluegrass vocal styling. Robbie Benzing r olls through the tunes with spot-on First Generation bluegrass drive and enthusiasm. The band’s latest CD release is entitled, "Route 9 to Berkeley Springs."


Bear Hill Bluegrass. This is not your typical bluegrass band! Even though they take pride in performing traditional bluegrass and gospel, they add just the right mix of classic country and comedy to please the audience and have fun. The band takes pride in playing the familiar bluegrass, gospel, and a few country songs that you recognize. Our band has a friendly down-home manner on stage. The audience is involved with the band and the songs throughout the show. When you come to see Bear Hill Bluegrass perform you will find energetic musicians always in motion. The strong vocals, harmony, and great songs will impress you.


The Moatsville Boys. The band, also called just The Boys, mixes country, hillbilly, and gospel with traditional bluegrass sounds. Classic bluegrass was born in 1946 and is still played widely around the world. Today, bluegrass bands also reflect influences of jazz, contemporary country, Celtic, rock & roll and Southern gospel music. The Boys are no exception. They say their main musical influences are Ricky Skaggs, Ralph Stanley, Earl Scruggs, Randy Travis, George Jones, and Merle Haggard among others. For the past four years, the band has dedicated its time to raise money for many different causes, especially the Relay For Life.


Rocky Hollow. This band comes from Warwick, RI. You might say they’re a family band as 3/5s of the band has the last name Hutchings. Nancy and Dick and Gary have been making music for a long time. Rocky Hollow was originally formed in the early eighties. There was a bit of time off for raising children and other stuff that made it difficult for them to continue. Over the last few years they've been trying to put it back together and think they've finally got something to holler about! The band plays all styles of bluegrass from traditional to progressive.


Medicinal Medicine, aka, From the Hip. Rowlesburg’s own bluegrass band, “From the Hip,” will be part of the festival. Carrying on in the tradition of their Singer/Songwriter father, Keith Pitzer (and former Executive Director of Friends of the Cheat (who passed away in December) Jake and Jesse are joined by Greg Short, Jr. (Percussion) and Chris Bern (Upright bass) performing an energetic "Newgrass" style picking of originals, bluegrass and some folk. No strangers to the music scene three of the four are original founding members of the group.


The Lamberts. This gospel singing couple’s motto is “Called of God... Anointed of God... Singing the Word of God!” They sing at many churches and bluegrass festivals. Naturally, their music is straight gospel from the long Appalachian tradition of such music. This highly acclaimed band and singing family plays an exhaustive schedule of events at churches, gospel songfests and community centers around the entire region. Friday July 6th 4:00 pm High Octane 5:00 pm Medicinal Whiskey 6:00 pm High Octane 7:00 pm Medicinal Whiskey 8:00 pm Bear Hill 9:00 pm Bear Hill Saturday July 7th 1:00 pm Back Creek Valley Boys 2:00 pm Bear Hill 3:00 pm Back Creek Valley Boys 4:00 pm Claire Lynch Band 5:00 pm Moatsville Boys 6:00 pm Bear Hill 7:00 pm Back Creek Valley Boys 8:00 pm Claire Lynch Band 9:00 pm Claire Lynch Band Sunday July 8th 12:00 pm Rocky Hollow Bluegrass 1:00 pm Rocky Hollow Bluegrass 2:00 pm The Lamberts 3:00 pm High Octane 4:00 pm High Octane

Every heart sings a song, incomplete, until another heart whispers back. Those who wish to sing always find a song. At the touch of a lover, everyone becomes a poet.” ? Plato


During the month of May, the VFW Post 3008 Jr Girls made posters, cards and letters and sent them to Texas for soldiers returning home from Aghanistan. They have been sending care packages to soldiers in that unit during their year long deployment.


Shown in the picture is Stephen Foster, with one of the signs the Jr. Girls made for him, welcoming him home.


Shown in picture, are the girls making their cards and letters. It was also our newest member, Avah Shrout's first activity with the Jr. Girls. Avah is the Miss West Virginia Princess for the state, and will be competing in November in Florida against the other states.


The Jr. Girls also went to the cemetery before Memorial Day to place new flags on the veterans graves and collect the worn and damaged old flags. In the picture is the girls learning how to properly fold a flag.

The Junior Girls are welcoming any girl age 5 to 16 who is interested in joining. Girls must be the daughters, granddaughters, stepdaughters, etc. of a veteran who has served overseas.

To join, contact Shawna Sines at 304-454-9391. The Jr. Girls will be continuing to support our soldiers this upcoming year by sending more carepackages to soldiers overseas and to our VA Hospitals, among other activities.

We will also be doing Christmas cards and cookies for soldiers this Christmas if anyone wants to donate any Christmas cards.

We are always trying to find ways to raise money to continue supporting our soldiers and our veterans. If anyone would like to help, let us know!

We are currently the only Jr. Girls unit left in the state of WV, and we are one of the most active groups there is. We definitely work hard for our community and our veterans.


Rowlesburg was well represented when Keith Burdette spoke to a group of business and county officials June 22nd. Those attending the affair were Senator Charles Felton, businessman Roger Taylor, Rowlesburg chairman of Tourism and Economic Development, Tim Weaver and Barbara Banister.

Mr. Burdette pointed out reasons why we should be proud to be West Virginians. Last year we were able to balance our budget, being only one of four states with a balanced budget. We did not need to borrow money to pay unemployment to our citizens. We were the fifth best state with a cash balance in the bank. Our reserves of money are the third best in the county. We are now judged to be the third best fiscally managed state in the county. This has been because of the work done by cooperation between political parties and the executive branch over a number of years. It was not easy to accomplish.

Now we must look to the future of the state. Education of our children should be a prime goal. Great things will be happening in the next few years. Our children need a good education, we are among the top in the country up to the fourth grade then we drop to almost the last until past the eighth grade. We need to improve our children’s math skills and computer skills to allow us to be on the front of the coming economy.

Marcellus Shale produces along with natural gas, ethane which when once cracked gives polyethylene. This is the basis of plastics that have become a large part of our society. The largest find of ethane is found locally. The state has been trying to engage in conversations with companies that are interested in this area.

Mr. Burdette took questions from the audience. Although he did not know the answer to all questions he promised to have them looked into and an answer sent back to PCEDA so that the people would know the answers he found. With others he had information that they could use immediately.


Many stories have been told about World War II. However, there is one little known story that has been told by a group of dedicated folks from Piedmont, WV during the Living History Weekend on June 30th. A member of the Werenth 11 came from Piedmont.

James Aubrey Stewart of Piedmont was a member of the 333rd Field Artillery Battalion, a unit of black soldiers who fought and died together in Europe during WWII.

Their tragic story springs back to life through the exhibits, talks and depictions of that terrible fight in a cold, forbidding part of Belgium, also called the “Battle of the Bulge.” Aubrey Stewart and the ten other men in his unit gave their lives to save a Belgian family and countless GIs by remaining silent even in the face of torture and execution. These men were brutally beaten and finally murdered by the German SS for their bravery. They were left in the field where they had fallen and they lay frozen in the snow until found by American forces in mid-February.

There were two presentations of this heartrending story. On Saturday, June 30th in the Szilagyi Center in Rowlesburg. We owe it to ourselves to honor these good men who gave all for their country.

On December 17, 1944 in the tiny nine-house hamlet of Wereth, Belgium the tragedy unfolds, about 10 miles from the much more publicized Malmedy Massacre, when troops from the 1st SS Panzer Division machine-gunned 84 captured American soldiers on the very same day. It is assumed that the same division under SS Major Joachim Peiper carried out the Wereth incident.

The awful events of this cold December day began when the German Army in Hitler’s last major offensive of World War II overran the 333rd battalion, which had fought its way from Normandy to the Ardennes.

After walking 10 miles in the deep snow trying to reach American lines, Mr. Stewart and 10 other black soldiers from the 333rd arrived, cold and wet, at the farmhouse of Mathias Langer, the Wereth mayor who took them in and gave them bread.

T/4 Stewart, who grew up in Piedmont, WV and worked in the local paper mill, was a soldier in the all-black 333rd Field Artillery Battalion. He was killed 68 years ago on that bitter cold day of the Battle of the Bulge in a massacre that no one knew about then and precious few remember now, even in his tiny hometown.

While the Malmedy killers were later prosecuted for war crimes, the members of the SS patrol in Wereth were never caught and their victims were consigned to obscurity. T/4 Stewart's own parents in West Virginia went to their graves without ever knowing how he had been killed.

While the Malmedy killers were later prosecuted for war crimes, the members of the SS patrol in Wereth were never caught and their victims were consigned to obscurity. T/4 Stewart's own parents in West Virginia went to their graves without ever knowing how he had been killed.

It is now known that T/4. Stewart, a true West Virginia hero, served when he didn't have to. Although he had no wife or children, and was beyond draft age at 36 and had a good job, a rarity for black men in the area, he signed up. He also knew he was joining a segregated U.S. Army that looked at blacks as inferior warriors, but he did his duty without complaint and died in a field half a world away.

These men believed in their country at a time when the country didn't believe in them. Let’s all come out and show them we do care.

Thanks to Kip Price and prior news coverage in the press and online for sources for some material this article.

Rowlesburg VFD News

The June Mud Bogs were a great success. We had 43 entries. Winners were: Outlaw—1st David Rhodes, 2nd Daniel Simpson; Super Modified—1st Brandon Pennington, 2nd Lisa Warnick; Modified—1st Nick Wilson, 2nd Brandon Pennington; Super Stock—1st Jamie Didawick, 2nd Robert Lewis; and Stock-- 1st Angela Lewis, 2nd Earl Thompson. A big thanks to everyone who came out and supported the fire department. Of course, a special thanks to Rocky Friend & Michael Strawser for the dozer/hauling and to Rowlesburg Ambulance Service for standing by.

The next mud bog will be held over the Labor Day weekend. The “Muddin’ on the River” will take place on Saturday & Sunday, September 1st & 2nd. On Saturday, the 4X4 trucks will once again try their luck of mud-splashing through the 150’ pit. On Sunday, we welcome back the ATVs! We haven’t had ATV events this year, so we are anxious to have them back. We will

be offering the mud bog as well as dirt drag races for the four-wheelers.

Other Labor Day Festival events will be the parade at 8:00 PM on Friday, August 31st, followed by a dance at the fire station. We invite everyone to rock to “The Road Dawgs” from 10:00 PM – 1:00 AM. “The Road Dawgs” play southern and classic rock and are sure to please! Admission is $10 per person and you must be 21 or older. This is a BYOB event.

During the motorsports events on Saturday & Sunday we will host the guys from East Coast Extreme as they battle each other for the Quad War Championship. Also, come down to the station on Saturday & Sunday to ride in a monster truck! Red Rock monster truck will also be at the Rowlesburg Park on Monday for those wanting to ride. The festival will conclude with fireworks on Monday night.

Don’t forget that Gun Bash tickets are available. This year’s bash will be held on Saturday, September 8th.

To rent the fire station, please call 304-454-9799. Renting is done by donation.

Visit Rowlesburg Vfd on Facebook for event updates, etc. Whatever your plans are this 4th of July holiday--camping, swimming, travelling, etc., stay safe!

"submittedBy">Submitted by Autumn Sheets


Greater Downtown Rowlesburg would like to thank those who have helped us this year with donations. We are still in need of your help, we need money donated to buy such things as potting soil, mulch and anyone who would like to volunteer would be welcome. Donations may be sent to P.O. Box 665, Rowlesburg, WV 26425.
Take the time to look at the beautiful flower gardens around town. Thanks again. Gloria Dean & Joann Sisler


Anna Nassif opened the meeting. She stated that we now have 5 Festivals a year with people attending from at least 10 states.

Brochures are being updated and set to interstate rest stops to advertise these events. Vicky Walters suggested that MAPP might be able to help with the cost of these. They all agreed that signage and advertising were very important. Tim Weaver gave a presentation on the need for a gasoline station in town.




This report is based on data collected during the months of July, August and September 2011 in the Rowlesburg area. The survey and data collection consisted of (a) a petition asking local area residents and out of town visitors to sign if they would fill up at a Rowlesburg service station, (b) data downloaded from the U.S. Bureau of Census population and households by county, (c) interviews with CSX personnel, Cheat River Limestone personnel, (d) information provided by various organizations regarding events and numbers of visitors to those events, and (e) anecdotal information from local residents regarding truckers living in the Rowlesburg area.

The petition methodology is far more accurate and predictive of future consumer behavior than standard market surveys. The Rowlesburg petitions required a signature. In addition the survey asked how many miles the respondent drove per week and how many times he or she filled up at a service station. Area residents were defined in the study as persons living in the Rowlesburg postal zip code, 26425.

Out of town visitors were defined as persons living outside of the Rowlesburg postal zip code. A total of 61 truckers was included in the analysis of diesel fuel consumption. Two sources were used: Petitions signed by truckers at a local grocery market and a count provided by Cheat River Limestone of stone trucks hauling from the plant. An estimated 40-60 truckers haul from the Cheat River Limestone plant in Manheim on a fairly regular basis. This number is consistent with the National Bridge Inventory count of 78 trucks crossing Cheat River Bridge in Rowlesburg daily. Although not the only route of haulers (some go up Salt Lick before crossing the bridge), the Cheat River Bridge is the primary route.

The other primary source of data was the 2010 U.S. Census. The petitions were used to generate a profile of local area residents and visitors. The profiles were based on the petitions signed by 322 area residents and 452 out of town visitors. Profile data was used to extrapolate to the number of residents identified in the Census, and to the number of visitors identified by several organizations that sponsor summer and year around activities. Those activities draw thousands visitors to Rowlesburg over the course of a year. Those sources included: The Rowlesburg Community Park, the Szilagyi Center, VFW, Ambulance Service and the Volunteer Fire Department.


o Rowlesburg Area Total Population: 1,327,

o Number of Local Vehicles: 1,406

o Local Miles Driven Per Month: 1,320,273

o Monthly Visitors: 2,538

o Monthly Visitors’ Gasoline Consumption (gals.): 45,684

o Monthly Heavy Trucks Consumption (gasoline in gals.): 1,600

o Total Monthly Gasoline Consumption (all vehicles in gals.): 124,000

o Diesel Trucks Stone Haulers: Est. 40-60 (N=50)

o Diesel Trucks Local Independents: 11

o Trucks per Day Crossing Cheat River Bridge: 78

o Monthly Diesel Consumption (gals.): 118,950

o Comparison of comparable towns and traffic (all vehicles): Rowlesburg Traffic Count: 6390; Service stations: 0* Tunnelton Traffic Count: 7010 Service stations: 2 Newburgh Traffic Count: 5660: Service stations: 1 Aurora Traffic Count: 5860 Service stations: 1

* 1 Service Station five miles away.


Data Sources and Assumptions.

1. Non-responses. Each petition was numbered and the signatures counted. If there was not a signature, the respondent was cast out of the data analysis. Non-responses to various sections of the petition that were signed, e.g., number of miles driven per week, were accounted for in the analysis by reducing the N for that category of response to reflect the number of actual responses. This is a standard practice in data analysis.

2. Rowlesburg area population and household figures. This information comes from the 2010 Census data by tract within counties. Dr. Darrell Dean, Professor Emeritus, WVU, using software available for census analysts, assembled the counts in those tracts.

3. Data on bridge crossings by trucks. This data comes from the National Bridge Inventory (NBI), US Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration.

4. Local area miles driven per month. We multiplied the average number of reported miles driven (229) from the local petitions by the number of cars (1,406) estimated from U.S. Census. Data estimates on number of cars are based on the following: 703 households times the national average number of cars per household. The national average is 1.9 as taken from the 2001 National Household Travel Survey, person file, U.S. Department of Transportation. A more recent study by Experian Automotive found a national average of 2.28 vehicles per household. We rounded the U.S. DOT number to 2 for ease of analysis. We then established miles per month by multiplying the weekly total miles driven by the average number of weeks per month (52/12) times the number of local vehicles (heavy trucks calculated separately).

5. Local Resident Gasoline consumption. This number is based on an average of 18 miles per gallon. We took into consideration that many of the 1406 estimated vehicles in the local area are pickup trucks. We also added the estimated gasoline consumption of 6-10 CSX trucks (N=6) that work out of the M&K Junction in Rowlesburg. This data is based on an interview with the foreman of the section crew that works on railroad maintenance in the area. We assumed 45-gallon tanks filled daily 6 times per week. To calculate the gallons per month consumed for automobiles and light trucks we multiplied the average gas consumption per week times the average number of weeks per month.

Diesel fuel estimate. We based this on an estimated 50 trucks that haul out of the Cheat River Limestone Plant (50) plus 11 local truckers who haul logs, equipment and other loads. We assumed 75 gallons per fill-up with six fill-ups weekly. The number of local haulers is an estimate based on the signed petitions left at Bell’s Grocery Store in Rowlesburg and a list of additional truckers, not on the list, provided by local area residents. It is assumed that the potential market for diesel in Rowlesburg will grow significantly in the future. This is based on information collected during interviews with Cheat River Limestone personnel.

For the events calendar, please click here.

For the events calendar, please click here.

6. Traffic count data. This sources comes from DOH Traffic counts in Preston County, 2008. Communities were the following: Rowlesburg, Tunnelton, Newburgh and Aurora. These communities were selected because they are of the same approximate size. All but one of the towns has one or more in-town service stations. The one that does not is Rowlesburg.

"submittedBy">Submitted by Timothy Weaver


Mayor’s Task Force on Tourism VISION: Rowlesburg becomes year around outdoor tourist Mecca. MISSION: Provide Mayor with recommendations and action steps to foster tourism as an economic base for the community. IMMEDIATE GOAL: Increase visitor traffic to Rowlesburg each year! MEANS:

1. Coordinate, build upon and add to the town’s resources to encourage tourist-oriented business activity in the community; establish baseline indicators

2. Promote major events, such as festivals, that bring outside visitors to the community.

3. Market outdoor tourism that takes advantage of our natural resources—mountains, river and location.

4. Encourage the development of tourist lodging accommodations.

5. Encourage and support private property improvement equal to the Greater Downtown’s success with flowers.

6. Encourage participation, and integrate within Task Force‘s planning activities tourism efforts already underway in nearby communities in Southern Preston County such as Fellowsville and Aurora. The remainder of this document is attached. The Vision, Mission and Goal statement are followed by a series of specific Actions. The top priority actions are listed below.


Market outdoor tourism that takes advantage of our natural resources—mountains, river and location.

7. Coordinate, build upon and add to the town’s resources to encourage tourist-oriented business activity in the community; establish baseline indicators.

8. Promote major events, such as festivals, that bring outside visitors to the community.


Work with PAF (Park ,Ambulance and Firemen), Businesses and Town to Market Outdoor Tourism

1. Build and install new signs to guide tourists to Park, museums, Cannon Hill, Town Library and railfan locations—including new signs on Rt. 50 and Rt. 72.

2. Create and print brochures and place display racks in area businesses.

3. Place rowlesburgguide.com web-site on more “portals.”

4. Create and publish guides for country road hiking and biking trails, e.g., Cannon Hill trail.

Work with PAF, Mayor and Council to Utilize Town Resources

1. Utilize Town-owned property for RV park development, e.g., Cannon Hill RV Park, designated street parking.

2. Coordinate schedule of activities and open hours of the three Rowlesburg museums and libraries—B&O Station, RAHS Museum and Genealogical Library, Town of Rowlesburg Library and the Greatest Society Museum of WWII.

3. Refurbish existing Town signs on edge of town.

4. Establish “official visitors center” with information on attractions, recreational activities, restaurants and accommodations—perhaps the new caboose.

As the reader can see, the first priorities undertaken by the Commission were to promote existing tourist assets. Rowlesburg is in and of itself a tourist asset. The town is a classic pre-WWII railroad town. It is a living museum. The historic nature of the town is recognized in its listing on the National Register of Historic Places. The theory implicit in the above is that capital flows into opportunity. This is a fundamental principal of economic development in every textbook from Samuelson to Porter. We believe that evidence can be found in Rowlesburg:

a. The Clear Mountain Bank invested $500,000 in building a new branch office on Buffalo Street, naming the efforts in Rowlesburg to revitalize the community as a factor in their decision.

b. Barrett’s Antique Store on Main Street has been expanded, renovated and new signage created to advertise it.

c. A new restaurant and tavern have been established-- the Thirsty Bear—on Main Street. The new owners said they were in town and by chance stopped in the day of the Christmas Market. They were impressed with the effort and decided to stay and explore the town more. As a result, they selected a location and have opened.

d. Dr. Joe Nassif, Washington, DC dentist and oral surgeon, purchased a vacant home on Buffalo Street and renovated the property as his second home. His original home, an apartment above the Curiosity Shoppe is now the Main Stay, a vacation apartment for visitors. Mike and Carol Hooton purchased the Short home on Elm Street. They are retired federal government employees. Several others have purchased homes and put much into them—retired pharmacist, retired professor bought a farm outside of town, retiree from California bought a new home built by the owner on speculation, an RV owner purchased a vacant lot to build a pad for his RV near the Park.

e. A retired professor bought a home on Main Street with plans to open a bed and breakfast.

f. An out of town contractor purchased a blighted property on Main Street with the intention of renovating the house for resale.

g. Bells Grocery Market designed and installed a new sign to advertise to travelers their Deli, Pizza and Sandwiches. They have added soft-serve ice cream and up-to-date movie rentals. The store provides catering services for events of all sizes.

6. h. A local property owner with several acres of riverfront property has decided to establish an RV campsite, rather than run cattle. This new business is now open.

i. New family has purchased the old Wilson jewelry store and with plans to open an ice cream parlor and coffee shop. They also bought a foreclosed home adjacent to the property and are renovating it for a rental.

j. Anna Nassif, retired professor, purchased the old People’s National Bank building with plans to open a gallery. She was a dancer, choreographer and professor of modern dance at the University of Wisconsin.

k. A small band of hearty soles has brought the Szilagyi Center to life with the several festivals each year, dinners and much more. Much credit goes to the determination of the RRC.

l. Two interested parties currently are looking at properties with potential plans for a service station.

These are what we might call “Straws in the Wind,” or nascent indicators. They have all happened since the revitalization effort began in earnest six years ago. All of those efforts combined have increased summer traffic in Rowlesburg. Now there are seven major festivals from May to December, whereas before this effort, there was one. The Rowlesburg Area Historical Society has been very successful in attracting State grants for the development of Cannon Hill. That attraction alone brings many visitors to town. The increase in summer traffic has not gone unnoticed. The promotion of Rowlesburg through a constant stream of articles in local and regional newspapers, radio and television has resulted in frequent comments like, “you folks are really doing a lot in Rowlesburg,” or “I wish the other towns would take your lead,” or “I am really surprised at all of the things you are doing over there.”

Move to a "Next Level."

Our next economic development priority is to intensify efforts to bring businesses to the downtown that will capitalize on the increase I of visitors in the summer and on holiday weekends. To that end we have done several things out below in the list of tasks since 2010 on tourism projects. The most important of these is the gasoline/diesel fuel consumption survey (attached) we completed last summer. Hopefully we will have more to report on this project next time.

Next year the community is celebrating the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Rowlesburg. This important Civil War battle kept the B&0 railroad running throughout the Civil War, what some called “Lincoln’s Lifeline.” With the victory here over Confederate raiders, the three bridges crossing Cheat Valley would have been destroyed in 1863. That would have cut the “lifeline” from the Potomac to the Ohio River. This will be a big tourist attraction. We have formed a committee to explore ways of celebrating the event.


1. Continued the sale of banner sponsorships for Labor Day Weekend. For the three years ending 2012 we will have added an additional $9,000 to the Park Day fund. This brings the total raised by the banners to more than $20,000 for the seven years beginning in 2006. The funds have been used to improve the baseball diamonds, replace old playground equipment and buy new equipment for the Concession Stand, including an ice machine.

2. Helped raise substantial funds for the Ambulance service. At the time the RVAS was in financial difficulty. The Tourism Commission sponsored the Civil War Weekend in 2010 to help raise the funds. We also solicited donations from sponsors and private donors. Today, the Ambulance Service is in better financial health.

3. The Civil War Trails Project has installed three interpretive panels mounted on double pedestal frames depicting the Battle of Rowlesburg. The signs are now located at three points of significance: at Cheat Bridge where General Jones divided his Confederate Raiders sending a detachment over the mountain near Madison Run to attack the railroad bridge in Rowlesburg; at the Battle of the “River Road” about ½ mile from the southern town line; on the Cannon Hill Road overlooking the railroad where the detachment sent over the mountain attempted to torch the bridge carrying the B&O traffic over Cheat River. Both of these attacks failed. By locating the interpretive signs in Rowlesburg, the Battle of Rowlesburg is on the Civil War Trails map and we are published in the CW Trails brochure. We also appear on the Civil War Tails Website.

4. Working with the RAHS the Tourism Commission obtained through a donation one-acre of land abutting the north side of Tray Run on WV 72 heading north out of town. This land will be used for a pull-off to allow visitors to view Tray Run Viaduct, a massive four-arch stone bridge built in 1907. The bridge has been in continuous use for over 100 years. An image of the bridge appears on the back of the West Virginia State seal. This is a project in progress for over four years. We will lay the culvert this summer and begin preparations for the pull-off.

5. The Tourism Commission has held discussions with and written to more than a half-dozen potential service station operators with the goal of locating a service station in the downtown area of Rowlesburg. To date, two serious buyers are

doing due diligence on the potential for such a business.

6. As part of an on-going effort, going back four years, to locate a service station here, the Tourism Commission conducted a major consumer survey in the summer of 2011 to collect signatures on a petition requesting the following information: miles driven per week, gasoline consumed per week and willingness to buy petroleum products in Rowlesburg. The final report included the survey results and 2010 Census data for the area to determine the number of consumers and amounts of gasoline and diesel fuel they consume (report is attached).

7. Worked with and have joined the Cheat River Rail Trail Committee of Friends of the Cheat. The rail trail is an ongoing project dating back 10 years to the initial closure of the M&K branch of CSX. The Rail Trail Committee has held trail use rights to the property for the 10 year period and now has arranged with the WV Rail Authority to proceed with a deal involving Greer Limestone for the transfer of approximately one mile of the rail right of way to Greer. In exchange, Greer will make a financial payment to the Rail Trail. Greer will reopen the railroad from their plant in Manheim to Rowlesburg at the CSX shops. In addition to financial consideration Greer will build a trail around the plant to the trailhead near the Rowlesburg School in Rowlesburg. We will work with the Rail Trail Committee to develop the parcel.

8. Worked with and joined Friends of the Cheat to create the Cheat River Water Tails map. This important project will provide details to boaters who wish to navigate the upper Cheat (Henricks to Rowlesburg. The work is being done in conjunction with the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources. This is one of the most important projects on our list to encourage the use of the river. As Rowlesburg is the halfway point between Parsons and Morgantown, the location is strategically important to tourism. We intend to pursue this project and those that follow from it, as the river is one of our greatest tourist assets and has much unrealized potential for tourist business development.

9. We have continued to host Railroad Day as part of the Labor Day Weekend Festival. This year the Northern WV Model Train Show, part of Railroad Day, will be expanded to three locations: Ambulance Building, Community Building and the VFW upstairs hall. This will allow the model train clubs to enlarge their displays and to accommodate vendors.

10. For the three-year period, 2010-to date, we have submitted 20 articles on the seven festivals and other events in Rowlesburg such as the Ramp and Chili dinners and the Mud Bog contests. These articles are sent out to over 70 newspapers and media outlets in West Virginia and three other states.

11. In 2012 we sponsored the first ever Northern WV Photo Exhibit and Contest as part of the River City Arts Festival. The exhibit had 73 photos that line an exhibit area on the third floor of the Szilagyi Center. Photographers from all over the state took the photographs. This year the contest awarded prizes worth $625 to the four winners.

12. Perhaps, one of our proudest accomplishments is the development of the Rowlesburg Friends Facebook page. This small–scale experiment began last year with a handful of friends in the membership list and has now grown to 11 pages and several thousand members from around Preston County and all over the country. This is a no-cost experiment in social networking that has been a delight to undertake and a pleasure to see development. The pages are used to keep up to date on events involving festivals, community events, important health and related resources, family activities, the arts, businesses and links to many sources of information on the Internet. This is a project we will continue to develop.


The Storm Friday night put a damper on the events of the week-end. The re-enactors said the storm was “no big deal” for them. What kind of an army would run home because of a storm!




They all enjoyed a VFW Breakfast prepared by men from the VFW 3008 Post and women from the VFW Auxiliary 3008.

They promise to be back next year, come and see the camp and visit with our soldiers next year.

RHS Class1962 Celebrates 50th Reunion


Freeman Runner was present, but missing from picture

The Rowlesburg High School Class of 1962 (RHS62) celebrated their 50th year of graduation on May 26, 2012, at the Rowlesburg VFW. A “super” turnout of 20, RHS62 alumni attended the celebration along with 21 others including spouses and guests. The 41 attendees enjoyed a reception and dinner as they swapped memories and caught up on one another’s past activities. The RHS62 had 37 graduates and 26 are still living in the states of Wyoming, Delaware, Indiana, Ohio, Virginia, and many in West Virginia. RHS62 alumni from each of these states attended the celebration. For the celebration, a Memory Book was created and included past and present pictures, and as one alumnus put it, “a Readers Digest” version of the alumni’s lives, and the obituary of each deceased classmate. A copy of the Memory Book will be placed with the Rowlesburg Area Historical Society and in the Szilagyi Center. A large collage, which depicted past images of classmates and class activities, was created by Beverly (Lantz) Volk and was displayed at the reunion. It is hoped that the collage will hang in a public place such as the Szilagyi Center. Also, Linda (Taylor) Sanders created and displayed a special table memorializing deceased classmates. A great time was had by all those attending and we are looking forward to the next celebration in two years.


This committee is comprised of citizens living south outside the boundaries of Rowlesburg this side of the Tucker County line. Since then Mayor Bill Simmons held a meeting considering the extension of water from Rowlesburg south to the Tucker County line, east to the foot of Cheat Mountain and west to the foot of Laurel, these people have been trying to obtain water from the town.

With more and more wells running dry and having to carry water to kept their households running they are desperate to have water piped to their homes.

Lead by Bobby Grimm, Mary Loughrey, and Rhoda Sypolt, they brought their plight to the Rowlesburg Common Council pleading for water. The extension had been approved and encouraged by then USDARUS Randy Plum before he retired. It is still considered by this funding group.

This committee encouraged Clay Riley of Thrasher Engineering, Robbie Baylor of PCEDA, Dave Price, County Commissioner and Stan Shaver to attend the June 25 Rowlesburg Council Meeting.

At this time it was discussed how and what could be done to supply water to these people.

Hopefully the rusty wheels have started to grind.


Howard and Amy Durr are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary on July 14th.

Now there is something to celebrate, CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU BOTH!!


The following is from the WVDOT:

Improving Access to Rural Re-sidential Homes in West Virginia The Situation:

Many low volume roads and bridges exist throughout West Virginia that are not maintained by a Govern-mental agency. Often, these roads and bridges are not maintained properly resulting in unsafe access to residential homes.

In many locations, citizens lose service from various providers because of the inferior condition of their bridges. For example, heating oil is not delivered to those who need it or ambulance service is not available to those who required emergency medical care. Fire departments are unable to offer fire protection because the bridges cannot be crossed safely. These issues also directly impact residents who want fire protection insurance for their homes. Occasionally, postal and parcel delivery services are not possible.


In 1998, the West Virginia Legislature found and declared it to be important for the economic and social development of the state that a program for the identification, acquisition, and maintenance of orphan roads and bridges be undertaken by the West Virginia Division of Highways. In particular, the Legislature concluded that basic maintenance should be performed on orphan roads and bridges to promote the well-being of the public. To date, more than 3,216 orphan roads, totaling slightly over 769 miles, have been adopted into the state highway system. These roads serve an estimated 25,000+ families.

In 1998, the West Virginia Legislature found and declared it to be important for the economic and social development of the state that a program for the identification, acquisition, and maintenance of orphan roads and bridges be undertaken by the West Virginia Division of Highways. In particular, the Legislature concluded that basic maintenance should be performed on orphan roads and bridges to promote the well-being of the public. To date, more than 3,216 orphan roads, totaling slightly over 769 miles, have been adopted into the state highway system. These roads serve an estimated 25,000+ families.

In 1999, the WV Division of Highways and the USDA Forest Service developed a partnership. The Forest Service, through its Wood In Transportation Program, provided a $95,000 grant to assist in the building of nine orphan road bridges. In 2000, the Wood In Transportation Program provided a $100,000 grant to assist in the building of 11 orphan road bridges. To date, 14 new bridge replacement projects have been completed on orphan roads for a total cost of $292,945.

Bridge designs employing new pressure-treated lumber for bridge decks use West Virginia native material when possible. New or used steel beams are used as supporting members. Substructure units are built using gabion wire baskets filled with stone, steel pilings, railroad ties, or used median barriers.

For additional information about the Orphan Road and Bridge Program, contact:

Janet L. Lemon Orphan Road Coordinator West Virginia Division of Highways Building 5, Room 925 1900 Kanawha Blvd., E. Charleston, WV 25305-0430 Phone: (304) 558-3931 FAX: (304) 558-4236 Website: www.state.wv.us/orphanroads August 2000 NORTHEASTERN AREA

A state is not a mere society, having a common place, established for the prevention of mutual crime and for the sake of exchange...Political society exists for the sake of noble actions, and not of mere companionship.


Preston County felt like time had reversed last Friday evening as a strong storm hit the area leaving over 60% of the county without electricity.

Older citizens remembered when the lived by candle and lantern lights, with no TV or computers to amuse them.

Doors and windows with screens allowed the houses to cool down through the night as much as was possible. They played cards or if anyone in the family could play a musical instrument, they would play and sing.

When the electric is off for a while the members of the present generation get a feel for how their parents and grandparents managed in “the old times”.

A relaxed less frantic time, don’t get me wrong, I like having air conditioning, TV, computers and all that we have available now.

We worked hard when I was young to manage to survive, it is much easier now. If I don’t feel like cooking there are Microwave dinners. In ten minutes I can have a meal ready, sit in front of the TV relax and be amused dress however I like.

Thank heaven for the present times.


President Roger Riggs presided over the business meeting during which Perfect Attendance Certificates were given to Walter and Katie Burke and Bob and Bonnie Hemerick. Everyone was reminded that the next meeting would be a picnic in the park friends were invited to come bring plenty of food!

After the business meeting was over, Bob Sypolt installed the new officers, by building a train to lead us into the new year. Bob Hemerick was the conductor with his “red flag”, Board of Directors: Tom Smell, Ron Sines and Darrell Dean comprised the first passenger car; Vice Presidents Margaret Schollar, P.L. Grimm and Warren Hare occupied the second passenger car; Treasurer: Delores Riggs was placed in the first class passenger car; Secretary; Sandra Wales was placed in a first class passenger car also, President Eugene Wilt was the engineer; Past President Roger Riggs handed down the “blue flag” to start the train. Which then proceeded to show the group that it meant business in leading the club throughout the new year.

We wish to give Bob Sypolt a special “Thankyou” for his creative-ness in installing our new officers!


Gloria Dean of “Greater Downtown Rowlesburg lead a group of citizens and the state On Trac representatives on a tour of the flower gardens that her committee has planted around the town

Scott Day and Vicky Walters were impressed with the work the committee has done enhancing the beauty of the town.

Scott Day was interested in the old building that have been saved and ones that should be saved as historic places.

After the tour the group adjourned to the River City Café for lunch.



Maggie Deweirdt closed the Ontrac meeting with her presentation showing the progress that the RRC has made over the past few years since 2008.

“We are doing very well, we are “Anywhere USA”. Most large cities do not do one-half of what Rowlesburg does with it’s five festivals a year. The Labor Day Fireworks are spectacular!

These festivals work because the minute one is finished the plans for the next years festival begins. It takes a lot of hard work from the few people planning with backup of a lot of volunteers throughout the Rowlesburg Area. These people are all dedicated to working together to a common goal.

Paul Riggs is our Volunteer of the Year. He has done much to help all groups toward success.

Don Riggs was selected as “History Hero” of Rowlesburg this year.

With such a wide range of volunteers there is no way we can so our great appreciation for the work they do except to say, ‘THANK YOU!!!”

There are a lot of small businesses in town that help and we should show support for them as well.

We are all OnTrac with our programs.



The Center will be open from 11am to 5pm Saturdays and from 1-5pm on Sundays.

You may visit the World War II Museum, The Sports Museum, the Bridge Exhibit, the Emporium of Antiques, and the River City Café

For appointments other times please call 304-3291240 or 304-454-9232.


There will be an eight week pottery class offered at the Szilagyi Center from 10am-1pm, 2-5pm and 6-9pm. The classes started June 12.

The fee includes tools 25 pounds of clay and glazes for $232. Anyone interested in these classes should call 304-329-1883

"If you don't run your own life, somebody else will." John Atkinson

0 to 200 in 6 seconds

Bob was in trouble. He forgot his wedding anniversary. His wife was really pissed.

She told him "Tomorrow morning, I expect to find a gift in the driveway that goes from 0 to 200 in 6 seconds AND IT BETTER BE THERE !!"

The next morning he got up early and left for work. When his wife woke up, she looked out the window and sure enough there was a box gift-wrapped in the middle of the driveway.

Confused, the wife put on her robe and ran out to the driveway, brought the box back in the house

She opened it and found a brand new bathroom scale.

Bob has been missing since Friday.


A completely black dog was strolling down Main street during a total blackout affecting the entire town. Not a single streetlight had been on for hours. As the dog crosses the center of the road a Buick Skylark with 2 broken headlights speeds towards it, but manages to swerve out of the way just in time. How could the driver see the dog to swerve in time?

I Taught My Cat to Clean My

I taught my cat to clean my room, to use a bucket, brush and broom, to dust my books and picture frames, and pick up all my toys and games. He puts my pants and shirts away, and makes my bed, and I should say it seems to me it's only fair he puts away my underwear. In fact, I think he's got it made. I'm not too happy with our trade. He may pick up my shoes and socks, but I clean out his litterbox. --Kenn Nesbitt


July 1 Senator Waitman T. Willey moved to take up the West Virginia statehood bill

Secessionist women arrived in Philippi and were detained by a Union officer.

President Lincoln issued a proclamation that a lien be placed on the real estate of the states in insurrection excepting named counties of Virginia, which included most of present-day West Virginia.

July 2 Several members of the Mountain Rangers were captured in Calhoun County after a skirmish with soldiers from the 11th (West) Virginia Regiment. The Fourth of July was celebrated in several counties.

July 5 Citizens of Tucker County met and passed resolutions regarding handling of guerrillas.

July 7 Senator Waitman T. Willey moved to take up the West Virginia statehood bill

July 10 At a meeting in the Randolph County community of Huttonsville, citizens passed a resolution stating they were willing to live under the laws of the United States government and would provide information on Confederate guerrillas to Federal commanders.

July 11 A Soldiers' Aid Society was organized in Wheeling, which included Governor Pierpont on the Board of Directors.

July 12 President Lincoln invited congressmen from the border states to the White House to appeal for their support of gradual emancipation.

July 13 A guerrilla raid captured groceries of Dr. Chapman in Roane County on the road between Spencer in Roane County and Ravenswood in Jackson County.

July 14 The West Virginia statehood bill was passed by the United States Senate by a vote of 23-17.

Border state congressmen, including John S. Carlile, signed a majority response to President Lincoln's appeal of July 12.

July 15 Some border state congressmen, including William G. Brown, J. B. Blair, and Waitman T. Willey, signed a minority response to President Lincoln's appeal of July 12.

July 16 Governor Pierpoint called for a creation of a unit from the Restored State of Virginia to be provided to the Union army to fill President Lincoln’s call to arms for the nation.

July 18 A group of bushwhackers arrested in Logan County arrived in Point Pleasant in charge of Capt. J. H. Dayton.

July 19 The commander at Camp Carlile in Wheeling gave notice to people improperly wearing insignia of United States soldiers to cease or be arrested, and also to soldiers "on furlough" to report or be arrested.

July 21 A meeting was held in Marshall County to respond to the president's request for additional troops and at which a resolution calling for John Carlile to resign was approved.

July 22 At a meeting in Taylor County to encourage enlistments, a resolution calling for John Carlile to resign was approved.

July 23 A meeting was held in Wetzel County to respond to the president's request for additional troops.

July 24 A detachment of the Twelfth Ohio began a scout to Wyoming County.

July 25 Confederates raided Summersville. Guerrillas shot a Wirt County magistrate and stole state muskets near Parkersburg.

John Carlile gave a speech at the Atheneum in Wheeling on the statehood question.

July 26 Governor Pierpoint spoke at a meeting in Wheeling regarding the president's call for more troops.

July 28 Residents of Parkersburg took action in response to false report of coming guerilla attack.

A mass war meeting at the county court session in Brooke County heard a speech from Gov. Pierpont and passed resolutions.

July 29 The town council of Point Pleasant approved the payment of $25 for each volunteer mustered into Union service in the corporation limits.

July 30 At a speech in Indianapolis, John Carlile blamed the decline for support of the Union in the South on "the determination of the abolitionists to change the purpose and objects of the war."

July 31 The military post at Ravenswood issued orders barring any secession assemblages in Jackson County and imposing other orders. Auditor Crane and Governor Pierpont spoke at a war meeting at West Liberty, and resolutions supporting the war were passed.

Here's a link