Before WV Was The Most Obese State In USA

A couple dozen straight-up steps would keep a heart healthy

By Bob Weaver

Folks frequently complain about access, and major efforts have been made toward leveling access to businesses, public buildings and private dwellings.

It's a little startling to consider the very, very steep set of steps up the hillside to an old Calhoun homestead, traversed by family members and visitors for about 100 years.

Now we go to exercise centers, buy exercise equipment and walk on walking trails, ignoring some of the steepest hillsides in WV.

The house is long gone, but the steps remain as a reminder of the toughness of our hill dwellers.

What's a couple dozen steps up a steep hillside?

I gave them a try, huffing my way up.

The Westfall Homestead rested above Rt. 16 north of Orma near the original Brannon Homestead, occupied by Warren Westfall (1847-1938) and his wife Laura Hoskins Westfall (1866-1961. It was here they raised their family after marrying in 1882.

Juanita Brannon Berdine remembers the elderly Ms. Westfall and her daughter living in the house, when she was a child.

Yes, they climbed the steps.

The Westfalls, both dying in their 90s, are buried in the nearby Knotts Baptist Church Cemetery.