Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Melcenia Fields; the Hermit of Beury

When Melcenia Fields failed to retrieve her groceries, railroad workers knew something was wrong. Fields, inexplicably to all but herself, lived in the ruins of Beury, WV, one of dozens of company towns in the New River Gorge that residents completely abandoned when the adjacent coal seams were mined out. Fields lived there alone for … Continue reading

Posted in African Americans, Cemeteries, Ghost towns, Industry, Mines, Miscellaneous | 1 Comment

The Carolinas’ Curious Legacy; Nuclear Near-Misses

Ahh, the Carolinas. Known far and wide for barbecue, conservative politics and…nuclear near-misses?? That’s right, the Carolinian legacy you’ve likely never heard of missed annihilating vast swaths of the East Coast’s countryside by just a whisper. Indeed, the only two accidents during which atomic bombs accidentally fell from bombers on American soil were in the … Continue reading

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Rock Creek Park and the U.S. Capitol; Grand Old Stones No More

When New England’s tallest elm tree, “Herbie,” succumbed to Dutch Elm disease, craftsmen made the wood into everything from a guitar to a casket. When the dust settled after 9/11, shipbuilders recycled the Twin Towers’ steel into the USS New York. And when the United States Capitol got a face-lift, the old stones went to … Continue reading

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A New Season; Lost Harbingers of a Chesapeake Spring

Could you find tuckahoe if you had to? Know when to hook up with a herring? If you’re like most of us, the answer is probably “no.” All our modern conveniences and gadgets insulate us from a world our ancestors knew. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy central air and Google as much as the … Continue reading

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Cloverleaf Earthworks; Hidden Remnants of the Civil War

Thousands of people drive within feet of this forgotten trace of history every day with no knowledge that it’s there. Not that most would give a flying fig. Nevertheless, this site’s very existence is a study in contrasts, an example of what happens when history and development intersect. Some might see this as an injustice. … Continue reading

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The Richmond Coal Basin, Part II – A Dear Price for Energy

On the forest floor behind a country churchyard near the forgotten village of Winterpock, Virginia yawn two deep holes. One is covered with a square frame of concrete and a metal grate. The bottom is underneath somewhere, but it’s concealed by the tapering shadow the shaft’s walls cast. The other pit is open and you … Continue reading

Posted in Ghost towns, Mines, Miscellaneous | 2 Comments

Where John Wilkes Booth Died; The Garrett Farm

John Wilkes Booth, Lincoln’s assassin, would be aghast to see the spot where he met his end. After all, the vainglorious murderer scoffed at what he was told was the $140,000 price on his head. He thought it should be half a million. The place where Booth died is as unsung as modernity can make … Continue reading

Posted in Ghost towns, Military, Miscellaneous | 124 Comments