THOMAS-OLES HOUSE GRANTSVILLE'S OLDEST - Post Civil War Structure, Brought 100 Year Old Ginkgo Trees To Grantsville


The Thomas-Oles house likely Grantsville's oldest, photo circa late 1930s

Structure still standing on Main Street, owned by the Gunn heirs


The house is likely the oldest standing home in Grantsville, located on Main Street, across from the Dollar General Store.

Accounts say there are remnants of the original logs within the structure, but certainly part of the building stands on original stones, and some of the original window panes are still in existence. There have been numerous additions.

The home originally belonged to my great-grandparents, Dr. and Mrs. William Harold Thomas," wrote Virginia Jackson Hosey.

They were the parents of Mae Thomas Marshall, wife of Robert M. Marshall (1861-1942), a well-known Grantsville teacher, banker and newspaper editor and Mattie Thomas Mathews, wife of Senator Albert Mathews (1872-1958), Grantsville attorney and one-time president of the WV State Senate.

Dr. Thomas had his office in his house, which was likely built shortly after the Civil War. Thomas had two brothers, Jeff and Guy who lived with his family. Jeff and Guy had a small store right next door to the house. In later years, it was Marshall's Confectionery and Boatright's Beer Parlor.

Dr. Thomas was born in 1822 and died in 1891 and his wife Hattie Dilworth Thomas was born in 1840 and died in 1925.

The structure is known by many in the 20th century as the Lynn Oles (1896-1964) house. Lynn Oles was a member of the House of Delegates and owned the Oles Garage.

Three Oles men were soldiers in World War II, and during World War I brought seeds for the Ginkgo trees from China that have been standing for 100 years on Main Street.

The Oles family came to Grantsville shortly after 1900 from Pennsylvania. J. G. "Pop" Oles (1861-1930) came to start Godfrey L. Cabot's carbon black factory, but was also a well-known riverboat builder and operator.

"No Oles descendants currently live in Calhoun, All that remain are footprints in time, left behind, " said David L. Oles.

In recent years it has been rental property and was used for a restaurant.

It has stood empty for several years, with funds not available for its preservation.