Jeff Harvey

Before we continue 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 e-mail about the column. The compliments are welcome and I’ll do my best to address any specific questions you may have.

We left off with the Shrewsbury family last time and we’ll start with a curious note. Patriarch Jeremiah Shrewsbury (wife Mary) had 10 children. One of their younger children, John, had his will probated in Mercer County Court in September 1839. The curious part of this procedure was that his last name was listed as Solesbury, an alternative version of Shrewsbury. His estate, by the way, was appraised at $176.25.

Their oldest son, Thomas, married Elizabeth “Betty” Blankenship. Their son “Fitty John” married Elizabeth Basham and they had 13 children, 12 who reached adulthood. Of those children, George lived and was buried on Fork Ridge, Whitfield lived on Springton Mountain. Elizabeth Basham Shrewsbury is buried at the Whitfield Shrewsbury family cemetery while John, who died from tuberculosis, was buried in the public cemetery.

Dillard Shrewsbury was the last living son of George Parris Shrewsbury (wife Margaret Godfrey) as of 1994. He was a prominent citizen of the Pinoak-Beeson-Spansihburg area.

John Maxey, whom I did have the pleasure of meeting while he was still living, had a farm of about 1,000 acres alongside the Bluestone-Clover Bottom which took in much of Cornbread Ridge and the Spanishburg community. It was 28 miles from the Village of Lilly and the Pipestem, Ellison Ridge community.

Moving back to Shawnee Lake, we go to the former resort there, built by Princeton businessman Conley Snidow, who also constructed the Virginian Hotel. The lake was built between the wars by Snidow, with a lot of influence by his wife Mary Chestnut Snidow.

Under their direction, Clover Bottom became known as Lake Shawnee and was promoted as “The Playground of Southern West Virginia”, advertising log cabins sleeping five people with two double beds and a cot. Rates were $15.00 a week for as many as five, with $1 per week extra for each additional guest. Linens wee provided at $.50 per week per guest with guests also getting free swimming privileges. Others could swim for $.15 per day for children and $.25 a day for adults. The restaurant served plate lunches for $.35.

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

Recommended for you