LITTLETON GONE AFTER 114 YEARS - Reedy Hanging On, FEMA Buyout Leaves Empty Lots


The town of Littleton along the B & O railway line during happier days

The town once had a famous quarry which employed several people

The town of Littleton chartered in 1890 will cease to exist, following a vote by the Wetzel County Commission yesterday.

The town has little left, lots of abandoned buildings and the memories of old-timers.

Littleton, with 227 citizens, is located in the southern section of the the county along the B & O rail line.

The town had no candidates on the ballot for mayor or council June 8th, with none of the incumbents choosing to seek re-election.

No new candidates came forward to seek the posts.

Littleton Mayor Lisa Metz was elected in 2002 as a write-in candidate, with 20 registered voters coming to the polls.

The Commission said the town can be dissolved pending payment of debts.

Littleton currently owes nearly $7,000 to a garbage hauler and $8,000 for an audit of its finances ordered by the state.

Roane County has a town on the verge of vanishing.

Reedy, once prosperous with commerce and life, is struggling for its existence.

A federal buyout of frequently flooded homes in Reedy is being touted as a success story, but virtually nothing is left of the town which rests on a flood plain.

Federal Emergency Management Agency just had a press conference to discuss efforts to address flooding in West Virginia. There were poster-boards positioned around the room illustrating Reedy and other FEMA "success stories."

Geography is against Reedy, built in a bowl surrounded by hills with two creeks converging at one end of town into Reedy Creek.

Reedy Creek runs parallel to what was once Main Street.

"Reedy has flooded at least 15 times since we did the buyout project in 2000," state hazard mitigation officer Barry Macciocca said.

The government kept helping, handing out tax breaks, loans, missed-work pay, even money for a new carpet for the Methodist Church.

The town still flooded.

The government offered Reedy residents $1.3 million for flood-prone houses. Thirty-five owners took the offer in one of the biggest flood buyouts in West Virginia history.

The senior center was put up on the hill, and FEMA even built a new Baptist church.

Reedy resident Sherry Burgess, whose family sold the government land for the new church, said the church is nice, but the old one had stained glass windows. "It was a beautiful church," she said.

Burgess mourns when she looks out over what was once the main part of Reedy. She sees her neighbors' houses only in her mind.

It's all empty lots now.

What was once the business district along Main Street, is now long gone.

80-year-resident Virginia Santee said, "There's hardly nothing left of Reedy."

"This is progress, I guess," she said.