CRAIG COUNTY – “Memories and Stories of Paint Bank” is the subject for this year’s “In & Around Craig County,” the 24th book in the series focused on a particular area or topic of the county each year since 1990. It will be for sale at the Craig County Festival on Oct. 12.
The first book was edited by Helen Looney and Nancy Sasser. It had nine pages of county history, including an automobile tour of Rt. 311 which highlighted the Civil War service of Major Michael Spessard, who once owned a large farm in the area of Broad Run. A black-and-white photo on page 12 shows his home “barely standing.” It succumbed to age and the elements and was removed in the early 2000s.
The 2013 edition of “In & Around about Paint Bank” is 168 pages long, and includes ads of area businesses which fund almost 80 percent of the printing costs. The book begins with a map of the area of the county bordering West Virginia, a table of contents, and an automobile tour of thirty pages with several photographs of people and places.
Topics in the book include the Hanging Rock, Hollow Hill Buffalo Farm, the Fire Department, Rescue Squad, and the advent of telephone service. The unique diary of William Madison Helems, family histories of Lintons, Rayhills and others, and the recollections of thrashing wheat and hauling timber make for an interesting read of a time long past. The village with majestic mountain scenery has changed from a booming agriculture community to a picturesque tourist destination.
The editor of this project was Opal Bradley Caldwell, whose family has lived in the Paint Bank area since the late 1700s. She said, “I am very appreciative of all who wrote articles and sent me pictures. Many people were eager to help get this book published. If anything was left out, it was only because the information was not made available.”
Also brand new this year is a wooden representation of the Layman Victorian House which has stood on a prominent corner in New Castle since 1898. Produced by Hometowne Collectibles of Bowmansville, Pa., the image shows the house with a white picket fence and a 1940’s Ford similar to the car driven by the late George W. Layman, area businessman and Virginia State Senator.
Historical information on the back was provided by Dr. Waddy Bowes, Mr. Layman’s grandson and the current owner of the home. The Layman House is the fourteenth county landmark in this series.
All In & Around books and Hometowne Collectibles will be available at the Craig County Fall Festival on Saturday October 12 in the Sales Room of the Old Brick Hotel and at the Information Booth on Main Street. The 2013 In & Around will sell for $10; the Layman House is $15.
The Historical Society also has for sale copies of Craig County Census and other genealogy resources.
– Submitted by the Craig County Historical Society