Pocahontas Commissioners Appoint a County Bi-Centennial Commission

Pocahontas County came into existence in March of 1821 through the passage of a bill in the Virginia Legislature, so the County will celebrate its 200th birthday in 2021. Cara Rose, Director of the Pocahontas County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau appeared before the County Commissioners at their March 7th meeting to ask for the official creation of a Bi-Centennial Commission which will begin organizing special events and projects to incorporate into a Bi-Centennial Celebration to honor the founding of Pocahontas County. The celebration could encompass a year to a year and a half of pageants, local history products, plays, tours, web sites, historical events all centered on the founding. The celebration would start in 2021Cara explained. She also said that now is the time to begin the planning since her research has shown that most successful county bi-centennial celebrations require at least 4 years of planning, which is exactly how long a Bi-Centennial Commission here would have to prepare for the celebration.

The Commissioners voted to establish an official Bi-Centennial Commission and appointed the following members:

Ruth Taylor; Jaynell Graham; Bill McNeel; Michael Holstine; Lauren Bennett; Bob Sheets; Judith Fuller; Bill Jordan; Chelsea Walker; Cara Rose and Jessie Groseclose as the County Commission’s representative.

To help get everyone into the Bi-Centennial Spirit, Bob Sheets read an historical and amusing letter written in 1823 Huntersville.


“The first Superior Court was held in 1823, and this is an excerpt from a letter of Colonel J. Howe Peyton, the first Commonwealth’s Attorney of Pocahontas County on his first visit to Huntersville” said Bob Sheets. “And I quote, ‘On Tuesday at 2 o’clock we arrived at Huntersville, the seat of justice for Pocahontas County, a place just as much out of the way as “Kırım Tatarları”‘ –I had to research that. That is the Crimea. Evidently Colonel Peyton was well read, and he is talking about Crimean Tartans. It’s like ok, we travelled so far, we must be in Crimea (laughter) – ‘Owing to the bad condition of the roads, we were much fatigued and bore many marks of travel stain.  (laughter) The so called town of Huntersville consists of two ill constructed, timeworn – though it is not time that has worn them- weather beaten cabins built on logs and covered with clapboards. My Negro cabins on Jacksons River are palaces in comparison with them. One of these wretched hovels is the residence of John Bradshaw. In Bradshaw’s dwelling there is a large fireplace which occupies one side- the gable end. The chimney is enormous and is so short that the room is full of light which enters this way. It is an ingenious contrivance for letting all the warmth escape through the chimney while most of the smoke is driven back into the chamber (laughter.) In the chimney corner I prepared my legal papers before a roaring fire, surrounded by rough mountaineers who were drinking whiskey and as the night advanced, growing riotous’  (laughter). Now I’m not sure how long you want to serve on this group (more laughter) but if you want to participate in this say in 1822 or 1823, Lawyer Martin has suggested he has a cabin on his property which would suffice, and I’m sure we could throw up a chimney which will keep the smoke in, and we can probably find a willing supplier for the whiskey and somebody that’s riotous  (laughter) at your commemorative meeting.”

Cara Rose added –“I think it would be really fun to actually do this.”

There were actually a lot of other really important things that happened at this March 7th Pocahontas County Commission meeting, but we got so carried away with making sure you heard Bob Sheets read from an actual 1823 letter which gave us a hilarious peak back into the frontier that was the Pocahontas County of the early 19th Century, that we plumb ran out of time for all that modern stuff, but don’t worry, stay tuned to Allegheny mountain Radio for part two of this story about this Commission meeting. I promise you it will be all about 2017 things.

Story By

Tim Walker

Tim is the WVMR News Reporter. Tim is a native of Maryland who started coming to Pocahontas County in the 1970’s as a caver. He bought land on Droop Mountain off Jacox Road in 1976 and built a small house there in the early 80’s. While still working in Maryland, Tim spent much time at his place which is located on the Friars Hole Cave Preserve. Retiring in 2011 as a Lieutenant with the Anne Arundel County Police Department in Maryland, Tim finally took the plunge and moved from Maryland to his real home on Droop Mountain. He began working as the Pocahontas County Reporter for Allegheny Mountain Radio in January of 2015.

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