Tuesday, March 17, 2009

James Harvey Smith

The above photograph is my 2nd Great Grandfather, James Harvey Smith. He was a descendant of Samuel M. Smyth, one of the first settlers in the Hurley area.

Grandpa Jim liked to farm and he always kept a mule even when he was unable to farm. Most of the land he farmed were on hill sides. The picture shows Grandpa with his mule and wagon. The wagon is filled with huge pumpkins and cushaws that he grew every year.

He was born at Hurley in the Lester's Fork section in 1885. He died in Richlands, VA in 1977.

Amanda Broyles
Hurley High School

Monday, March 16, 2009

Home Remedies

Blood from a black chicken cures shingles.

Turpentine will cure a corn on your foot.

If the seventh son blows in your mouth, it will cure the thrash.

Boil whiskey, ginger, and sugar and drink it to lower a fever.

Use Vaseline salve on your eye at night to cure a sty.

Mix sulfur and lard together for itching skin.

Boil oak bark and apply it to your skin for ring worms.

Use three drops of turpentine and a tablespoon of Castor oil to cure a stomach ache.

Vinegar, soda, and sugar mixed in water will help an upset stomach.

To keep hair from turning gray, use a tonic made of olive oil, sulphur, and vinegar.

Mix lemon and honey to cure a cough.

Rub vinegar on patches of poison to stop the itch.

Rub shoe polish on poison to dry it out.

For a headache, put spruce pine into boiling water, cool, then drink.

Boil a Mullen plant, mix it with honey to be used as a cough syrup.

For sores in your mouth, boil yellow root to make a tea.

Dandelion tea or water soaked watermelon seeds will cure bladder infections.

Vinegar was used for fainting, headaches, and as an antiseptic.

Mutton tallow rubbed on the chest and covered with a hot cloth might cure bronchitis and other colds.

A freshly cut onion will remove the burn of a bee sting.

Gun powder or turpentine would draw out the poison from a snake bite.

Mr. Doug Clevinger's History Classes
Hurley High School


Sweep under a girl's feet and she will never get married.

If your right hand itches, you are going to shake hands with a stranger.

If the bottom of your feet itches, you are going to walk on strange ground.

Dropping a comb while combing your hair is a sign of a coming disappointment.

Pick a dandelion that has gone to seed. Take a deep breath and blow the seeds into the wind. Count the seeds left on the stem and that will tell the number of children you will have.

It is bad luck to leave a house through a different door than the one used to come into the house.

If you dream of death, it is a sign of birth. If you dream of birth, it is a sign of death.

Dream of running and it is a sign of a big change in your life.

For good luck throughout the year, wear new clothes on Easter.

If your right eye twitches, there will soon be a birth in the family.

If your left eye twitches, there will be a death in the family.

A cricket in the house brings good luck.

If the first butterfly you see in the year is white, you will have good luck all year.

Three butterflies together mean good luck.

Evil spirits can not harm you if you stand inside a circle.

If a clock has not been working and suddenly chimes, there will be death.

If an owl comes to your house, someone who lives there is going to die.

If you walk under a horseshoe, you will have good luck.

Carrying an acorn will bring you good luck.

To protect yourself from witches, wear a blue bead.

If you say good-by to someone on a bridge, you will never see each other again.

Keep cats away from babies because they will "suck the breath" of the baby.

To drop a fork means a man is coming to visit.

Mr. Doug Clevinger's History Classes
Hurley High School

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Ritter Lumber Company

In the early 1900's, Ritter Lumber Company began operations in the Knox District area of Buchanan County. The mountains had an abundance of forests when the first settlers established their homesteads making the area rich in natural resources.

The sawmills were placed at Hurley, Paw Paw, and Blackey. The sawmills employed more than 600 men, many who boarded locally during the week for one dollar a night.

Ritter Lumber Company turned Hurley into a boom town. Hurley was the center of operations for the lumber company in this region. The lumber company employed a doctor to take care of its employees and brought many changes for the better in the lifestyle of the citizens of Hurley. Hurley was the site of the first hospital in Buchanan County.

Much of the wealth and natural beauty was destroyed in the area because of lumbering. Many of the people took advantage of the barren hills to plant crops and graze livestock. Ritter quit the operation in 1935 when the coal operators began mining in the area.

Jordon Prater
Hurley High School

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Roseann, VA

This picture was taken on top of the
mountain between Elkins Branch and
Roseann early one summer morning.
Roseann is in the foreground and
Lester's Fork is winding around the
mountains going towards Hurley.

Vance Family Immigration

The Vance name comes from the surname meaning "dweller in a pen." This surname meaning is from the Old English language. The Vance name was first found in East Lothian, Scotland. The Vance family was directly descended from the great baronial family of De Vaus, or De Vallibus, and there is still a castle of this name in Normandy. Vance is an ancient name, which was found in Scotland as early as 1174. The name was found in France and England in the 12th Century. The name came to Ireland in the 1700's. This name has various meanings. In France, the spelling is Vaus. Vaus means "the dales" or "Valles." In England, it means "Dweller near a small hill or burial mound." The name also means "the son of Van." Some of the first settlers were Thomas Vance who arrived in Philadelphia in 1820 with his children. William Vance settled in Wilmington, NC in 1804. Gilbert Vance settled in New Orleans in 1822. Virginia was not a state when the first Vance's came into the area. In 1620, Robert Vause at the age of 20 came on the ship named the Jonathan May. The Vance's began to flourish in the New World. On August 10, 1642, Robert Vaus, a merchant, was granted 1200 acres on Freshwater Creek. This land was granted for the transportation of 24 people. In 1750 Augusta County, VA, John Vance was ordered by the County Court to help build a road at Woods River. Woods River is now called New River. From 1750 to about 1764, John was living on Reed Creek. The Vance family legend tells us that the Vance's were some of the first settlers on and around the Clinch Mountain and near present day Abingdon, VA. Amanda Sturgill Hurley High School

Monday, February 2, 2009

Justus/Justice Families

The majority of the 295 million people currently living in the United States are descended from European immigrants who arrived here in the past 500 years. Latin American immigrants from countries to the south, and African American people, most of whom were originally introduced as slave labor, form the next largest ethnic groups. The Native American people who were displaced by the Old World Immigrants now form only a small minority of the population. People of "American" ancestry are generally assumed to be predominately English, Scottish, or Welsh, though many are likely to be people of several different European ethnicity who are unable or unwilling to choose one. The estimate of United States citizens who are of Scotch-Irish descent is approximately 15-18 %. (This percentage was arrived at by analyzing the Federal Population Census schedules.) While some "Americans" can trace their ancestry back to a single ethnic group or population in Europe, Africa, or Asia, these are usually first or second generation Americans. Naturally, the degree of mixed heritage increases the longer one's ancestors have lived in the United States. The surname Justus/Justice was first found in Perthshire and Angus areas of Central Scotland, where they were seated from very ancient times. Some researchers say they were there long before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William of Hastings in 1066 A.D. A Henry Justus arrived in Virginia around 1700 and a Hugh Justice in Maryland in 1736. A Sarah Justice arrived in San Francisco, California around 1862. Jackson Clint Justus Sarah Ann Justus Hurley High School

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Johannes (John) Broyles

My ancestor Johannes Broyles was the first of my family line who immigrated to America. He was part of the Second Germanna Colony, who were mostly Lutherans seeking to escape from the persecution of the French. They traveled up the Rhine River to board a ship at Rotterdam located in South Holland. Their ship departed on July 12, 1717 on their way to Pennsylvania. The ship was stopped in London for several weeks because their captain was put in jail for debts he owed. The Germanna Record reported that the people's food supplies were used up while the people on the ship waited for the release of their captain.

Many people starved and it is reported that as many as fifty people mostly children died. Captain Scott was finally released and the voyage across the ocean ended not in Pennsylvania as planned but in Virginia. The captain upon landing told Governor Spotswood that the passengers had not paid their passage money and refused to allow them to land until Governor Spotswood gave him the amount he demanded. Governor Spotswood made the immigrants agree to be indentured servants for eight years in payment for the monies Spotswood paid Captain Scott for their passage.

The immigrants were indentured to Governor Spotswood not the British Government. When the eight years was over, Johannes Broyles was granted land in Madison County, VA. Johannes died on February 5, 1733 in Spotsylvania, VA. Information from The Germanna Record Number Six, page 19. Amanda Broyles Hurley High School

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The top of the mountain coming

from Elkins Branch into Roseann

on a sunny fall day.