This is a thorough story about Ralph Stanley, his “Old Time” music, members of his band, and his travels.
Price: $25.00 plus $4.50 S&H and VA tax. See chart for rates.
By Norman H. Scott
From Cumberland Gap to Big Stone Gap: a History of Lee and Wise Counties As It Relates to Iron Productions in the Area and To the Iron Furnace at Big stone Gap, Virginia For further information contact: NormanH.scott PH: 540-248-0704 - Email: NormScott firstname.lastname@example.org
They emerged from the mines, shook off the coal dust,and stepped onto the diamond. From the early 1900s to the 1950s, baseball games between mie workers were a small-town phenomenon, each team attracting avid and intensely loyal fans. Talented part-time athletes competed at the amateur, semi-pro and professional levels. equally competitive were the coal company officials, who often brought in ringers, or players of exceptional ability, giving hem easier jobs aove ground or a padded pay packet.
Based on interviews with surviving players, families of deceased players, and comtemporary sources, this thorough going history covers not only teams and leagues but their function within the mining communities of virginia,, Kentucky and West Virginia. The book features a special section on African-American mining teams, a coalfield map and many photographs. Price: $35.00 plus postage. See Bookstore.
The Book “Dorchester and Its People” published by The Wise County Historical Society is a 175 page book with over 100 pictures. This book will be available after June 15, 2012.
Thanks to Margaret Adams, Gladys Stallard and Crystal Reed, we have a great collection of pictures and history from the past and present.
Anyone who lived and worked in Dorchester would be proud of the history of the area portrayed in this book.
You may purchase the book for $20.00 + $1.00 VA tax (for VA residents only) if picked up at our office, at Room 250 Wise Courthouse or add $5.00 postage if mailed.
Please send check to Wise County Historical Society
PO Box 368 , Wise VA 24293
For additional information call 276-328-6451
This wonderful book will make someone a nice Christmas present.
If you liked The Heritage of Wise County and The City of Norton, Volume I, You will LOVE Volume 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 whatsoever. It will intrigue you with its many stories of Wise County’s early days, its towns, communities and people who made it all happen. 1133 pages, Regular Price: $65.00. For a limited time $35.00 plus $8.00 p&p.
This book is a collector’s item and will be an heirloom one day. Contains 1133 pages, numerous photos, 9 x 12, hardbound, forest green with gold trim.
A MUST if you have roots in Wise County or the surrounding area.
Originally, all the land belonging to Virginia west of the Blue Ridge was embraced in the County of Orange. In 1738, Orange county west of the Blue Ridge was divided into two counties, Frederick and Augusta; and Augusta included the territory now comprising Wise. In 1769, Augusta County was divided and all the land southwest from Lexington was called Botetourt County, named in honor of the then governor of Virginia, Lord Botetourt; and all the extreme southwestern portion of the State as well as the whole state of Kentucky was then in Botetourt County. Later Botetourt County was divided and Fincastle County, including all the Western Portion was cut off. In 1777, Fincastle in turn was divided into three counties, Montgomery, Washington, and Kentucky. Washington County, Virginia, is said to have been the first political unit ever named in honor of George Washington. From Washington County were formed the following counties: Russell in 1786, Lee in 1792, and Scott in 1814. Wise County was formed by taking parts of Russell, Lee and Scott Counties. It had been estimated that the new county of Wise had but 3 percent of its land under cultivation; the remainder was in wilderness.
The above was taken from the book, The Story of Wise County, by Luther F. Addington.
I would like to add that Dickenson County, “Virginia’s Baby” was taken from Wise, Russell and Buchanan Counties and named after W. J Dickenson. (F.S.)
by Rhonda Robertson
Emory L. Hamilton, born April 10, 1913 in Wise County and christened Emory Lee; he was the son of Jessee and Sarah Baldwin Hamilton. His love of history began at the feet of his
parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents listening to stories of his ancestors told around the fireplaces and porches of Wise County. Emory was a descendant of the earliest of pioneer families having settled on the frontiers of Southwest Virginia.
He often told of himself and his younger brother, J. B., studying by candlelight in the loft of their old log house in the community known as Hamilton Town. They poked holes in the daubing in the walls and roof so they could lie in their beds beneath feather ticks and look at the stars glinting in the dark sky. Beautiful as this was there was a drawback, and he laughingly told that in winter the snow would sift down through the openings and softly fall on them, making them keep their heads under the cover all night because they didn’t dare tell their parents what they had done.
The Guest River Gorge is one of Wise County’s natural wonders. The Guest River plunges through a canyon carved through Stone Mountain as it flows to join the Clinch River. Rails to trails project that follows an old railroad right of way paralleling the Guest River, a Virginia Scenic River. Trout fishing is permitted in the river, as well as kayacking and canoeing.
During the early 1900′s when timber and coal were being hauled out of the remote areas of Dickenson County, this passage was used as a rail line.
The history of the Gorge shows that millions of years ago the Guest River eroded a passage through Stone Mountain on its way to join the Clinch River. Cutting through massive rock, it opened a deep rock corridor that is a scenic wonder. Many other curiosities exist along the six mile trail, including an old railroad tunnel, bridges using the remaining railroad trestles, waterfalls and rock outcroppings.
Located in Wise on Wise Mountain road
Stocked with Trout.
There is also Bass, Carp, Catfish, and Bluegill
There is a shelter with tables and bathrooms are available
Children’s Day is held once a year-Fishing, food, and prizes are given.
This lake is stocked with Trout
$10,000.00 tagged “Benge” fish contest each year
Front r l-r: Paul Kilgore, Esther Congo, Fannie Steele, Rhonda Robertson, Sue Gilliam, Nina Mullins.2nd. r, l-r: Dorothy Witt, Evelyn Slemp, Sandra Collins, Shirley Gray, Edith Hubbard, Beulah Hawk, Gladys Stallard3rd. r, l-r: Bill Gobble, Ed Blair, Denver Osborne, Blaine Sturgill, Mr. & Mrs Tilford Nourse.
The Wise County Historical Society was organized on August 13, 1992 with the following Officers and Board of Directors elected. Dorothy Hall Witt, President; Wanda May Rose, Vice President; Rhonda Robertson, Secretary; Sue Stewart Gilliam, Treasurer; Gladys J. Stallard, Historian; Evelyn Dale Slemp, Publicity Chairman; Dollie Opal Watson, Appalachia; William C. Gobble, Big Stone Gap; Billy R. Porter, Coeburn; Gladys J. Stallard, Norton; Betty Belcher, Pound; Leroy Hilton, St. Paul, and Esther Congo, Wise.
Other charter members include: Loretta Belcher, William Belcher, Dora Alice Blevins, Nancy Baker Brown, Dorthula Carroll, Sandra Wright Collins, Dollie W. Countiss, Don and Sandy Earls, Lillian Gobble, Beth Holding Hagan, Martin Hagy, Pauline Hagy, Charlene Hamilton, Bill Hendric, Edith Gardner Hubbard, Ben & Cornie Julian, Elsie Vandiver Kern, Paul Kilgore, Ganell Marshall, Louise Adams Minor, H. Ronnie Montgomery, Elzie D. Mullins, Nina Mullins, Rebecca K. McAmis, Violet Kilgore McDonald, Patricia K. Norris, Denver Osborne, Golda Porter, James C. Roberson, Benjamin S. Rose, Fay Sanders, Bruce & Margaret Stallard, Sgt. and Mrs. David J. Stallard, Fannie Lane Steele, Helen J. Stem, Barbara and Roy L. Sturgill, Blaine Sturgill, Phil and Shirley Sturgill, Tim L. Sturgill, William L. Sturgill, William R. Taylor, Ralph Vandiver, Nina Holding Wilson, Ernest J. Benko, Raymond Burgin, Fannie l. Hamilton, D.C. Hubbard, Robert E. Lamb, Jr., Jennifer C. and Samuel E. Rose.
Book Committee and Charter Members Front row. l-r: Wanda Rose, Dorothy Witt, Rhonda Robertson, Sue Gilliam. 2nd. row, l-r: Loretta Belcher, Nina Mullins, Dolly Opal Watson, Sandra Collins, Fay Sanders, Evelyn Slemp, Gladys Stallard, .Third row, l-r: Paul Kilgore, Louise Minor, Esther Congo, Elsie Kern, Betty Belcher, Dot Carroll, Bill Porter, Ralph Vandiver, Fourth row, l-r: James Roberson, H. Ronnie Montgomery, Bill Gobble
Dorothy Hall Witt, traveled to Lee County, Virginia, to sit in on their Heritage book committee meetings at the Jonesville Courthouse. She knew that there were two volumes of the Russell County book, and that a group was working on the Scott County history so she was in hopes of a heritage book for Wise County also. Dorothy found that to get started on a possible book for Wise County she must get together a group of people. When this had been accomplished the first meeting was held at the Appalachian Regional Hospital, November 7, 1991 with 14 members present. Officers were elected at that meeting. The committee met at least once a month and sometimes more often. The membership grew in number and with much enthusiasm.
By the summer of 1992, some of the members, especially Dorothy Witt and Wanda Rose, were traveling all over the county spreading the word about the book at fairs, church homecomings, class reunions, and in private homes. The committee held meetings at every town in Wise County with the exception of Norton, in order to reach those who could not come to our regular meetings. Dorothy relates: “It was such a joy seeing old friends again and making new ones. We spent many hours listening to older people tell about how times were when they were growing up in Wise County.”
Some of the members spent countless hours gathering information, photographing pictures, selling ads, proofreading and getting the book ready for the press.
“We were pleasantly surprised to find that so great a number of those born in Wise County have become, not only locally, but nationally and internationally known. Wise County is proud to be the birthplace of Miss America of 1993, Leanza Cornett, and also the National Easter Seal Poster person for 1993, Virgil Craft of Wise who has contributed much to this book.”
From November 1991, our committee grew to sixty interested persons, culminating in the organization of the Wise County Historical Society in August, 1992, with 61 charter members.
August,1994, a meeting was held to elect new officers and members of the Board of Directors, held at the office of the Historical Society. They are as follows: Chairman: William C. Gobble; Vice Chairman: Denver C. Osborne; Recording Secretary: Rhonda Robertson; Corresponding Secretary: Dorothy Witt; Treasurer: Wanda Rose; Historian: Gladys Stallard
Members of the Board of 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. Since this election, some new officers and members of the board, have been installed and others are no longer with us.
We were given office space in the courthouse. and In 1994 the Heritage book was reprinted. In that same year we obtained office space in room 250 of the courthouse, which is our present location.
One of most exciting projects of the Wise County Historical Society was spearheaded by Rhonda Robertson and Wanda Rose. This was putting together WISE COUNTY VIRGINIA’S WORLD WAR II VETERANS: A TRIBUTE. The book contains 929 pages, with over 6,000 veterans sketches and over 3,000 photos. Rhonda and Wanda spent several thousand hours typing, copying photos and preparing the book for publication. It was a momentous event when the books arrived on August 15, 1995, the 50th anniversary of V-J Day. This book was submitted to Tom Brokaw of NBC news during his series of “Home of the Brave” broadcasts about WWII. It was also placed in the Library of Virginia, and other libraries.
In addition to the Veteran’s book, a commemorative calendar of Wise County during World War II was published containing pictures and historical events of the War and of the county.
In June of 1996 the first issue of our historical magazine, “The Appalachian Quarterly,” debuted. Rhonda Robertson is the editor, Ganell Marshall, associate editor. The magazine is published four times a year and contains exciting articles on our region and the southern Appalachians. The subscription was $10.00 per year for several years, but with rising costs of postage and paper, we had to raise the price to $12.00 per year. The subscription includes a years membership with the historical society.
The Wise County Historical Society welcomes you to join the membership and join in our activities. It is hard work but great fun.
The Courthouse Centennial was approaching fast and the society got busy planning their Courthouse Centennial (1896-1996) calendar. The calendar contained upcoming events in Wise County in 1996 as well as several old pictures of Wise and other towns in Wise County. That same year, the society reprinted the Banner Community Heritage which was compiled by a member of the Historical Society, Bill Porter.
The next project for the Historical Society was assisting Denver “Bud” Osborne in the publishing of his famous book, WISE COUNTY’S APPLE BLOSSOMS OF YESTERYEAR.
The book is a precise history of the apple industry in Wise County. The book committee consisted of people in Wise county who owned or had interest in apple orchards. Wise County was once noted for its unique delicious apples. In 1945 Wise county produced 300 thousand bushels. The beautiful apple blossom cover for this book was taken of our member and co-workers Fannie & Letcher Steele’s apple orchard.
Apple Blossoms of Yesteryear
In 1997 the historical society started planning for THE HERITAGE OF WISE COUNTY AND THE CITY OF NORTON, VOL. 2. The book was published in 2001. This book is distinct from Volume 1, but has the same forest green coloring with gold lettering, hard back It has 1133 pages including the index and is 9 x 12 in size. The many hours of hard work that went into this book is tremendous. This book is filled with stories and illustrations about Wise County and its people. Another heritage book of which the Wise County Historical Society is very proud.
Heritage of Wise County and the City of Norton 1856-2001 Vol. 2
The Historical Society has set headstones to mark the graves for 37 Civil War Soldiers of Wise County who had no stones or deteriorated ones.
Lillian Gobble and Rhonda Robertson are instrumental in locating and erecting stones for Wise County’s Civil War soldiers and spends hours documenting their service and ordering stones from the Veteran’s Administration.
The next undertaking for the Historical Society is now in the works, thanks to Rhonda Robertson and Lillian Gobble, who is working on a Civil War book for Wise County. The book is near completion and should be off the press sometime next spring. This book will be a wonderful asset to the Historical Society and to Wise County.
Note: Between Brothers, Civil War Soldiers of Wise and Dickenson Counties, A Biographical History, was available in June of 2004 and is a popular item at the Historical Society office.
In May of 2000, the Society sponsored its first Family History Days on the lawn of the courthouse, where people came to swap family information with genealogists and members of the Historical Society. The family History Days proved to be so successful, that Family History Days, number 2 was held this year 2002, and another is planned for 2003 which will be a Civil War theme.
The Society has worked with school students in helping them with their family histories, going back several generations for their projects in school.
All the work of the Historical Society is strictly volunteer. The office is open in room 250 at the courthouse, Monday through Thursday from 9:00 A.M. to 4:00 P. M, and on Friday from 9:00 to 12:00 noon. The Society maintains a bookstore in its office at the courthouse in Wise, with hundreds of area and family histories, and records to choose from. It has a database of almost 4000 books, magazines, records, and other articles in its archives. The society works cooperatively with the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office and other county officials to help preserve Wise County history.
The Historical Society has over 1000 members and subscribers to the Appalachian Quarterly. It has assisted thousands of people visiting the county from all over the United States in searching for their roots and other historical facts.
Help us to preserve the history of the area and families of Wise County.