If you have a picture to share, email it to email@example.com, mail it to P.O. Box 1036, Romney, WV 26757 or drop it by our office at 74 W. Main St. For more photos from Hampshire County’s past, visit the Hampshire History page on Facebook.
100 Years Ago — July 28, 1920
About three-fourths of the east wall of the Courthouse collapsed Mon. afternoon. Twenty feet of it went down about 4 o’clock in the 1st crash, about 10 feet within a half-hour and another 10 feet fell after 6 o’clock. Strange to say, notwithstanding all the hands at work inside the building, the only person injured, and he only getting a few cuts on the leg, was Tom Duncan, son of Wm. Duncan. He was playing alongside the wall when it went down and was partly covered with brick and mortar.
All of the workmen on the inside were on the opposite side of the building and were not caught. A team of horses on the inside ran out and dodged the fall. The ground on the east side of the building has been quite wet and soft. The ground on the inside has been dug down several feet below the foundation wall, preparatory to putting up concrete retaining walls to hold up the foundation. A heavy 5-ton truck, hauling sand has been running along the building, which had evidently loosened this soft earth. These together may have been the cause of the collapse. As it is, thousands of bricks are piled up in the building and must be removed before work on the new foundation can be begun. It is the opinion of many that it is a mistake to go on with the work of remodeling the old building, that the walls are unsafe and should be taken down.
The County Court met yesterday afternoon and decided to call a meeting of the taxpayers of the county at 1:30 this afternoon to discuss tearing down the Courthouse and building a new one. The architect and contractor state that the old walls are unsafe and may topple at any time. Work stopped there yesterday, as the back wall shows signs of falling down.
50 Years Ago — July 29, 1970
During the week of June 15-21, 1970, at the Augusta United Methodist Church, the Junior High Bible School Class brought articles to be put in Time Capsule III. The Construction of the time capsule was a metal red chest. Records were made to be kept at the Augusta United Methodist Church Parsonage, 1 to be recorded at the Courthouse and 1 to be sent to the Hampshire Review.
Articles that were put in Time Capsule III are as follows: a report on President Nixon by Donna Calhoun; a report on the Romney Junior High School’s sports for 1969-1970 by Vera Peters; a copy of The Hampshire Review; a catalog on Fall and Winter 1969 Fashions and a fashion exhibit by Dianna Ruckman; a list on the current food prices, pictures of food and an amendment to remove sales tax on food; amendments concerning the right of the 18-year-olds to vote; books and booklets titled: The New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs, News for Modern Man, Why Marriage — Soon Obsolete, You Can Quit Smoking, Is that Really Milk You Are Drinking, Making Your Money Work For You and Surprised by God; Literature concerning: Cancer, LSD, other drugs, The War in Vietnam, demonstrations, diplomatic issues, The Space Program, medicine, the current actresses and actors and horoscopes; a list containing the names of the children and teacher that attend Bible School at the Augusta United Methodist Church of June 15-21, 1970; miscellaneous items included the following: a toothpaste tube, an acme medicine tube, a tube of lipstick, a pair of sunglasses, a hair piece, empty pop can, a pair of glasses, a locust, a bracelet, pierced earrings, hair clips, safety pin, a model car, hair accessories and a picture of an electric hair setter.
Time Capsule III was buried with a ceremony after the Bible School Program on June 21, 1970. Rev. James Mitchem officiated at the ceremony and burial was on the picnic grounds at the Augusta United Methodist Church. The capsule will be reopened on June 21, 1980, 10 years from the date of burial.
40 Years Ago — July 30, 1980
You are invited to help celebrate Hampshire Heritage Days on Sept. 6 and 7 at Hampshire Park. Our county, which is the oldest in W. Va., was 226 years old May 1, 1980.
The formation of Hampshire County was authorized by the act of the General Assembly of Virginia to be effective May 1, 1754. Up until this time all of the South Branch, Patterson Creek, New Creek and Capon River Valleys had been part of Frederick County, Va. All of the area was a part of the northern neck of Va. belonging to Lord Thomas Fairfax.
During church services held on June 8, at Trinity United Methodist Church at Fort Ashby, W. Va., 5 young men received the God and County Award of Boy Scouting. This award required Bible Study, community work, visiting a nursing home and taking part in Sunday morning church services. As a final project, the boys made a map of the Fort Ashby area, noting all the homes of all members of the Methodist Church. The map will be on display in the church vestibule.
Mr. Wade Clinedinst, III, son of Mrs. Blanch Clinedinst and the late Wade H. Clinedinst, Jr., of Romney, has been selected by the U. S. Civil Service Commission as a Training Specialist, GS-12, for assignment to the Saudi Arabian National Guard Modernization Program in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Funded by the Royal Saudi government, the modernization program is supported by U.S. Government personnel and civilian contractors.
30 Years Ago — August 1, 1990
A single-engine plane reportedly downed a set of power lines on River Road near Romney on Sun., according to state police. The white plane, with blue stripes running up the tail section, clipped the wires, triggering a brush fire as the lines hit the ground. Romney Fire Department reported to the scene after receiving notice of the fire at approximately 6:35 p.m., said Capt. Fred Ganoe. He also added that several people witnessed the plane striking the lines.
Tracey Emberg, daughter of Eric V. Emberg of Romney, was 1 of 20 young ladies selected as Outstanding Citizens of Girls State thus presenting her with the opportunity to be named a Senator to Girls Nation. She, along with Stacy Clovis of Fairmont, was accorded the honor. Tracey has completed her junior year at Hampshire High School where she maintained a 3.5-grade point average.
Teachers are gaining more knowledge about computers and computer programs through a graduate-level class being offered at Hampshire High School July 23-31. The instructor for the class is Donna Clovis. Participants are receiving 3 hours of graduate credit from Marshall University or WVU. Both Apple and IBM computers are being used by the students. Apple Computers were provided by Potomac Edison.
20 Years Ago — August 2, 2000
Two years of hot temperatures and drought conditions are believed to have contributed to a new onslaught of gypsy moths, according to Butch Sayers of the W. Va. Department of Agriculture, Plant Industries Division New Creek office. “The last 4 years or so, the gypsy moth population has been down with no noticeable damage,” said Sayers. That, he said, has been because of a fungus that has worked nationwide. However, he said, the fungus, which helps to control the gypsy moth population, requires cooler, wetter conditions to be effective.
Bob Flanagan of Yellow Spring and Ralph Riley of Augusta received statewide recognition this summer by way of the writing contest award announcements at the W. Va. Writers conference. Each spring since 1981, W. Va. Writers have sponsored competitions that attract entrants - published and unpublished - throughout the Mountain State. In recent years, the contest has grown in popularity and competitiveness.
The Knight of Olde Hampshire Award is given by the Romney Rotary Club annually at the Hampshire Heritage Days celebration. This award honors an outstanding citizen who has chosen to spend his or her time serving the needs of Hampshire County citizens. Life-long resident of Hampshire County Afton Malick is this year’s Knight of Olde Hampshire. Malick has served the citizens of Hampshire County as a volunteer, civic leader and much more.
10 Years Ago — July 28, 2010
A storm blew through Hampshire County Sunday afternoon between 2 and 4 p.m. leaving trees and debris scattered across roads. Trees falling across power lines caused 1,700 Allegheny Power customers to be without power, according to Todd Meyers, spokesperson for Allegheny. Romney had 600 outages that began at 2 p.m. but were back in service by 3 p.m. “We had to replace an overhead transformer,” said Meyers. Augusta had 550 customers out of electricity between 2:13 p.m. and 4:13 p.m. when a tree branch came in contact with an overhead line.
The Hillbilly Crab Shack in Springfield just isn’t a crab shack without crabs. The local seafood restaurant has closed its doors due to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Owner Jim Swisher of Springfield said Tuesday morning that the price of crabs has gotten so high because of the oil spill that he can’t afford to buy them, let alone sell them. “The spill has put the price of shrimp, scallops, crabs and clams so high that I couldn’t even try to sell them to my customers,” said Swisher. “I’ve had to shut the place down until I can find other suppliers, most likely on the west coast.”
Back by popular demand for the 2nd year, is Hampshire County Fair’s version of “America’s Got Talent.” The Wednesday night event is open to vocalists who want to showcase their talents to the crowd. The only rule of this contest is the participants must be from Hampshire County. Three categories are featured: solos, age 12-21; solos, 21 and over; and duets or groups of any age. Fair officials have limited the contest to the first 10 entries in each category. According to fair officials, 1st-, 2nd- and 3rd-place winners will be awarded cash prizes. This contest is sponsored by Farm Credit Country Mortgages.