ROCK'IN ON THE WEST FORK - Nature's Hidden Monuments


A series of tubular, spiraling rocks
above the West Fork of the Little Kanawha

Rocks above the river at Richardson

By Bob Weaver

Along the lower West Fork of the Little Kanawha, not easily detectible by passing motorists, the adjacent hills abound with giant rock outcroppings.

The rocks run continuously for several miles from near Rocksdale (likely had the place got its name) to Richardson, some forming cliffs while others are giant teetering boulders, some already falling into the valley below centuries ago.

Fascinatingly , some of the stones are square shaped as if cut for the giant pyramids of Egypt, while others create overhangs for shelter by earlier civilization.

Bear Head Rock above Richardson, 1938 photo with Edna Atkinson
Kight sitting in front of formation on Roscoe Meadows Farm

Nearer Richardson, rounded pillars of stone rest above the river.

A generation or so ago, before obsessive 21st Century electronic devices, young people would explore the deep woods of Calhoun County, climb over the giant boulders, explore caves and be entertained by rivers and streams.

Large boulders rest near the river,
many that fell centuries ago

Square rocks that appear cut by man, wind worn rocks

Local resident Peggy Whytsell Stemple said, "If we ever had an earthquake, being in the valley below would not be a safe place."

The rocks, in more modern times, were put to good use by settlers, stone cutters placing their work into cellars or using them for foundation stones, while other flagstones were humbling placed on unmarked graves in cemeteries up and down the valley.

The rock formations, for the most part, are hidden by the woods, to be explored by a walking trek of miles by some hardy souls.