MAKIN' MUSIC IN 1940 - Tophatter's Orchestra Shake Grantsville

The old American Legion Hall and the Little Kanawha Theater in Grantsville were the centers of activity in World War II in Grantsville, from school plays, minstrels and local bands to roller skating, particularly since the burning of Calhoun County High School.

Shown here, The Tophatter's Orchestra, makin' music for the enjoyment of local citizens, who were beginning to face the fear of war.

Lowell "Sug" Weaver, a member of this band, continued to play his trombone while in the Navy, entertaining troops and forming his own band, playing on any old horn he could obtain.

Jim Downey, a nephew of Morton Downey, was one of this group of musicians. Their band group made the the news in the military newspaper, Stars and Stripes.

The American Legion Hall was also the site of early movies, banquets, graduations and roller skating.

Front Row (L-R) Walter Emery Smith (alto sax); Hoyt
Umstead (alto sax); Mildred Strader (tenor sax) William
"Beaner" Burns (trumpet) and Mary Lea Burns (piano).

Second Row (L-R) Arden "Bis" McCoy
(coronet); Mathew "Matt" Mathews (trumpet).

Third Row (L-R) Lowell "Sug" Weaver (trombone);
James "Little Doc" Law (drums); David Hathaway (tuba)

Photo compliments of David Hathaway