Jeff Harvey

Before moving on to a somewhat different topic this time around, I want to dip into the e-mail bag for this from Kelly Coughlan

Kelly wrote,” My dad is looking for a picture of a one room school house that he attended as a 1st-2nd grader in the 1940s— it was demolished when the highway was constructed....his description is below:

As far as I know Camp Creek Elementary School was located off Interstate 19/21 between Princeton WV And the bottom of Flattop mountain. After completing the 6th grade, students went to Spanishburg HS located near Princeton.

Looking for picture of 2 room, 2 teacher, 6 grades Elementary School that was torn down about 1950 while the WV Turnpike, now Rt #77, was being constructed. The school was off State Route # 19-21. I went to school there in the 1st and 2nd grades. We lived near the Meadows, Necessary’s and Lilly’s outside what is now the Camp Creek State Park.

If anyone has any information, contact Kelly at or me.

Picking up from where we left off last time with our look at the history of Flat Top and Ellison Ridge and surrounding areas, courtesy of William Sanders II’s “A New River Heritage, Volume IV, McClain Publishing, 1994, Parsons), we start with western North Carolina where several families of local note had their roots. The late Ray Eads told Sanders that his father, Squire Bryant Eads recounted conditions in North Carolina when the elder Eads was a child. Times were so tough that children were farmed out on work farms and lived in dormitories. Those conditions inspired the Eads family, Bryant Rose, the Wyatts, the Lashmeet (Mt. Olive) Sanders family and the Dalton Byrds, the adoptive parent of U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd to migrate to the Bluestone/Flat Top area around the turn of the century.

Robert C. Byrd was the foster son of Dalton and Vlurma Byrd, who moved from Wilkesborough, N.C. right after World War I and the 1918 flu epidemic, when Robert was about four months old. He attended his first three grades at a two-room school at Algonquin at Clark’s Gap. His teacher was Hallie Carrico who recalled Mrs.Byrd taking in miners as boarders to supplement the meager income Mr. Byrd earned as a miner. heating water in an outhouse for the miners to bathe in after their shifts. They later moved to Wolf Creek near Nubbins Ridge, where Robert attended the Willis White ‘Hambone” two-room school then later walked out of the hollow to catch the bus to Spanishburg High School before the family moved to Sophia in Raleigh County.

We’ll pick up from there next time.

Contact Jeff Harey at