THE LONG GONE VILLAGE OF HUR - Stands on the Edge of Memory


Hur is on the backroad from Mt. Zion, three miles off Route 16, it's most notable remaining fixture is the Mt. Olive United Methodist Church, which celebrated 120 years of existence in 1999.

Hur, a post office until the early 1950's, was named for the novel "Ben Hur," after a local resident obsessively read it and offered it up for the P.O. name about 1890.

The village at one time had three stores, including the McCoy Store which closed in 1996 after a 100 year run when it's last storekeeper, Scottie McCoy passed on. It was originally the McCoy Brothers, founded by James Everett and John Ira McCoy.

Will Sturm, a well-known Calhoun County politician, once described as a "rabid democract", operated a general store at the top of Buckhorn for about 40 years, closing about 1948.

A third store location was in the IOOF Lodge Hall, operated in the early part of the century by the Umstead's and the Bell's, but later owned by the Hess and Lizzie Reynolds family. That building burned in 1929.

Two of the stores maintained grist mills. The village was tied together by a board walk, which extended from the McCoy Store past the church and cemetery, the Reynold's Store (Umstead-Bell), Will Sturm house and store, the Hur crank'em up telephone company, up the hill to the parsonage and grist mill.

The Hur one-room school on the backside of the village burned to the ground in 1939, not to forget Uncle Charley Starcher's blacksmith shop which closed about 1950.

A few remnants remain as the village stands on the edge of memory, not unlike many others which sprung to life in Calhoun County before 1900. It is from this time and place that many of the stories come to The Hur Herald, reminding us of the hard work of our ancestors in a kinder, slower, and less complicated time.

To keep the spirit and community alive, we have re-created the mythical Village of Hur for The Herald, where we now have a mock election, a mayor, the Commissioners for Social Improvement and Upward Mobility and nasty political scraps, not unlike they did many years ago. However, a sense of reality is maintained when the ghost of ole Reason Kerby comes back to talk with Hur's most innocent citizen, Little Billy Braveheart.

If you are unfamiliar with Hur and Calhoun County WV, we hope you'll learn a few good things and enjoy your visit with us. Keep coming back. - BOB WEAVER, 1999