LARRY McCALLISTER DRAWINGS - Calhoun Places Remembered

For several years, the late Calhoun artist, Larry McCallister, rendered pen and ink drawings of country scenes and local landmarks, some of which were done from historic photographs. The fine-line drawings hang in many homes, around the county and around the USA. McCallister is a former Calhoun Commissioner, now deceased.

Drawing By Larry McCallister


The current native stone structure was built in 1941. The
three story, thirteen room WPA project was built for $45,000.
Originally, a wood frame courthouse was built in 1868, and was
torn down and replaced with a brick structure in 1880, built for
$8,400. That building served the county on this same site for 60
years. Today's courthouse stands as a monument to the thousands
of Calhouners who have perched on its grounds watching homecoming
parades, hearing court decisions, attending Wood Festivals, or
watching young people go off to war and return home. It has also been the place to sit a spell, or in today's vernacular, "hang out."

Drawing by Larry McCallister


The new multi-million dollar facility on Mt. Zion Ridge was
formally dedicated in 1998, and graduated its first class in
1999. The complex is the pride and joy of Calhoun County, with
modern classrooms, libraries, computers, gyms, and auditorium.
A current project at the facility is to develop the sports
complex. McCallister also has a drawing of the old CCHS.

Drawing by Larry McCallister


The new CCMS/HS has replaced the old CCHS native stone
structure in Grantsville, from which 73 classes graduated,
commencing in 1925. Calhoun has been a rarity in having a
single, centralized high school since the beginning. It's
final graduating class was in 1998, after which the school
was closed and sold. Today, it is awaitingit's final fate.

251Drawing By Larry McCallister


The only site in Calhoun on the Historic Register is Albert's
Chapel on Sand Ridge (US 33-119), noted because of its unusual
round construction, so built that "the devil can't hide in the
corner." The church, which was completely restored in 1996-97
with donated funds, just celebrated its 100th anniversary. It
was the inspiration of Maltilda Bell Poling, who with her
husband, Asbury, donated the land. The church was named after
Wesley Poling's son, Albert, who helped with much of the
construction with materials donated by the Poling family.

Drawing By Larry McCallister


The drawing from an old photograph depicts a pastoral village
in 1900. The town was first established on the lands of Simon
Stump in 1866, becoming the county seat in 1869 after a 13-year
struggle on its location. Some ill-feelings exist yet today
between the northern and southern parts of the county over that
old controversy. The economy of Grantsville (and Calhoun County)
peaked in the first fifty years of this century, mostly based
on the oil, gas and timbering industries. Dozens of stores and
specialty shops adorned the streets, and county residents would
shop 'til they dropped until closing time at 9:30 p.m. The
streets were often crowded, particularily on Saturdays. The
town, like many others in West Virginia, has been declining
in commerce significantly since the late 1960's. Today, it is
a pleasant town in which to live, safe, with most of the essential
conveniences nearby. It would be interesting if Mr. McCallister
would perch himself on Pine Creek Hill and take a 2000 birds-
eye photo and make a new "2000"sketch 100 years later.

251Drawing By Larry McCallister


If you attended County County High School between 1935 and
the 1960's, this scene will bring back memories of noon hour.
Many of the students (open campus) would drift to the grocery
stores, restaurant or service station nearby for a snack of to
loaf, or even walk over into town. The store to the left was
the first Garland's Grocery and the store to the right was
operated by the Barr family. Calhoun County High School
(not shown) is to the right, although you can see the ticket
booth for football games. In the distance you can see
the original Grantsville Bridge, over which Route 16
entered Main Street and the Peter Johnson House, where
many of the very early high school students boarded.