Monday, November 30, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
As the waters of the Tygart River rose it began to reek havoc on the structures that stood in it way, one of these unfortunate buildings was a small white church. Swept from its foundation, it slowly drifted with the current. Surely it was a strange sight to see a church that was once filled with worshipers now filled with water and driftwood. This, however, was not the end of the church or of this tale. As if from divine intervention or heavenly providence the church was spared, plucked from the clutches of sure destruction and pulled from the waters. The church was hoisted and hauled to its present location near Knottsville, West Virginia. Worshipers once again filled its halls and the tiny church can now be seen as a symbol of rebirth and new hope.
I do not have definitive proof this event actually occurred, although some clues maybe gathered from the Federal Geographic Names Information System. According to the site found here the name of the church as been changed many times over its history. Some of the other names include Riverside Church and Cecil Church. These names seem rather odd considering the present location of the church miles from both a river and the location of Cecil. This evidence coupled with different sources speaking to it validity I tend believe the story to be true. The church in question can be seen in the following photographs. If anyone has any further information on the church please add a post or send an email.
Photos by K.A. Pitzer
Monday, March 16, 2009
Map #1 created in 1921
Map #2 created in 1922
Sunday, February 1, 2009
Areas once connected by bridges along the Tygart river where forever severed when the dam was built. The bottom half of Taylor County was in effect split in two by the rising river waters. Easy passage from one side of the river to the other was no longer possible. All of the connections forged between individuals or communities would be broken or drastically changed forever. This separation can be seen in a story that appeared in a local newspaper on June 24, 1937 describing the dismantling of the Cecil Bridge. According to the story, “dismantling of the Cecil bridge, made necessary by the construction of the Tygart Lake reservoir dam, has been ordered by the State Road Commission, and the span will be stored in its new location just about the Carr China company property in Park view.” The story goes on to state that the bridge would be re-erected near the “pottery.” It does not appear that the bridge was ever reassembled. There was, however, a small swinging bridge that connected Park View to the end of Maple Avenue. The remains can be seen in this photo. Connections between parts of the county where lost never to be rebuilt just like the bridge at Cecil.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
This B & O train schedule describes the various stops traveling from Grafton to Belington. As you can see the train stopped in Cecil as well as Cove run both of which are now covered by water. The schedule neglects to mention the other three communities that where located down the valley. They may not have been large enough to deem necessary a train station. Cove run which is located in
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Cecil was once a “happy and prosperous community that might some day become as large a city as Grafton.” In fact as many as 400 people once lived in the town of
This newspaper article puts a new twist on the story of this small town. The real danger to Cecil may not have been rising water but in fact the loss of jobs. It is unclear thus far in my research what happened to Cecil for the next eleven years before the flooding of the valley. This story does shed some light on the approximate size and the types of buildings located within the town.
*This may or may not be correct the document is difficult to read
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
During a recent trip the library I ran across an old news story which was first published in The Grafton Sentinel. I thought that it was interesting because it concerned a man named Mr. McDaniel who had lived in Cecil. He spent most of his life tending to his farm; however, he was also involved in the Knottsville districts Board of Education and known as a poet. For nearly 57 years he lived in an around Cecil until he was forced to leave when the government took the land to construct the Tygart Dam. Mr. McDaniel, according to the news story, "relinquished (his land) with the deepest sorrow." This story may not give us much in the way of hard facts about Cecil or the other towns but it does put a human face on the effects the building of the dam had on people’s lives. I have posted the story so if anyone would like to read the entire article they can do so.
This news story was found in "The History of Taylor County" by Charles Brinkman Chapter 711a Pg. 253
Saturday, January 3, 2009
As you can see I have added a map to give a better idea of the locations of these towns. I researched and found the coordinates of all four communities using the U.S. Department of Interior's Geographic Names Information System (GNIS).