Woofter Gives Geography Lesson in 1971


Transcribed by Norma Knotts Shaffer from a clipping from the Parkersburg News dated 2/7/1971.

Town and Country
By Albert Woofter

To the best of my recollection and belief, the stream upon which the village of White Pine in Calhoun county is located is known as Laurel Creek which empties into the Little Kanawha River at Henrietta, a few miles upstream from Grantsville.  It would be several miles upstream if one were to follow the river but the highway bisects a ridge at a place known as Hog Knob and thus reduces the distance to a considerable degree.

We hope we have not confused you unduly, the central theme of this piece being White Pine and its environs; and when you get to thinking about it, Laurel Creek and White Pine both have pleasant evergreen sounds to them; and a tributary of Laurel is known as Cherry Fork, thus designated, we suspect, for wild cherry trees which may once have flourished there.

With the exception of catching bait for trot-line fishing, our principal visits to Laurel Creek were at harvest time when we generally tried to help as best we could a sturdy residenter of that little valley, the late Mell Westfall, farmer extraordinary, who was self-sufficient to the extent that he even operated his own sawmill.

To get to White Pine from the Mell Westfall place, simply proceed upstream and when you get to Cherry Fork, turn left.  A church is located at the confluence of Cherry Fork with Laurel and turn left at the church and followed the main stream.

It has been quite a spell since we visited White Pine which according to Hardesty, the historian, once had a population exceeding that of Grantsville.  But that was before our time and we recall it only as a hamlet -- a couple of stores, one containing a post office, and a few dwellings.

As far as we can recollect, a small stream, only a brook, known as Road Run, empties into Laurel at White Pine.  We have never been farther north on Laurel than White Pine although we understand that a number of dwellings exist or existed on upstream from that point.

When you turn left at White Pine and take Road Run you eventually will come to be Mike Kight Hill, continue on out the ridge and the road intersects a paved highway at the Geho place; turn left there and go to Grantsville.

Back at Cherry Fork, if you had turned right instead of left you soon would have encountered the Cherry Fork Hill on a road which intersects another one at a place, called the Fingerboard; turn left there and you're heading in the general direction of Glenville, the Gilmer county seat.