ROWEL'S RUN - Holler Life From Hur To Little Rowel


A grassy field near where Rowels empties into
the West Fork of the Little Kanawha, nearby is
the Wright Cemetery, the location of the long-gone
Poling Store (1932-1957) and the remote road up Little Rowels Run where once resided the Armadillo Farm, a back-to-landers commune.

Perhaps the most notable structure on the creek, is
the former Duskey post office, store and lodge hall

The "old Holly Miller" house on Little Rowels, once
quite a dwelling, has stood empty for at least 50 years

By Bob Weaver 2007

Six mile long Rowels Run commences from streamlets around the hillsides near the Village of Hur and courses down the narrow valley about six miles to empty into the West Fork of the Little Kanawha below the long-gone village of Cremo.

Rowel's Run (sometimes spelled Rowles) was likely named by a family, but there is no record of such ever living on the creek or the county.

The name appears on some of the earliest Calhoun maps.

In the early 1900s there was at least three or four store locations on the creek, owned by, U. S. Grant Adams, Willard Gibson, Dan Duskey and Willard Poling.

The Poling Store delivered groceries by horse and buggy and truck up and down the hollows for 25 years.

The creek once had a post office at Cremo, named for a famous cigar. It was operated by the Duskey family for many years, with the second floor being used by the Knights of Pythias lodge.

One of the creek's notable structures, the Ahab Stemple log cabin
is being moved to the county park by Jim Bell and associates

Another log cabin built by Alva Bell was relocated on the creek by William "Bub" Slider, and later purchased by Alvin Engelke and moved to Creston.

The road, much of which once was in the creek, still has a challenging obstacle in winter, a deep, curvaceous curve, known as the Holl Kerby Turn.

On Little Rowels the road still meanders up the creek bed, where once dwelled 13 families to the Cunningham Ridge
(left) with a nearby house (right) maybe 100 years old,
once occupied by John Wright, now owned by Dave Kees

A rock denotes the site of a cabin, humorously (left) with a number
of cellar houses scattered up and down the creek (here the homestead of Robert Garretson), once nearby homesteads

Some of the smaller "hollers" off main Rowels are Hardman Fork, Board Fork, Hughes Fork and Little Rowels Run.

On lower Rowels is a creek crossing that accesses the Connolly Hill, a steep, steep climb that drops down in the once prosperous Village of Richardson.

The Cremo Community Church, originally a Methodist church, is the only church on the stretch, which recently held a baptizing in the creek.

Rowels was also the site of some of the back-to-the-earth farms in the 1960s-70s, occupied by a number of "hippies," most of whom have outlived their stereotype, making their mark in the big world.

The hills are covered with natural herbs, not the least being an ample supply of greens and ramps.

Most of the residents are descendants of original families, but there is a sprinkling of transplants, who call the creek home.

A narrow hollow waiting for the green of Spring (left)
a log barn (right) at Cremo with space for pet tombstones