- The arched stone masonry
viaducts Tray Run and Buckhorn were completed about 1907 by the
B & O railroad. Originally these were made of cast-iron trestles
built on top of stone walls. The design of the trestles were
early works of Albert Fink. When they were built in 1852 it was
considered the greatest engineering feat of the time. The picture
of the Tray Run arched masonry viaduct appears on the back of
the West Virginia State Seal.
- (See Tray Run History)
River Grade and M&K Jct
Very early settlers
were Salathiel Goff, John Wheeler, David Loudon, David Wonderly,
Knotts, later Hooton Graham. David Wonderly erected the first
house (a log home). It is still a part of the Randolph McVicker
house as the house was built around the log house and is still
standing today. In 1825 David Wonderly purchased the land from
Rowlesburg was first named Vicksburg. James
Goff sold 207 acres of his 441 acres teakettle shaped property
to his son-in law, Robert Calhoun in 1815 which was Manheim.
Then in 1817 he gave the remaining 204 acres to his son Salathiel
which was Rowlesburg
- Hezikiah Frazer settled
here in 1775. He was deeded four hundred forty one acres of land
by survey bearing the date of 18th October 1784 including the
land he settled in 1775 on the west side of Cheat River at the
mouth of Salt Lick. This deed was signed by Patrick Henry, Governor
of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Hezikiah Frazer and his wife
Catherine sold to James Goff this 441 Acres of land for One Hundred
Twenty Five Pounds lawful money on the Sixth Day of September
in the year of our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred.
A. A. Perry built a tavern,
The River House in 1831.
The first store was operated
as early as 1850 by a Mr. Offut.
In 1890 Mr. William Shoch organized
a local telephone company. The first telephone switchboard was
located in a corner of Mr. Shock's Store, which stood near the
railroad just a few hundred yards west of the B & O Bridge.
It was later moved into the oldest building in Rowlesburg, at
that time owned by Harry Wheeler, and now occupied by the Joe
Nassif Family. It was in a small room on the second floor. But
there is also another version of the origin of Rowlesburg's telephone.
Other residents state that a telephone
was in use in 1888. A phone was located in the Pugh Store, owned
by Pugh and Stone in the building at the railroad crossing, now
owned by L. B. Holland. It was known as the old C. M. Bishop
Building (no longer exists). The central office was located in
St. George, Tucker Co.
Sometime after A. A. Pickering
located in the town he became owner-manager of the telephone
system, operating it until selling to a Mr. Marsh of St. Mary's.
Mr. Marsh in turn sold the system to the Chesapeake and Potomac
Telephone Co. This Company formally opened its offices in Rowlesburg,
July 26, 1938. While Mr. Pickering owned the system the central
office was located in a small building on the east side of Church
Street on what was once the Maloney property, then owned by John
Mrs. Gertrude Shaw was an operator
for the Company Mr. Shock organized. She worked from 7 AM until
9 PM and was paid $15.00 a month . She was employed in 1906 and
1907 in the office in the Nassif building. Winifred Malloy was
also an operator for the local company. Mr. Shock's company ran
lines to Amboy, Aurora and Terra Alta. Some of the stock- holders
were William Shoch, Peter Wotring, A.J. Moore, Orlando Crane,
Andrew Goff, George Hayes, Paige McCrum.
The lumber industry
began booming about five years after the Civil War and continued
until shortly after World War I. In 1880 O.D. Downey and Hinkle
and King had sawmills. Logs for these mills were "rafted"
down Cheat River. Later mills: Allegheny Land, Lumber, and Boom
Co.(1881), Palmer, Garcel, (handle mill), Rowlesburg Lumber and
Iron Co. (two mills.planing and stave), Eberly, Senselman, Hickley
and Co. (steam saw mills), Mrs. A. J. (Mary Alice Bolyard) Wolfe,
(saw and grist mill), later mills: M.E. Howe, Cross, Felty and
1870: The largest sawmill
and stave factory in the county was operated by A. A. Perry.
Note: Mrs. Americus
Jasper Wolfe was my great-grandmother. katie
In 1873 Lot #35 in the
town of Rowlesburg was deeded to the I.O.O.F Airy Lodge #17.
They built the building and it served as a meeting place for
the (Odd Fellows) lodge until August 4, 1994. It is the second
oldest building in Rowlesburg and the lodge was deeded to the
Rowlesburg Area Historical Society in 1995.
The Rowlesburg Park
was established by Harry Hollis, Randolph McVicker and Abraham
Wotring. Mr. McVicker gave land which he valued at $l,000.00.
Mr. Hollis and Mr. Wotring matched the value: Total $3,000.00.
The first park commissioners were appointed for life: A. J. Moore,
E. F. Giffin, H. R. Hollis. Mr. Hollis, the last remaining member
of the committee, gave the park to the Town of Rowlesburg.
On Christmas Day 1852,
the first engine crossed the B & O bridge over Cheat River.
In 1891, Rowlesburg was the
largest town in Preston County.
In 1899, a Fire Company Bucket Brigade was organized.
The equipment was one set of ladders and tin buckets. First Fire
Chief was N.C. Dawson.
So, was it 1867, 1869, or 1871?
In 1871 St. Philomena Catholic
congregation erected a church. This building, with alterations,
is the same building that is still standing today but is no longer
having regular services.
From History of Methodism in Rowlesburg
by Reverend Jennings H. Fast, published 1946. page 10 "The
Roman Catholic church was built in 1869 and in the early days
of the railroad was strongly supported by the Irish. They even
had a parish school. The school building was moved and is now
occupied by the cleaning establishment of "Bo" Thompson."
From the 1-22-1959 newspaper "A
History of Rowlesburg":
"With the coming of the rail, came the Irish, and St. Philomena's
Catholic Church was established as a parish in 1867, and a Catholic
school about a year later was taught in a small building at that
time, located just across the street from the church. That building
was moved before the turn of the century and is now located on
Buffalo Street, in use as an office for Mankins Insurance Agency."
Note: That little building (located
next door to the Exxon) has been many things but no longer exists.
It belonged to N.C. Dawson who used it for his funeral home and
when it was razed, the Historical Society moved the concrete
stoop bearing his initials to the side door of their building.
- In 1862-Civil War:
Union soldiers were stationed on Cannon Hill. Peter Wotring hauled
cannons to the top of the hill with his team of oxen. Confederates
were located on Farmers' Knob. At night shots "with light"
streamed across the town from one hill to the other. General
Jones, Confederate General against Major John Showalter, Union.
- (See Jones Imboden Raid)
In 1912, The Peoples'
National Bank was organized. President : A. A.
Pickering; Vice Presidents: Harry R. Hollis, F.M. Fogle; Cashier:
Hileman; Board of Directors: R. McVicker, C.E. Emerson, C.A.
Miller, John J. Mckone, Jr., J.E. Stitzinger, A. Bliss McCrumb.
The bank was one of
very few that didn't go under during the Great Depression due
to Randolph McVicker who went to Clarksburg and pulled all his
money out of that bank and brought it to Rowlesburg.