Jeff Harvey

Before we continue with our look at what William Sanders II had to say in his book “A New River Heritage, Volume IV”, (McClain Publishing, 1994), I want to say thanks again to the people who have commented either face-to-face or via email about the column. The compliments are welcome and I’ll do my best to address any specific questions you may have.

To conclude our current look at the Clover Bottom area via Sanders, we turn to his conversation with then-86-year-old Flynn Snidow of Princeton, who was the brother of Conley and Burman C. (B.C.) Snidow of Princeton. Snidow confirmed that a portion of the original Clay cabin remained in place when his uncle, Conley Snidow, bought the property from “Uncle” Daniel Day around 1920,

The home of George Pearis Brown (the third one) was located virtually on the same site as the original Clay cabin and the front portion of the Brown home was built from logs of the Clay home, according to the Snidow account.

Flynn Snidow worked with his uncle as manager of both Shawnee Lake and the Virginian Hotel in Princeton throughout the older man’s life. His grandfather-in-law, Gustavis Gillenwater had a farm on Greasy Ridge where Hartley and William Sanders both hunted quail.

Snidow said there was only a depression near the Clay home which was dredged out to make Shawnee Lake. Alex Karnes did much of the dredging work and built the cabin which the Snidows used in the summer.

I guess the best way to wrap up the Clover Bottom saga for now is to cite the memorial placed at Pearisburg, Va. by the George Pearis Chapter of the Daughters of the Revolution. The bronze plaque states Mitchell Clay (1736-1811), Private-American Revolutionary Army-Battle of Point Pleasant — wife, Phoebe Belcher (1740-1809) and Other members of this pioneer family buried on New River Farm, Present Site of Celanese Corporation of America — Relocated to Birch Lawn Cemetery February, 1985.

See you next time with more.

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

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