I want to thank the Mercer County Historical Society for providing the resources that they do for history researchers and writers. I’m much more the latter and my job would be much harder without them.
One of those resources are their “History of Mercer County” volumes which they put out in 1984, 1987 and 2001. I have the latter two in my library and I’m using the 1987 edition in writing my latest columns including this one on the Casher’s Hill/Lovern area.
The settlement of Casher’s Hill is 10 miles southwest of Glen Lyn, Va., west of the New River. It sprawls two miles wide and four miles long over 20,000 acres of farm land and hunting grounds. The New River furnishes a fishing area ranging from the Bluestone Dam to Galax,Va.
The valley is marked by sloping hills which break abruptly down to the west bank of the river. The north end has the junction of Island Creek and New River marked by a waterfall. There is a swimming hole at the waterfall used by people all the way back to the Shawnee.
Further down is a cajune hill which the creek flows around, cutting out a fortress like rock structure which allows the deer an escape route.
Two miles down the river is a burial ground for the Shawnee, which has yielded bones, pipes, arrowheads and tools.
The south end of the settlement sees Elgood Creek flowing into the river near Wiley’s store.
Casher’s Hill itself is in the middle of the settlement, rising in the midst of other hills, hollows and glens, with flat areas and caves joining the landscape.
The north side of Casher’s Hill is known as Shannon Hill and is marked by old stone fences. These fences were built by slaves who were owned by a Miss Polly Walker who lived on the hill above New River on the east side. Allegedly, there was much gold hidden in the fences by the slaves which is still being searched out.
Casher’s Hill is on the Summers County/Mercer County border. Students used to be bussed to Elgood Grade School and Oakvale High School on the Mercer side and Pipestem Grade School and Hinton High School on the Summers side.
Casher’s Hill received its name from two sources. A man named Geo. Cash came to the area around 1838 from parts unknown and planted a Joshua Money Tree on top of the hill and a Solomon Penny Vine beside of it. The vine had penny-like objects on it as it grew on the tree, which had dollar-like cactus discs on it. Together, they were known as the money tree and adding the name cash made the hill be known as Casher’s Hill.
This article doesn’t have a name attached to it, but a related article on Polly Walker which may actually be part of the same article was contributed by A.C. “Clifton” Walker.
Jeff Harvey is a freelance reporter and columnist for the Princeton Times. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.