WCHS Activities 9

Wise County Historical Society Activities 9

Christmas Dinner Party at Nina Mullins

The Christmas Dinner Party was held at the home of Nina Mullins, where Nina cooked a delicious dinner and gifts were exchanged.  Most of us attended and we had a great time.  Thank you, Nina!

The Heritage of Wise County and The City of Norton: Vol. II

More History, more Photos, more Folklore, Full of surprises! This book is a MUST for Wise County researchers, or if you have ties with Wise County in any regard. It will      intrigue you with its many stories of Wise County’s early days, its towns, communities and people who made it all happen.

Comments: “The book is a great buy at any price.”
“I love it. I can hardly put it down!”
“It is better than the first book.” (Volume 1)
“The Wise County Historical society did a great job with this book.”
“It is one of a kind and will be a much sought-after collectors item and heirloom one day!” 1133 pages, photos, Index, 9 x 12. Price: $65.00, plus shipping charge. (See chart for postage).

The Heritage of Wise County and City of Norton, Vol II contains the following chapters:

In the Beginning,  Frontier Forts,  Indian Atrocities along the Clinch,  Powell and Holston Rivers,  Early Frontier,  Early Houses,  Wise County,  Princes Flats… The city of Norton,  Our Towns,  James Taylor Adams (writings),  Edward L. “Buck” Henson, Jr. (writings),  Our People,  Memories

February 14, 2002

  • The minutes of the October 4, 2001 meeting were read and approved, with the exception of the   number of books ordered.  This figure was changed from 2,500 to 2,000.
  • Bill Porter said he thought we should exchange quarterly magazines with the historical societies in the mid-west as so many of our people went West.
  • Rhonda Robertson and Wanda Rose said that sometimes we  send our Appalachian Quarterly, which consists of 112 pages out and get only a short newsletter in return.  This will be discussed further at our next meeting.
  • Bill also announced that there will be an annual Chamber Gala on April 13, 2002.  The charge for participating in this will be $50.00
  • The Melungeon gathering this year will be held on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, June 20, 21 and 22nd. in the Memorial Park at Fort Henry Dam in Kingsport, TN. It was unanimous that our Society will not set up  a table at that meeting.
  • Bill also reported that the UNIBIND representative will be here on Tuesday, February 26th, and that anyone who wishes to do so can come  to the office and watch the demonstration.
  • Wanda requests that more attention be made to filling out subscription forms for the Appalachian Quarterly. Sometimes she gets a check or cash for a subscription but there is no completed form to tell who the subscription is for, not their address.
  • Wanda also reported that we now have a CPA, Mr. Rogers Viers, who is handling our account books.  Mr. Viers has completed an Internal Financial Statement dated December 31, 2001.
  • Discussion was held as to whether or not we wish to put an ad in the Mountain Remembrances.  Bill Porter and Rhonda Robertson both expressed their opinion that we should put an ad in the paper.
  • Jack Kenned has asked if anyone knows where the old Drag Racing field was located in Coeburn back in the 1960’s.  He would appreciate any information on this.  Bill Porter said he would tell Mr. Kennedy to contact the office of the Town of Coeburn, and that he may also search the old Coalfield Progress papers for more information on this.
  • Family History Day was discussed. Bill Gobble will ask the Administrator, Mr. Sealover, if he has any objections to our putting up tents, flags, balloons, etc. on the courthouse lawn,  and if the courthouse rest rooms could be made available to the public during the Memorial Day weekend., Saturday, May 25th and Sunday, May 26th.
  • We have been looking at a new copy machine and Bristol Office Supply will bring one in for demonstration.  They will bring the machine in and let us use it for two weeks.

February 28, 2002

  • Treasurer’s report. Payment for the new binder has been made
  • Contacted Coalfield Progress about the ad in upcoming Mountain Remembrances
  • Bill Gobble talked to Mr. Sealover about Family History Day.  Mr. Sealover gave his permission for us to use the courthouse lawn to set up tents on Saturday and Sunday, May 25th. and 26th.  He advised that we get insurance to cover this period, and Wanda Rose said she would take care of this. Our Society will not be selling any food or drinks. Mr. Sealover said that Jack Kennedy will probably have his office open on that day and the rest rooms will be available to the public.  Bill Gobble also got permission to use the section near the jail.   There will be no booths available for Crafts – only Family History and Books.
  • The Fall Fling has changed their date to the last weekend in September this year. Their theme will be “History and The Future.”
  • Angela Stallard has brought 5,000 family histories to be put into our computer. These have been brought in by children in grades K through 8 at the J. W. Adams School in Pound.
  • Bill Gobble would like to do a book on the Dotson Family.
  • Suggestions made by Angela Stallard to have on Family History Day are:
    1. Basic Genealogy classes taught by Sherron Stallard
    2. Advanced Genealogy classes, including how to use microfilm and checking on
    military records.
  • Sharon Stallard will be teaching classes on the above subjects the first three weeks in May no Wednesday nights, from 6 to 7 p.m.  These classes will be taught at the Library in Wise and the Library will furnish snacks and refreshments.  These classes are free to the public.
  • Many other suggestions were made by Angela and Bill Porter.

April 4, 2002

  • Family History Day will have several writer’s  here.
  • Rhonda Robertson will be at one table to answer questions on the families of Beverly, Cantrell, Church, Elkins, Dale, Branham,Collins, Thacker, Gilley, Hall, Hubbard, Mullins, Powers and Jones.
  • Bill Gobble will answer questions on the George Wells family out of Grayson County, and Bill will also have a data base in the office on many families, which he will share.
  • Bill Gobble said he will copy and rebind the Gilley book, compiled by Charlene Gilley Colerick of Kingsport, TN. We plan to invite Ms. Colerick to be here on that day.
  • During Sherron Stallard’s genealogy classes to be held at wise County Library every Wednesday during May, she would like to give a prize each night.  It was suggested that a World War II book, a Banner book and three subscriptions to the Appalachian Quarterly.  The Library will be advertising these classes on radio and television  and Sherron and Angela will be teaching the classes.
  • A World War II book has been given to Jarrod Addison to give as a prize on Prom Night in Wise. Also a World War II book has been given to the Chamber of Commerce.
  • A long discussion on a new copy machine was  held and the “Copy Machine Committee” will make the final decision on what to d about this.
  • Wanda Rose reported that at the fourth Melungeon Reunion this year, they will be giving a report n the DNA testing which they did. They have sent out newsletters including directions n getting to the reunion.
  • Wanda Rose announced that the Fall Fling will be on October 5th and 6th this year on the courthouse lawn.  They are asking the churches and other groups to come up with new events. The theme of the Fling this year will be “Remember the Past – Imagine The Future.”  Angela Stallard is a member of the Fall Fling Committee and they will be meeting the first Thursday of every month until October.
  • Wanda reported that we have sold 606 Volume II books, out of 2,000. It was suggested that a few of the books be taken to the genealogy classes to be held at the library in May.

WCHS Activities 7

Christmas Dinner Party

December 2000 -2002 at Bonanza

March 2, 2000

  • There was a discussion about selling Memorials for the Heritage Book.
  • Report from the treasurer concerning our book sales and total income for the year 1999.

March 16, 2000

  • Report on the balance due on WWII  and Apple Blossom books.
  • Wise County Historical Society has decided that we will have a FAMILY HISTORY DAYS here in the courtyard.
  • The plans were made as follows:
  • We will have tents, tables and balloons in the courtyard.  Certain members will ask local funeral homes about borrowing a tent and chairs.
  • We plan to have certain persons designated to represent the different families of Wise County, so family histories will be available.  Pat Collins of McRoberts , KY will be contacted to see if she will represent Letcher, County, KY.
  • Rhonda Robertson will contact the bordering county historical societies to see if they will come and sell their books.  Nina Mullins and Fannie Steele will have their books to sell.
  • Rhonda Robertson and Nancy Brown will be responsible for making flyers from yellow paper and green print, and these will be placed in the libraries and schools and motels, advertising FAMILY HISTORY DAY. The event will be also advertised on TV and in the newspapers.
  • Nina Mullins will talk to Jenay Tate of The Coalfield Progress regarding advertisement.
  • There will be a free gift given with every purchase.  These gifts will be the Wise County calendars.
  • We will sell chances on the WWII books
  • Wanda will negotiate with the man in Gate City about t-shirts and will get them ordered.
  • A computer class will begin on March 23rd. Some of the members will attend.

April 26, 2000

  • Plans for Family History Days
  • Refreshments in the courthouse
  • We will begin at 9 a.m.
  • Discussion about The Heritage of Wise County, Volume II

June 1, 2000

  • Book Committee of The Heritage of Wise County and the City of Norton Volume II meeting held
  • Rhonda Robertson made the motion that we should get the book out before Christmas, 2000.
  • Lists of Early Settlers were provided and each person decided on which Early Settler he or she would write about.
  • Need a chapter of Chronological Events which happened in each town in the county.
  • Fannie Steele will be in charge of the Master copy of the Early Settlers and will check off the names as their history is brought in.
  • We should print the towns in order in which they were formed
  • We will need to raise $20,000 by selling advertisements.
  • Meet every Thursday night until the book goes to press

June 22, 2000

  • Meeting of Book Committee
  • One priority is to find old pictures of Wise County
  • Rhonda Robertson thinks we should print a separate book on “The Early Settlers of Wise Co.”
  • Wanda Rose reported our financial status on the Apple Blossoms of Yesteryear book
  • Estimated that we will have app. 350 pages of family histories.

July 6, 2000

  • The cemeteries of the Civil War veterans was the main issue of discussion.  Rhonda Robertson and Lillian Gobble have done a lot of work searching these out.  Lillian  ordered 27 markers for these Confederate graves from Hagy Funeral Home, and got 19 from Lars Dorton.  Te jailer was later contacted and said it would be all right for these markers to be unloaded near the jail, and the Wise Co. Historical Society can sign for them when they are delivered.  Lillian Gobble said she will set a marker for Early Settlers in Rocky Fork.
  • Bud Osborne will call Sturgill Funeral Home and Carty Funeral Home, and Bill Porter will talk to Bob Addington in Coeburn to find out who sets the stones.
  • Wanda Rose made the motion that we find someone to set these stones and pay them.
  • Bill Porter read a letter which he had received from Rick Boucher concerning the opening of the Federal Prison in Lee County, VA on August 1, 2 and 3rd.  Bill Porter will attend this event and will take books to sell.
  • The Appalachia Days will be held on the first weekend in August and we will have a table furnished free in the old Fuller Furniture Company building.  Louise Minor is in charge of this and  Wanda will let her know whether or not we are coming.
  • Bill Porter plans to work again at the Wise County fair.
  • Nina Mullins went to Clintwood’s fourth celebration and sold $275.00 worth of books and got orders for 70 more.

August 3,  2000

  • Bill Porter made the motion we sell the WWII books for $100 per box. Motion carried.
  • The books will   continue to be sold for $30.00 or 2 for $50.00 in addition to the $100 per box.
  • A Hamilton will se the C.W. Headstones for $20.00 per stone.
  • Bill Porter and Nina Mullins will work in Appalachia Saturday, selling books at the  Cultural Arts building
  • We need to start selling ads and memorials
  • Bill Porter will work Monday, Tuesday and Friday at the VA/KY Fair; Wanda will work on Wednesday, and Fannie Steele will work on Thursday.  Bill Gobble and Bud Osborne will work on Saturday.  We will give away a WWII book and will push the Appalachian Quarterly for subscriptions, and try to sell the Apple books and the Indian books.
  • Spencer Adams has the book, “Early Settlers of Wise County” by James Taylor Adams written in the 1930’s.  Fannie said she will ask Spencer about this book and for permission to copy it.  (She did ask him and he stated that he was having  it published)
  • Bill Porter announced that Rick Boucher will have the 6th annual conference on Sept. 18th at Virginia Highlands College in Abingdon.
  • Our office will be open during the Fall Fling celebration and we will not have a tent in the court yard.
  • Fannie Steele will write and ask if we can get a copy of the Wampler Family History for our archives.
  • Dollie Countiss will be asked to summarize the History of Washington County; Fannie Steele will summarize the history of Russell County; Bill Gobble will ask Omar Addington for his permission to use his history of Scott County; and Dorothy Witt will summarize the History of Lee County for the Heritage of Wise County and The City of Norton Vol. 2.

September 7, 2000

  • Wanda Rose gave the Treasurer’s report.
  • Fannie Steele reported that she got one of the Wampler books to put in our archives but we do not have these books for sale.  Fannie also reported that Verlin Carty of Carty Funeral Home came by and said they would be glad to help us with the markers for the graves of the Confederate soldiers.
  • Wanda reported that we have a Pike County census and marriage records for our archives.  Fannie suggested that we should check our archives and see all we have in there.  (Fannie is our archivist)
  • A discussion of the outline for the beginning chapters of Volume Ii was held, and it was decided to begin with the formation of Wise County, beginning with Washington, Russell, Scott, Lee and then Wise County; following that will be Hugh Suffridge’s History of Wise County and Addington’s History of Extreme Southwest Virginia.  Bill Gobble called Omar Addington and got his permission for us to use his History of Scott County, Virginia.
  • The second chapter of the book will include Paul Kilgore’s History of Norton, followed by Emory Hamilton’s writings.
  • Mildred Hughes, treasurer of our Volume II History book, has taken out a CD on the history book money which she has collected.

October 5, 2000

  • Wanda Rose and Bill Gobble had met with Roger Viers for financial advice Wanda also reported the financial status of Volume Ii of the Heritage of Wise County Vol II.
  • Bill Gobble made the motion that we report our expenses quarterly and approve them quarterly, This will be done in the month following the quarter.
  • Our annual Christmas Party will be held on Saturday, December 9th, at 1p.m. at the Bonanza Restaurant.
  • Wanda Rose reported that the Christmas tree will be on the bottom floor of the Southwest Virginia Museum this year, and decorations will be in gold and maroon and will be made by Wanda and Ganell.
  • Good News!  The first chapter of the Heritage of Wise, County, Volume Ii has gone to the Overmountain Press.  The will set it up two or three different ways and let us decide which pattern we prefer.
  • Fall Fling October 14, and 15th.  Bill Gobble will check and see if they are going to let us keep the Courthouse open.  Some will work in the office and some will go to Mountain Empire Craft Days.
  • Rhonda Robertson will bring what she has on the Melungeon Registry to put on the Computer. When someone calls regarding this, check the Registry to see it there is a match.

November 9th, 2000

  • Sold over $600 in books at BSG Craft Days by Wanda and about 700 at Fall Fling by Bill Porter
  • Discussed Heritage book and made payment to Overmountain Press
  • Second chapter of the Heritage book is on James Taylor Adams material
  • Flanary’s File Cabinet “cloth” has been framed and hung on a wall over the fireplace
  • Wanda recommends a ceremony to honor  Lee Maude Richmond for its donation
  • Two visitors from Charlotte NC at meeting
  • Reservations for Christmas Party at 2pm at Bonanza
  • No business meeting for December

WCHS Activities 8

Reception for New Administrator, Ed Sealover

January 4, 2001

  • There had been no December meeting as we had Christmas dinner at Bonanza which everyone enjoyed.  During the social hour each person told some of the things he or she remembered from Christmases past, and pictures were made.
  • Wanda Rose gave the treasurer’s report.
  • Postal rates have gone up, our license has increased from $100 to $125.00 pr year, pre-sorted, standard marking, and 4.6 overall rate for bulk rate mailing.
  • The question was brought up as to whether or not we should raise the cost of the Appalachian Quarterly.  Rhonda Robertson stated that we should hold the price at $10 per year as long as possible.
  • Rhonda Robertson stated that she has contacted Fannie Steele regarding obtaining a grant for work on the cemeteries, that will alleviate gas and supplies that we need.
  • We should contact towns to see if they will keep their cemeteries clean.
  • Bob Addington has informed one of the members that there are four or five cemeteries on the top of the hill going from Coeburn to Cranes Nest.
  • Paul Kilgore stated that he has the Coeburn Cemetery book ready for binding.

February 1, 2001

  • Fannie wrote the Slemp Foundation concerning a grant
  • Dorothy gave an update on the work of Volume II book
  • Bill Porter will bind the Coeburn Cemetery book soon
  • Visit by Jack Kennedy, the County Clerk
  • Found out a copyright is good for 75 years

March 1, 2001

  • Try to find a place where we can store books
  • Paul Kilgore and Bud Osborne talked to George Barnett about a space but the price he asked was not satisfactory.
  • Wanda will talk to Archer Blevins about selling our World War II books.
  • Rhonda made a motion we put a marker up for midwife Nancy shores.  Motion  carried.
  • Paul will write up the history of the Black community, getting it ready for Volume II.

April 5, 2001

  • Bill Gobble, President, called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. and introduced our two visitors, Harry Meador and Deborah Whitt from Big Stone Gap.  They represented the group in Big Stone Gap who are trying to preserve the old Girl Scout cabin  which is adjacent to Bulliitt Park.  After the Girl Scouts stopped using the cabin, it was used by the Town Manager, but hasn’t been used since World War II.  Wellmont wants to lease the property for a very minimum amount and build a high-rise there.  This group is trying to prevent this, and hopes to enlist our support.  Rhonda  Robertson made the motion that we support them and Bill Porter seconded the motion, and motion carried.
  • (Let it be noted that neither the group which approached us or the Wise County Historical Society are against the building of a place for older and disabled people to live.  However we think there are other places they can secure without disturbing places of historical significance.)
  • Financial report was given by Wanda Rose
  • Vol. Ii Heritage book was discussed as to number of pages and the cover.  It will have approximately 1,000 pages and will have a cover to match Volume 1.
  • Around 2,000 books will be printed.
  • If we want the book by the fall Fling, the absolute last possible date to get it to the printer is August 1st.
  • Dorothy Witt made the suggestion that we write to each one who has written something for the book and inform them that they will be out soon and they can purchase one or more at the pre-published price.
  • Wanda announced that the new administrator will be here on April 9th and we plan to have a reception for him.  Nina Mullins will coordinate a luncheon.

May 3, 2001

  • In the absence of the President and Vice-President, Dorothy Witt called the meeting to order at 6:40 p.m.
  • Wanda Rose gave the treasurers report, stating that she and Mildred Hughes, treasurer of the Vol. Ii Heritage of Wise Co. and the City of Norton, sent payment on Volume II.
  • Washington County, TN is printing a book and one has been ordered for our archives.
  • Plans for our upcoming luncheon honoring the new Administrator, Mr. Sealover, were discussed. The luncheon will be on Friday, May 18th, from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m., and all the employees of the courthouse and the Board of Supervisors will be invited to attend.  Nina Mullins has volunteered to plan and prepare the meal.
  • Ernie Benko has said that if someone would come down to his office and tell about our upcoming Vol. II of  the Heritage of Wise County and the city of Norton, he would be glad to make a video of it.  We would need to contact him first and let him know when we are coming.  Bill  Porter said that he would go to Joe Wolfe’s office and ask him about buying some of our Volume II Books.

June 7, 2001

  • In the absence of Bill Gobble, President, Bud Osborne, Vice President, called the meeting to order at 6:30 pm.
  • Bill Porter has been in contact with UNIBIND COMPANY of Alpharetta, Georgia, and a representative came by our office to demonstrate a new Binder.
  • The matter of selling ads for our upcoming book was discussed. Wanda Rose and Nina Mullins said the can go to the shopping center  and sell ads to the banks, local businesses, lawyers, politicians, insurance agents an Quik Shops. Bill Porter said he will try to sell memorials.
  • Bill Porter suggested that we need more people to work in our office.
  • Rhonda Robertson suggested that we re-do the focus of the Appalachian Quarterly.
  • Rhonda and Wanda have planned a trip to the office of the KENTUCKY EXPLORER to see if they can find out what their secret of success is.
  • We have 800 issues of the Quarterly which we need to move out, and a notice should be included in our next Quarterly informing of these back issues.
  • Wanda Rose gave the treasurer’s report, and asked if we want to continue to pay dues to the Chamber of Commerce. Bill Porter made the motion that we continue to be members of the Chamber. The motion carried.
  • It was a general consensus that we not have a booth at the Virginia/Kentucky Fair this year as it has not proved profitable in the past few years.
  • Overmountain Press has promised that Volume II of the Heritage of Wise County and the City of Norton will be ready for sale by October 1st.

October 4, 2001

  • Wanda Rose reported that Roger Viers, CPA, feels that she is doing a good job with the book  keeping.
  • World War II book has been paid in full.   Mildred Hughes, Treasurer for Volume II Heritage book reports  the amount of money we have toward getting the book published.
  • The question was again brought up regarding our support for saving the cabin in Bullitt Park in Big Stone Gap; there is also a question concerning the changes in the post office building in Big Stone Gap. Bill Gobble will call Mr. Harry Meador tomorrow and talk to him further about this.
  • The price of our Volume II Heritage book will be $53.00 until after Home Craft Days at Mountain Empire Community College,  after which the books will sell for $65.00.
  • We expect our books to be delivered before the date of the Fall Fling, which will be on October 13th.  2,500 have been ordered and they will be stored in the vault for the time being. No books will be mailed until after October 20th.  A list has been  posted in to office of those people who have already paid for their books and will pick them up.
  • On Saturday, October 13th, the Fall Fling will begin and only the Historical Society will be open in the courthouse on that day, due to security reasons.  A divider will be placed  in the hallway in front of our office and no one will be allowed to go on back into the courthouse.  Bill Porter, Wanda Rose, Fannie Steele and Dorothy Witt will man the office on Saturday, and Paul Kilgore and Bill Porter will be working on Sunday, October 14th.
  • Fannie Steele will be unloading the e-mail on Mondays and Bill Gobble will be unloading it on Wednesdays and Fridays.
  • Dennis Rasnick had Wanda Rose and Fannie Steele to look at our web page. This needs to be updated each month.  Net Access maintains this web page for us at no extra cost.
  • It was suggested that we put an order blank on our book list and that we should run a book as a special now and then.
  • The price of the Lawson book (by Bill Porter) will be increased to $35.00 on November 1st.
  • Fannie reported that the Beverly book of Southwest Virginia has been donated to us for our archives.
  • Fannie Steele read a letter which has been received from a prisoner in Wallen’s Ridge Prison, asking for books on Cal Fleming and the Killing Rock Massacre.  Fannie will reply to this letter.
  • The annual Christmas Party will be held on Saturday afternoon, December 8th, at Bonanza.

WCHS Activities 6

February 4, 1999

Wise County’s Apple Blossoms of Yesteryear by Denver “Bud” Osborne and the Book Committee.

Apple Blossom book cover photo is from the apple orchard of Letcher and Fannie Steele

It was reported that the Laurel Grove Cemetery book has been completed and is now for sale.
Wanda Rose made the motion that we give a Heritage of Wise County, Volume 1 to the Big Stone Gap Library in memory of Darthula (Dot) Carroll.  A plaque will be placed in the front of the book stating that it was given in her memory.
Ganell Marshall told of an Appalachian Consortium in Abingdon, VA on March 19, 20, and 21st. Discussion was held as to whether we should try to sell copies of the Edith Maxwell Trial, among other books. Ganell made the motion that we participate in this and have a table to sell books.  The motion carried.
A new cover will appear on the front of the Appalachian Quarterly for March

March 4, 1999

  • Wanda had been to H&R Block  today regarding our corporate taxes
  • Senator Wampler suggested  that we go before the board and ask for an exemption
  • Bud stated that CVC has a copy of the Edith Maxwell Trial
  • Discussion about whether or not to type the Edith Maxwell trail for sale.
  • Fannie Steele was asked to  type  the Trial of Edith Maxwell

The Trial of Edith Maxwell-Wise County Virginia 1935, A Court Transcript of the actual trial was typed  by Fannie Steele which consisted of 202 pages.  The Edith Maxwell Trial was the most publicized trial in  Wise County and was known about all over the United States. It is still talked about today and books are still being written about this trial.

April 1, 1999

Dorothy Witt and Fannie Steele

A surprise birthday party was given for Fannie Steele and Dorothy Witt on Thursday Night, April 1st.  No business session was held as we all ate birthday cake, drank cokes and made merry.  And a Happy Birthday Party was had by all.

May 4, 1999 Discussed  the business of The Heritage of Wise County and The City of Norton, Vol. II.  Discussion of ways to advertise.Mention of  sending  a WWII book to the Library of Congress

July 6, 1999

Wanda Rose read a Thank you note from American Brain Tumor Association, thanking us for our $25.00 donation to the Justin Porter Walkathon in honor of Golda Porter.Ms. Rose reported that she recently received five orders for the  Vol. II History of Wise County and the City of Norton book.We plan to have booths at the Wise County Fair, during Home Craft Days at Mountain Empire Community College and at Duffield Days.

Ernie Benko has expressed a desire to film one of our meetings.

August 3, 1999

  • The Annual Board of Directors’ Meeting of the Wise County Historical Society was held in their office in the Wise County Courthouse on august 3, 1999.
  • New business was to elect new officers for the Board of Directors, and the following ten names were given:  Dorothy Witt of Wise – Director and Past President;  Mildred Hughes of Wise; Denver Osborne of Wise;  Paul Kilgore of Norton;  Rhonda Robertson of Norton;  Nina Mullins of Pound;  Fannie Steele of Wise;  Bill Porter of Coeburn;  Lillian Gobble of Big Stone Gap;  Gaynell Marshall of Coeburn.
    These officers were approved for the upcoming year.
  • Report that we have a large order  from the Appalachian State University for books.
  • Mention from a member that it would be profitable to mail book lists to all libraries in the area.

September 2, 1999

  • We have been asked to have a display of old pictures of present day towns for the Fall Fling.  We should use pictures that have not been displayed previously.
  • The Joint Legislature Audit in Richmond will be sending us spread sheets to find out where our Revolutionary soldiers are buried.  Bill Porter made the motion that we help them all we can on this.
  • Bill Gobble received a letter from Richmond which was signed at Pound Gap and Benge’s Gap.  There are questions as to whether Benge went through there or not.
  • Fannie Steele is typing the Maxwell Trial and will bring it to the office.
  • Bill Porter will sell books at the huge yard sale in Coeburn
  • It was decided that WCHS extend the deadline for Volume II Heritage printing in January 2000.

October 7, 1999

  • Bill Porter reported that Archer Blevins wants to set up an Appalachian General Workshop in the fall of 2000.  He wants to get all the Appalachian areas involved in it and have it at East TN State University.
  • Web-page advertised that anyone who sends their address in would get an Appalachian Quarterly free.  2,108 were mailed out and 8 of them went to Canada.  The cost for mailing them was 1.80 each.  There were 43 mail bags full.  Rhonda did this with the hope that at least half of the people who received an Appalachian Quarterly would like it well enough to subscribe to it.
  • We will meet on Saturday, October 23rd at the Coeburn Library at 2 p.m., and again on November 20th, to get photographs and histories for Vol. II Heritage of Wise County.
  • If you know of any Revolutionary War burial sites  in Southwest VA, let Bill Porter know by Nov 1st.
  • Wanda has donated one of the Apple Blossom books to Coeburn library in memory of a friend.
  • Wanda Rose and Nina Mullins will go to Mountain Empire Craft Days on Oct. 16th and 17th, to sell books. Gaynell will also be there with her (corn-shuck) dolls.  (Fannie Steele was there also.)
  • Dorton Fort will be in our December issue of the Appalachian Quarterly.  The Benge Research Committee is working on a special focus.
  • The special focus for December Appalachian Quarterly will feature George C. Scott.
  • Our Christmas Party was discussed and Bill Porter made the motion and Fannie Steele seconded, that we meet at Bonanza for lunch on Saturday, December 4th.

November 4, 1999

  • Mr. Gobble reported that the man from VDOT will be here on November 16th to discuss replacing two road markers:  The 1774 Benge Gap marker and the Pound Gap marker.  Bill would like to find out who was responsible for the information on the markers.  It was suggested that the Benge Gap marker go on the road between Big Stone Gap and Appalachia as it should be where it can be easily seen by tourists.  All society members present agreed that it would be good to put the Benge marker at the overlook at Powell Valley and that the Pound Gap marker should be put on the VA/KY line, right on top of the mountain no Route 23, four miles north of Pound.
  • Paul Kilgore suggested that we should try to find out who has lived in three centuries.  He knows one lady who is 104 and if she lives until 2000, will have lived in three centuries.

(The December meeting will be combined with the Christmas party )


Wise County Historical Society

September 4, 1996
A Book on Wise County Courthouse 1896-1996 is being prepared for sale at the Fall Fling in October.

Gladys Stallard

Melungeon Registry forms have been distributed and brochures will be taken to Brent Kennedy.
Bill and Lil Gobble have been copying and filing Wise County Marriage records and have them almost completed.  They are to be commended for an excellent job.
A Genealogy class will be taught by William and Lillian Gobble during the Fall Fling

December 5, 1996

The Society decided to hold Open House for courthouse employees on Monday, December 16.
The Society has been contacted about helping with the Civil War Museum, the week before Norton Best Friends Festival, June 1997
Question:  Talk of  Heritage of Wise County, Volume 2 February 6, 1997:

  • New Lanier Copier installed.
  • Proposed use of part of the grant money: 2 CD writers and Digital Camera.

March 6, 1997:

  • Reporter from New York Times has recently been here regarding the Melungeons.
  • Program on Genealogy on April 19th at CVC.
  • Motion to have Stuart Rose to build a shelf under the front windows to put the marriage record books.
  • Work in progress on the “Apple Orchards of Wise County” book.
  • Files on Families in cabinets in vault.

June 5, 1997:

  • Bud gave a report on recent Pow-Wow and felt it was a great success with an estimated attendance of two to three thousand people over the three day period.
  • Total books sales at Pow-Wow at Clinch Valley College was $542.00.
  • Paid to set up at Pound Heritage Days.
  • Discussion to buy a tent to be used at First Union gathering.
  • Carty Funeral Home will let us use one of their tents

September 25, 1997

A lady from A&E TV Channel had been calling the office from Los Angeles, CA requesting pictures and information on George C. Scott as they wish to do a video of his biography.

Bill Gobble has sent her some pictures.

We will have Open House on October 10th with refreshments for those who come into the office and browse.

Phillip Blevins has told us that they will do our Volume II of the Heritage of Wise County & The City of Norton.

WWII Veterans who did not get their history in the WWII book can get it in the Volume II of the Heritage, with 500 words and 1 photo.

Have 380 Banner Books by Bill Porter and others, for sale.

Dorothy Witt

November 6, 1997:

Thanks to Paul Kilgore for doing a good job on the Glencoe Cemetery book. He is now in the process of getting all the names from the American Legion and the other valley cemeteries.

George C. Scott’s biography will be on the A & E TV Channel in December.

John Foster stated that he was in our office about a month ago and subscribed to the Appalachian Quarterly and was amazed that “It was the finest thing I have ever seen.”

Rhonda said she hoped by the next meeting we will be able to bring the  WEB page up for everyone to see.

December 11, 1997:

Denver Osborne reported that the Cherokee Turtle Clan will give scholarships. The purpose of the organization is to be able to give scholarships and educate the public about Indians.

Wanda Rose reported that Sandra Williams is going to try to raise funds privately for her grant and would like the Wise County Historical Society to back her in her efforts to do this genealogical dig.

Tent for Best Friend festival in Norton

Paul Kilgore has 70 % of Glencoe Cemetery completed.

Dorothy is typing on the Wise Cemetery and Rhonda is typing on the Norton Cemetery.

July 3, 1997

William Gobble – President

Much discussion on the upcoming First Union Gathering on the Clinch Valley College ground.

Purchased a Laser Printer, which will only be used for the printing of the Appalachian Quarterly.
April 2, 1998:

Jennifer Rose has our web page ready.
Glen Arwood asked if there was anything could be done to save the old cemeteries from being stripped and destroyed. Mr. Arwood said he will be in a meeting with Terry Kilgore in May and will talk to him about this.

May 7, 1998:
Paul Kilgore and Mr. Arwood had gone to several cemeteries and has seen some beautiful country.
Rhonda said a list needs to be kept of all veteran’s graves found so that markers can be placed on these.
Bud Osborne gave prices which he had acquired from the technical School  for building a storage place for the WWII books.
Wanda stated we have the 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860 and  1870 census records of Pike County, Kentucky.

June 4, 1998:
A list has been made of al members subscribing to the Appalachian Quarterly, with the date of expiration.  There are over 1200 on the list.
Bill Gobble reported that he had a call from Clinch Valley College library.  They  asked if we would donate two copies of the Appalachian Quarterly to them for use in the library.  Dorothy Witt made the motion that we give them two copies of the Appalachian Quarterly each time it comes out, and Paul Kilgore seconded it.
Our visitors are now being encouraged to put a pin on the map, showing what part of the United States they are from.  All workers in the office should not fail to ask them to do this.

Dorothy Witt reported that we now have about 20 histories typed into the computer for the upcoming Vol. II of the Heritage of Wise County and the City of Norton.

Wanda received information regarding selling books at the Wise County Fair this year. Volunteers are needed to work. Bill Porter will be in charge of the Guest River Rally. He will get some of the Sons of Confederates to go help him.   Nina would like to go to “Duffield Days.
The second Union will be held July 9-12.
Wanda suggested that we give a WWII book to every library in Wise County and one to all school libraries, 1 box to the VFW in Coeburn, the Ladies VFW in Pound, 1 to Veterans Hospital in Johnson City, 1 to the Pound Historical Society, and 1 to Letcher County Historical Society.
July 2, 1998

Volunteers to work at 2nd. Union: Dorothy Witt, Rhonda Robertson, Nina Mullins, Fannie Steele, Nancy Brown and Wanda Rose.

Bud Osborne showed his Apple Blossom’s of Wise County book
Considering becoming a member of the Chamber of Commerce
August 20, 1998
Nina Mullins, Wanda Rose, Dorothy Witt and Fannie Steele will be working at the Duffield Daze on Saturday.
Wanda Rose reported that 2,315 World War II books have been taken to the old Westmoreland Building in Big Stone Gap for storage. Volunteers for this were: Stuart and Wanda Rose, Letcher and Fannie Steele, Bill Porter, Harold and Dorothy Witt.
Wanda Rose made the motion that all those who work regularly in the Historical Society Office, and others who are involved at home with work concerning the Society be exempt from paying annual dues to the Wise County Historical Society.  Paul Kilgore seconded the motion and the motion carried.  Those involved are:  Bill and Lil Gobble, Bud Osborne, Dorothy Witt, Wanda Rose,

Fannie Steele, Bill Porter, Paul Kilgore, Nina Mullins, Mildred Hughes, Rhonda Robertson, and Ganell Marshall.
Bud Osborne has the copy of the Apple orchard book ready for the printers.  The Committee has decided to have the book hard bound with a jacket of apple blossoms, with the minimum order of 500 copies.
Cecile Dingus will continue working on getting a grant to have the book printed.
Fannie Steele asked that shelves be built in the vault. She was told this would be done.
September 18, 1998
First meeting of the Heritage of Wise County and the City of Norton Vol. II Book Committee met at the courthouse on Sept 18th. 1998
We decided  that each person will work on one specific place or person.
October 1, 1998
New deadline for submitting stories should get their histories in right away.
Wanda Rose made the motion that we put an advertisement in the Mountain Empire Older Citizens paper about the Civil War soldiers for their next issue.

Fannie Steele will write about the part of Dickenson County which used to be Wise County.  Dickenson County was the only county which was taken from Wise.
Lil Gobble will submit stories on midwives of Wise County
John Powers had called from Tennessee and said he will write on William Powers, Civil War Soldier.
Proofing on the Apple Blossom book has been completed and Bud Osborne has mailed it to the printers.
The Fall Fling will be next weekend.  We will have Open House on the 10th and 11th.
Wanda, Dorothy and Nina plan to go to Mountain Empire Craft days on the weekend after the Fall Fling.
October 15, 1998
Wanda Rose said that Madonna Cook has agreed to go with us to see the home of Mahalia Mullins in Hancock County, TN. Plans had been made tentatively to go on October 31st, but since so many members said they could not go at that time, Wanda said she would contact Mr. Cook and tell her we would plan to go next Spring.
We are in final plans of getting “Apple Blossoms of Wise County” published.
We discussed which would be better – to build book shelves in the back room or buy bookcases.
We also need to buy two comfortable chairs for the computer desks.

Fannie Steele gave a report on the class which she has been attending on how to get grants.  She said it takes a lot more than just writing a letter.  It has to be signed by the president, has to be three pages long and have a short cover letter.  You need several letters of support.  You need to let them know  that your project is a “burning need.” It has to be approved by all members, essentially the Board of Directors. It has to have the approval of the whole group.  It has to state the amount of money we need and a copy of last year’s budget.  They  never furnish more than 50%, and you have to let them know where you intend to get the other 50%.  You have to do 80% planning and 20% writing.  Fannie (also added )  each one of us should write about where we would like to see the Wise County Historical Society go, and  how we need to expand our vision.

November 12, 1998
Bud Osborne expressed his opinion that all those who helped work on the Apple Blossom book should get a free book.
Bill Porter made the motion that we give Bud ten books and he could distribute them to those whom he feels deserves a book for helping on the book.
Motion to contact the Coalfield Progress, the Post, the Dickenson Star and the Powell Valley News, advertising Volume II of the Heritage of Wise County.
Since we are partners with the Tourism organization, Bud Osborne made the motion that a WWII book be donated to the silent auction held by the Regional Tourism Development Authority on November 17th at the Holiday Inn.

Wanda Rose and Rhonda Robertson have decorated the Christmas tree from the Historical Society at the Southwest VA Museum.
A computer desk and two chairs have been purchased for the office.
Phyllis Williams has presented her mother, Julia Bolling’s scrapbooks of the Wise County 1956 Centennial to our archives.
December 3, 1998
Wanda Rose made the motion that we buy Christmas gifts for two needy children. She has talked to the leader of Head Start who has given her the names of two girls – one 1 1/2  years old and the other 3 years old.  Motion was passed.
Bud Osborne has colleted 1,572.00 on the Apple Blossom books. Mike Steele wants to do a write-up about the book and Bud told him we could use all the publicity we could get.
Bill Porter thinks that the members of the Society need a handbook and he will begin on preparing one after Christmas.
People have been asking about the Laurel Grove cemetery , Paul is in the process of finishing up the index and will get it completed as soon as possible.
We have three or four boxes of brochures advertising Vol. II of the Heritage of Wise County and the City of Norton, and we need to get these out of the office by December 20th.

Motion to extend the deadline date for getting the histories in for Vol. II to March 31, 1999.

WCHS Activities 3

Wise County Historical Society

Meeting at Lonesome Pine Library in Wise

Lonesome Pine Regional Library at Wise

Guest Speaker-Buck Henson

Topic: Joe Smiddy – The Politics of Culture

Scroll down to see photos of WWII Book and Native American-Melungeon Museum

The Wise County Newsletter-June 1995: The Wise County Historical Society is still involved in the on-going project of compiling cemetery records for Wise County, Virginia.
100th. Anniversary of the completion of the Wise County Courthouse. 1996 will mark the 100th anniversary of the completion of the building of the current Wise County courthouse. The Wise County Historical Society is planning a series of celebrations of this historic event. So far the Society has planned a calendar in conjunction with the 100th anniversary for release in 1996.

School Bells From The Past-Volume Two. by Bill Porter, containing many pictures of early school groups from many of the Wise County Schools that no longer exist. Also the 1905 Wise County School Census.

Denver Osborne of the Wise County Historical Society and an apple grower himself, is preparing a history of apple growing in Wise County.

The 1996 Calendar is available for $6.00 plus tax.  This years calendar contains old photos of the towns of Wise, Appalachia, Big Stone Gap, St. Paul, Coeburn, Pound and the City of Norton. The calendar also lists all the important club and civic meeting dates.

Calendar Celebrates Courthouse Centennial by Rob Kilgore.  “Nestled within the 1896 wing of the Wise County Courthouse can be found the combined office and gift shop of the Wise County Historical Society.  Bill Porter is there, promoting the society’s new 1996 Wise Courthouse Centennial Calendar.
“With the Christmas shopping season drawing to an end, one gift for that hard-to-buy for family member or friend may be the new centennial calendar.  On sale for $6, the calendar features old photographs of Wise County localities and gives the times and dates of current Wise County organizations meetings and events.  Bill Porter spearheaded the project, springing off the success of last year’s World War II calendar.  He wanted to create a calendar of events for 1996-and he did so. securing permission for photos and compiling event information.  Tim Cox, Gladys Stallard, Dorothy Witt, Bill Hendricks, Bud Osborne and Leroy Hilton contributed photos for the project..”
“The calendar includes a lot already.  Know when the Wise Planning  Commission meets?  Or how about when the John Fox, Jr. Festival or Pound Heritage Days are celebrated?  Know when the Turner family reunion is?  The calendar combines these current events with pictures of historical scenes such as Norton’s park Avenue in 1904 and Coeburn’s train tracks of 1912.  The Society staffs the office in the courthouse to keep open their doors to researchers.  People come from all over the country  to research  the  historical and genealogical records, according to society charter member Fannie Steele.  The office also has for sale books and other wares of Southwest Virginia history…”

WISE COUNTY, VIRGINIA’S WORLD    WAR II VETERANS: ..A Tribute… Over 6,000 veterans, Over 3,600 photos, 926 pages. Compiled and edited by Rhonda Robertson and Wanda Rose. Published by The Wise County Historical Society.

Photos: Wise County Virginia’s Men and Women In World War II
Members of Wise County Historical Society and Guests

The Arrival of WWII Books

January 4, 1996: Meeting. Sale of World War II Books

Bill Porter was voted  to be a Liaison officer to the Chamber of Commerce and the Tourist Department to help promote our Society.  He was voted to be the publicity person for the Society.

Fannie Steele has made a list of the contents of our archives to be kept in the office so it can be ready available.  Fannie will add to this list as we get more books.

Rhonda Robertson is interested in our Society writing a quarterly paper. Should this come about it would replace the newsletters and the bulletins. Members asked to think of names for the Quarterly.  Ganell Marshall has volunteered her services in printing the paper.

Paul Kilgore is still working on the Wise County Cemeteries and has found that several Cemeteries have been destroyed.

Bud Osborne reported that there will be a meeting next Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Mt. View Church on Pole Bridge road for those people interested in the “Apple Orchard of Wise County” book.

March 5, 1996: Rhonda Robertson made the motion will put an advertisement in the magazine, The Genealogical Helper. She also made the motion that we send something by Caynor Smith when he goes to Turkey on March 9th. May 1st. will be the deadline for getting articles in for the June Appalachian Quarterly

May 7, 1996:  Chris Jones of the Norton Kiwanis Club was the guest speaker and spoke in detail of the upcoming Indian get-together, the Best Friends Festival, the museum in Norton and Camp Rock, the great motel on High Knob in the 1700’s.  A museum is planned to house artifacts from Southwest VA.  volunteers are needed to help man the museum. The date of the Best Friend Festival is June 9th, 1996.  Get in touch with Gentle Bear of Dink Shakleford. Volunteers to help are Bud Osborne, Bill Porter, Bill Gobble and Rhonda Robertson.  They will also promote our Appalachian Quarterly and sell our book.  It is said that more people return to Wise County than do to Williamsburg, VA.  It is announced that the Guest River Rally will be held in September on Labor Day weekend.

May 20, 1996: Wise County Historical Society will have their books and calendars at the museum for sale. It was voted that we get one business card size advertisement published in the supplement, Mountain Wonder.

Rhonda Robertson asked if we want to see if we can get more books to sell for Over-mountain Press and it was agreed that we would do this. Special Focus for the September Appalachian Quarterly will be on the Cherokee Indians. June Quarterly is already typed and ready for the printers.

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Wanda Rose reported that the Wise Historical Quilt will be taken to the Best Friend Festival for display.  She has taken many old pictures depicting Wise County and put on the quilt.  Tickets are $1.00 each for chances on the quilt.

July 2, 1996: Money made at Museum for Book sales will be used to purchase laser printer.

WCHS Activities 2

Trip To Crab Orchard Museum By Dorothy Witt
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On May 13, 1995, two van loads of Wise County Historical Society members traveled to Tazewell County, VA to attend the annual Pioneer Festival at Historic Crab Orchard Museum. Rhonda Robertson, Gladys Stallard, Louise Delp, Blaine Sturgill, Wanda Rose, Nina Mullins, Dorothy Witt, Bill and Diane Porter, Bill and Lil Gobble, Denver and Kathy Osborne, and Fannie Hamilton spent the morning touring the grounds of the Crab Orchard Museum, visiting the blacksmith shop, the pottery shop, the old stage coach shop, and listening to dulcimer music as the clogger’s danced.
We also enjoyed prowling through and old log home and watching dinner being prepared on the fireplace. In “the church” at the Museum, we all gathered around the old pump organ and sang hymns.
Following lunch, we drove on across the mountain into “The Garden Spot of the World”, Burke’s Garden. This is a beautiful 25,000 acre farming community surrounded by a continuous circle of mountains. Here we visited two country stores and came home loaded with homemade bread and butter, jellies, books, etc. It was a great day! Below are photos of the town.

Crab Orchard Museum and Burkes Garden

Scroll down to see photo gallery.

Crab Orchard Museum in Tazewell County

Meetings and Business At Hand

Excerpts From Minutes

Scroll down to see Trip to Historic Crab Orchard Museum and Burkes Garden

APRIL 28, 1994: Report on the Status of World War II Book. Discussion of the reprint of the Heritage of Wise County and the City of Norton. All books have been sold.  On May 15, 1994, the Historical Society will be moving into their new office space on the first floor section of the Courthouse.

JUNE 21, 1994: Motion for the Society to sponsor the Historical Walking Tour and Book Fair during the Fall Fling.  Motion for the Society to print the Banner Community Heritage. JULY 21, 1994: Motion to purchase a sign for the door and window of the office.  Society has received 220 of the re-print of the Heritage of Wise  County and the City of Norton books.  Sweatshirts to be ordered for the Society. Report on the status of the book Wise County’s Men and Women in World War II.Society has applied for a grant  to purchase much needed equipment.

AUGUST 13, 1994:  Pound Methodist Church.  History of the Pound United Methodist Church by Emily Qualls. Reminiscences by Ayers Shortt.  Officer Selection. Ballots were submitted to elect Officers and Board of Directors members. The Results of election are as follows:

President: William C. Gobble; Vice President: Sue S. Gilliam; Recording Secretary: Rhonda Robertson; Treasurer: Wanda Rose
Directors: Appalachia: Dolly Opal Watson; Big Stone Gap: Dot Carroll;  Coeburn: Bill Porter; Norton: Paul Kilgore; Pound: Blaine Sturgill; St. Paul: Leroy Hilton; Wise: Fannie Steele.

fan.lil.man.jpg (326862 bytes) AUGUST 27, 1994: NEWS:  Wise County Historical Society will sponsor a BOOK FAIR at the Fall Fling on October 8th and 9th. Several authors will be selling their books in the hallway at the entrance to the Wise Courthouse on Main Street in Wise. Also a Used Book Sale and White Elephant sale of al items except clothing. We will also be having an OPEN HOUSE RECEPTION on Friday, October 7th.  The historical society also plans a bus trip on October 15th, to tour historical places in Tazewell County, including Burke’s Garden. We will also be having a HISTORICAL WALKING TOUR OF WISE.

bill.p.jpg (287869 bytes)SEPTEMBER 6, 1994:  The Banner Book by Billy R. Porter and others, will go to Johnson City printers this week. Will pre-sell.  Bill Gobble has completed the Calendar. Suggested by Bill Gobble to combine the Town Meetings. T-shirts soon to be ready.

scan0013.jpg (371400 bytes) The Wise County Historical Society would like to take this opportunity to extend our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to Joe Wolf and Farmer, Attorneys on Park Avenue, Norton.  Mr. Wolfe has kindly included mention of The Heritage of Wise County and The City of Norton in all the advertisements his firm has used during our drive to sell the volume.  Without his assistance, the Society is sure that the sale of this volume would not have been accomplished so quickly.

The Society is currently selling THE MELUNGEONS by N. Brent Kennedy. This is the newest and most up-to-date history of the Melungeons.The Coeburn Virginia Area History, published by the Kiwanis Club will be available and will contain approximately 700 pages.

Recently Denver, (Bud) Osborne of the Historical Society found and purchased an original photo of Henry Alexander Wise, Governor of Virginia for whom Wise County was named at a  local flea market. Thanks to the Historical Society of the Pound for helping with WISE COUNTY’S MEN AND WOMEN IN WORLD WAR II. The members are assisting by contacting people who served and by obtaining their photos and write-ups.

Toys for children donated by Wise County Historical Society

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Historical Christmas Tree decorated by Wise County Historical Society at Southwest VA Museum in Big Stone Gap

Special thanks to Juanita Mullins of Pound and Ron Helton for the beautiful sign that she prepared for the Society, which will be displayed in the hallway beside our office.  The sign

was made by Ron Helton, who got wood from the Old Baptist Church in Wise and made it.  We can’t sing Juanita’s praised enough; she is the gift that keeps on giving.

SEPTEMBER 29th 1994:  Everyone will ask their bank if they want to buy calendars.  Sweatshirts to be picked up. No more histories taken after Oct 31st. for WWII book. Postpone Tazewell County until Spring.  Members to work Fall Fling.

NOVEMBER 1, 1994:  World War II Calendar has been proofed. Should be delivered by Thanksgiving. Grant awarded for $2,000.  Historical Society did well at the Open House and the Fall

Fling.  Sold all but two sweatshirts.  Meetings will be held on Tuesday nights in our office.


DECEMBER 6, 1994: Report on the status of our grant from the Slemp Foundation.  Report on the sale of World War II Calendar.  Report on the status of Wise County’s Men and Women in World war II.  Membership Drive.  Discussion to combine the towns of Coeburn and St. Paul for Meetings.

MARCH 7, 1995: ” The Addingtons of Virginia” by Nancy Clark Brown and Rhonda Robertson, is now on sale for $50.00.  Sold all our copies of the History of the Pound Vol. II. Work Day is needed to clean our recently acquired room, the vault.  Wise County Historical Society will meet on Saturday, March 11th, at the Western Steer in Norton.  Bill Porter will be in charge of the meeting. Dutch treat with the exception of our guest speaker, after which Randall Osborne will speak on the Virginia State Line during the Civil War.  Bill Porter talked about the proposed Historic Resources office, and the possibility of its being located in Wise. Decision to  go ahead and copy the Wise County birth records of 1912-1918 and file in books to be made available in our office.  Bill Gobble to copy these records.

Wise County Historical Society met on Saturday March 11th, at   the Western Steer in Norton

Twenty members were present.

The guest speaker was Randall Osborne of Myra, KY, who gave a most impressive talk on his book, “The Virginia State Line,” which he  wrote with Jeffrey C. Weaver of Arlington, VA.

Randall Osborne

Mr. Osborne’s speech centerd mostly on the activities of Major General John B. Floyd, Commander of the VA State Line, and Colonel Nathaniel McClure Menifee during the Civil War Jeffrey C. Weaver has also written a book called “The Civil War in Buchanan and Wise Counties, A Bushwhackers’ Paradise.” Both books may be purchased at the Wise County Historical Society office in the courthouse at Wise for $25.00 each.Members of Wise Co. Historical Society

Randall Osborne and Wanda Rose
Randall Osborne,Elzie “Sock” Mullins, Denver “Bud” Osborne
Members of Historical Society
Bill Gobble & Randall Osborne

Happy Birthday To Paul Kilgore!

Paul_K..jpg (747376 bytes)The Wise County Historical Society celebrated the birthday of one of it’s founding members on April 13, 1995 at the historical Society Office in the Wise County Courthouse n Main Street in Wise, VA.  Members of the Society attended along with members of the community  All wish Paul a very, very happy Birthday!

Paul is one of the best when it comes to researching records in the courthouse.  He knows and enjoys his work and helping people with their family research.  He has visited many cemeteries in Wise County and has recorded the engravings on the stones.  He has several volumes of Cemetery Records at the Historical Society office for sale. Cemetery records are a valuable resource for researching.

The Wise County Historical Society’s May Meeting will be a trip to Historic Crab Orchard Fort in Tazewell, VA.  On Saturday , May 13, 1995 at 8:00 a.m. Plans for the trip will be finalized at the May 2, meeting.

The Wise County Historical Society is in the process of copying the Birth and Death Records from June 1912 until 1919.   The Death records have been copied and the Birth records are being copied at present.

wwiical.jpg (113751 bytes) AWorld War II Calendars are still available from The Wise County Historical Society. limited number of The Publication date for Wise County’s Men and Women in World War II is scheduled for V-J Day 1995.

Trip To Crab Orchard Museum

By Dorothy Witt

On May 13, 1995, two van loads of Wise County Historical Society members traveled to Tazewell County, VA to attend the annual Pioneer Festival at Historic Crab Orchard Museum.  Rhonda Robertson, Gladys Stallard, Louise Delp, Blaine Sturgill, Wanda Rose, Nina Mullins, Dorothy Witt, Bill and Diane Porter, Bill and Lil Gobble, Denver and Kathy Osborne, and Fannie Hamilton spent the morning touring the grounds of the Crab Orchard Museum, visiting the blacksmith shop, the pottery shop, the old stage coach shop, and listening to dulcimer music as the clogger’s danced. We also enjoyed prowling through and old log home and watching dinner being prepared on the fireplace.  In “the church” at the Museum, we all gathered around the old pump organ and sang hymns.
Following lunch, we drove on across the mountain into “The Garden Spot of the World”, Burke’s Garden.  This is a beautiful 25,000 acre farming community surrounded by a continuous circle of mountains.  Here we visited two country stores and came home loaded with homemade bread and butter, jellies, books, etc.  It was a great day! Below are photos of the tou

WCHS Activities

Wise County Historical Society Activities

WCHS Christmas Dinner

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Picnic Dinner at member Nina Mullins Home
Wise County Historical Society Members Picnic

Wise County Historical Society Members Picnic  at Nina Mullins’  Place on Bold Camp.

WCHS Activities 4

Members of Wise County Historical Society traveled to Saltville in the Spring of 1996 seeking information on the town for the first issue of our magazine, “The Appalachian Quarterly,” (Editor: Rhonda Robertson). It was a very interesting and rewarding trip. From the June issue of Appalachian Quarterly, the following excerpts: Saltville Boasts A Long And Rich History by Roger A. Allison

Historical Trip to Saltville, Virginia

Smyth County Virginia

Town of Saltville 1896-June 1996 – First Issue of The Appalachian Quarterly. Featuring In Focus Saltville Virginia. Picture: The Wooley Mammoth.

Members of Wise County Historical Society traveled to Saltville in the Spring  of 1996 seeking information on the town for the first issue of our magazine, “The Appalachian Quarterly,”  (Editor: Rhonda Robertson).  It was a very interesting and rewarding trip.  From the June issue of Appalachian Quarterly, the following excerpts: Saltville Boasts A Long And Rich History by Roger A. Allison

The “Archaeological Dig” Site at Saltville

Archological Dig Site

The Historical Society visited a “dig site” in Saltville; the King-Stuart House, where  Flora Stuart, wife of General J.E.B Stuart (deceased) , and her children lived which was built in 1795 by William King, another of Saltville’s early salt manufacturers; the Battle Site; the Salt Kettles site;  Mrs. Russell’s Methodist Church and home; the Museum;  the Mattheson Chemical Corp. train, which was probably used in the Salt works, and library. (Photos above)

This is where the bones of a Wooley Mamoth was found.

Published by the Saltville Progress,February 22, 1996

“The town of Saltville is celebrating this year the centennial of its incorporation as a town in 1896 but not 100 years of its existence as some have said.    The town of Saltville had existed for almost 150 years before it was incorporated.   That’s why the newly adopted town seal contains two dates – 1896 – the date of incorporation, and 1753, the date of the first land grant in Saltville Valley, issued in the name of King George II of England,

Salt Furnace where Salt Water was Boiled

Salt, one of the world’s most common substances is the town’s reason for being.  It is the presence of salt which assured the town of its rich history.    Over the millennia that vital substance had been responsible for drawing into the Saltville Valley giant mammals, now extinct; settlers, colonial and pre-colonial; members of some of early Virginia’s and America’s most prominent families; invading Union armies during the War for Southern independence; and major industry, which ushered the town into the 20th century.

The Saltville Valley is a virtual graveyard of the first-known visitors to the area. It is almost impossible to dig a ditch or well of any great extent without uncovering the bones of mastodons, wooly mammoths, giant ground sloth’s, musk oxen, and other prehistoric creatures which frequented the valley 14,000 to 10,000 years ago.

The first recorded find of the remains of these animals was made by Col. Arthur Campbell in 1782 when he dug the first well for the manufacture of salt.  Campbell presented his discoveries, “bones of uncommon size” to a collector friend named Thomas Jefferson, who recorded the find in his 1785 “notes on the State of Virginia.”

Since that time there have been dozens of recorded finds and, no doubt, scores of unrecorded discoveries throughout the Saltville Valley.  Some scientific archaeological digs were conducted following accidental discoveries in 1917 and in the mid-1960’s, and since 1980 the town has hosted summer digs almost annually.  The Virginia Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian Institute has conducted digs each summer since 1991..”

Click on photos to enlarge or click “Show as Slideshow”

Identification of  Photos Above

  1. Kitchen Fireplace in Madame Russell House
  2. Madam Russell Home
  3. Smyth County, VA Old Steam Engine Probably used in Salt works
  4. Log Holder and Log
  5. Kitchen with dried food
  6. Living Room Fireplace
  7. Pies on rack and dried tobacco
  8. Eggs and walnuts in Basket
  9. Madame Russell’s Church sign
  10. Stained Glass window
  11. Madam Russell Methodist Church
  12. Town Cemetery
  13. Old Churn
  14. Stained Glass Window
  15. Stained Glass Window
  16. Historical Society Members at Battle Site – fought in 1864
  17. King Stuart House
  18. Looking from Above the Town
  19. Dig Site
  20. Salt Furnaces and Kettles
  21. Old Museum
  22. Gladys Stallard at Stained Glass Window

Madame Russell

Madame Russell House

By Gladys Stallard

Elizabeth Russell was born Elizabeth Henry in 1749 in Hanover County, Virginia, sister to the well-known Patrick Henry, Governor of Virginia.  She married first to General William Campbell, of Augusta County, Virginia and second in 1783 to General William Russell, of Revolutionary War fame.  They moved to Saltville in 1788.  General Russell built salt houses, the first salt wells and a furnace, sometime between 1788 and 1797 with Francis Preston.  Russell dug his first brine well in 1788.  The well was located near the Russell home where the salt was produced by evaporating brine in a large salt kettles.

“Madame Russell is probably more eminent in the Methodist pioneer history of America than any other woman.  In Saltville, in 1824, a Methodist Church, Elizabeth Church, wad dedicated in her name.  In 1898 construction was begun on a new Methodist church, located a few feet from the then still standing Russell home.  That church, Madam Russell Memorial United Methodist Church, stands today as a monument to Mrs. Russell, the region’s earliest religious leader, and to the pioneer Methodist Movement in the Holston Territory of Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee.  In present day Saltville, there now stands a beautiful stone building named “Madam Russell Methodist Church.”  Nearby is a replica of the original log cabin where the Russell’s had lived.  This is owned by the church.  The stone  doorstep of the church is said to have been the hearth in the Russell cabin.”