Jeff Harvey

Continuing our look at the history of the families of the Bluestone River Valley, courtesy of William Sanders II’s book “A New River Heritage, Volume IV, (1994,McClain Publishing) we see that Louis Farley, in addition to being one of the first car owners in Mercer County, also owned a large ice house behind his home.

Said ice house harvested ice for the use of the Farleys and others from the Bluestone River. This was before the mines at McComas polluted the river for about 50 years although the river has been restored to much its previous state.

Farley’s granddaughter, Jacqueline Delp, daughter of Oscar and Myrtle Farley Boyst, recalled the family’s six week long visits to the old family home. Water was pumped in by gravity flow, with a large tub in the upstairs washroom. The kitchen was heated as was a large living room and bedroom downstairs in the winter. Bedtime saw a scramble for feather tick covers in the unheated bedrooms.

The Farleys were highly respected in the community. Louis Farley died from diabetes gangrene from a rusty nail wound after refusing to have his leg amputated.

Joe Farley established his family home at the Spanishburg Mill Dam, where his descendants have their family gatherings in the summer. James Farley’s Gardner Road home is no longer evident. Billie Anne Boyst was still living at Stone Mountain, Ga.,as of 1994.

The children of Louis Farley were in order of age, Cecil, Myrtle Boyst, Pearl Sibert, Willie Vernell Simpson and Blanche Farley. Joe married Hallie Bolton and James married Mary Clarke Crotty. Brother Lafayette (Lafe) remained in the Pipestem area and married Maude Trail. Sister Alice married Ruther Keaton of River Ridge and had children Carlean, Senate, Sidney, Verda and Grover.

Cousin Thomas Keadle/Cadle, who moved to the area to assist in the sawmill, was later hired by Conley Snidow to erect vacation log homes at Shawnee Lake. John Alexander Cadle was involved in running the large gristmill near the present Canyon Lodge of Pipestem State Park.

Jeff Harvey is a freelance reporter and columnist for the Princeton Times. Contact him at

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