AROUND THE BEND: Ritchie County: Making A Mountain Out Of A Molehill


By Bob Weaver

It's a joy traveling around the bend, and discovering small treasures.

In 1949 a molehill was turned into a mountain in Ritchie County, a name change.

The village and post office of Mole Hill was established in 1838, after first being named Federal Hill in 1817.

A narrow, winding snake-path of a road (Route 74) leads to the community from Pennsboro.

Old house connected to 21st Century technology

Pastoral Scene: Area cows soaking up water

Molehill's best known citizens overlook their valley

In 1949, local residents thought it would be a good idea to change the name to Mountain, after the change was promoted by a New advertising firm representing the Borden Milk Company.

The Mole Hill Post Office was "swamped" with requests for last-day cancellations and first- day cancellations at Mountain.

The Pennsboro News reported about 4,000 people, including lots of politicians, came to the festive name-change celebration.

There was a parade led by the Pennsboro High School Marching Band and veterans organizations in full uniform. There was food and frolic, square dancing, a merry-go-round for the kids and other county fair-type attractions.

Old Mole Church with mausoleum grave
site of early comer Ray L. Haymond

Congressman Ken Heckler personally hung a sign displaying the new post office name.

The "Borden's County Fair" radio program said "came to Mountain for A day," broadcast coast-to-coast.

A take-off of the fiddle tune "She'll Be Comin 'Round the Mountain" was played during the broadcast.

"It was Mole Hill till we changed the name around.
Everyone is out and shoutin'
Let's change Mole Hill into Mountain.
We love Mountain, it's a West Virginia town."

Politicians promised a better road into Mountain. The crooked road was paved many years later.

Not much has happened since Mole Hill was changed to Mountain, although some effort once was made to return to the former name.

What has happened, the village has had its post office closed, and residents reminisce about the study families that once dotted the pastoral landscape, which is still there.

A few of the old homesteads are still standing, some being remodeled by new owners who enjoy the country-scape:

Wilson Hoskins house

Walter Perkins house