WILL YOU TAKE AN EASTER TOUR IN YOUR AUTOMOBILE?

(04/16/2017)

Grantsville resident, sitting on bumper, Willis
Haught (L) and barber Dick Marshall (R) other man likely Carl Morris

A drive down a Calhoun road, circa about 1920, Hagan Francis (left)
who owned Francis Hardware, man in front of car unknown, and
Hagan's wife, Bertha and daughter, Mary Ann Francis Yoke (right)

Photos compliments of Juanita Haught Willard

By Bob Weaver

It was likely these folks got out of the house about 90 years ago for an Easter Sunday tour around Calhoun County.

They would have faced some pretty rough roads, with none paved.

Calhoun and other rural West Virginia counties still have highways that are narrow, crooked and dangerous.

They were built over early trails with labor-intensive construction that carved the roads from steep hillsides or lifted them from creek beds.

Most of them have now been rocked with a course of "black-top."

Hence came the automobile, struggling down rutted roads and mud-holes you dared not put a horse.

Families began to take the Sunday drive, a ritual that continued through the 1960s.

My Aunt Gladys Weaver Stump said Calhouners marveled at the coming of the automobile, her grandfather Wilson Weaver purchased one of the modern machines before 1920.

While others tooled around the county in their prized possession, Wilson never trusted his boys to drive it.

He put it in his barn on Sassafras Ridge, where it reposed for years, used by the chickens for egg-laying and nesting.

"When I was a little girl, I gathered the eggs from the fallen-apart seats," she said."Grandpa was always proud his family could afford a car, although it got little use."


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