September 7, 2014 – Elkins and Blackwater Falls

After driving back through Elkins,

Henry Davis (a "robber baron" and the town’s founder)

Henry Davis (a “robber baron”, State and U.S. Senator and the town’s founder)

Minnehaha, landmark for Hiawatha’s tourist store

Minnehaha, (landmark for Hiawatha’s tourist store and for a major town intersection)

Railroad station from which 4-hour trips ferry tourists through the region

Railroad station from which 4-hour trips ferry tourists through the region

One of several building murals in Elkins

One of several building murals in Elkins

we stopped at the Visitor’s Center where a lovely lady gave us a wealth of information about the area, sights to see and places to eat. We opted to take a northern loop and were rewarded by some gorgeous scenery.

The first “real” town we hit was Parsons, which we discovered was home to Kingsford, the charcoal folks.
DSC_0009As you approach the town’s commercial district, the county courthouse looms above all else.

DSC_0012DSC_0017 DSC_0014The original County Seat at St. George was forcibly moved to Parsons at night on August 1, 1893. With the construction of this brick courthouse (circa 1898-1900), St. George’s hopes of regaining the country seat were lost forever.

Unfortunately, much of the town shows the signs of a town past its glory days with its myriad of empty store fronts and abandoned buildings.

DSC_0018Parsons is also notable for two interesting anecdotes of history.

  • In 1893, Coketon Colored School teacher Carrie Williams sued the local school board for equal pay. She was represented by the first African American lawyer in West Virginia, J.R. Clifford. A local jury found for her and she won the subsequent appeal at the West Virginia Supreme Court. This early civil rights case affirmed equal school terms for African Americans in the state an half-century prior to the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown v. the Board of Education.
  • Just a mile away on July 13, 1861, the Corrick’s Ford Battle was fought between Federal troops under the Command of General Morris and Confederate troops led by General Garnett.  Garnett was mortally wounded in this action, becoming the first general to be killed in action during the Civil War.

From there we passed through Thomas, with its several restaurants several arts & crafts shops and a decorative balcony.
DSC_0031Crossing an unnamed 3,500’ summit, where we could look down onto valleys below
DSC_0024 and at nearly eye-level with the blades of a large wind turbine.
DSC_0029After a lunch at the Blackwater Falls Lodge, we hiked to two sites to view the falls.

2014-09-07 - Debbie and Dick at Blackwater Falls, Blackwater State Park, Davis, WV DSC_0040 DSC_0069

DSC_0059

Note the face in the rock to the right. The orange-beige color in the falls is the result of tannin in the water

Note the face in the rock to the right. The orange-beige color in the falls is the result of tannin in the water

Davis (population down to 660) is another small community which appears to rely almost solely on tourists with its eclectic galleries … most likely spillovers from visitors to Blackwater State Park and Falls.

Gallery Sentinel, Davis, WV - 2014-09-07 Gallery Doors, Davis, WV - 2014-09-07And, while I hate to be so repetitive, another very pretty sunset afterglow!
Sunset (d), Pegasus Campground, Elkins, WV - 2014-09-07

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