Years after their original publication, the second and third volumes of books detailing the Elk River area’s history are available via a Frame resident affiliated with the Elk Blue Creek Historical Society.
From the early 1990s onward, Elk Blue Creek Historical Society members researched, compiled and published histories of local towns — and those who lived in them along and beyond the Elk River — in a three-volume set, collectively called “Elk River Communities in Kanawha County: A Continuing History.”
“Basically, they’re stories from Charleston up to the Clay County line, and they cover the tributaries of Blue Creek, Pinch, Frame, Big Chimney, Knollwood and the other communities in the area,” said Bill Morris of Big Chimney in a 2013 Metro East article about the historical society’s 20th anniversary. “They have stories about the families and businesses in the communities in the area. The stories themselves date back to the 1800s.”
Each volume contains between approximately 400 and 500 pages. Sourced from written and personal accounts, articles recount topics such as the steamboats that used to travel the Elk River, sometimes taking gamblers from as far away as Ohio to Pleasure Island; the timbering and mining industries; and the Elk-Blue Creek train that transported students to and from school in the first half of the 20th century, among many others.
Areas the books feature include: Aarons Fork, Amelia, Big Chimney, Blakeley, Blue Creek, Blundon, Clendenin, Coco, Coopers Creek, Elk Hills, Elkview, Falling Rock, Frame, Hitop, Indian Creek, Kendalia, Little Sandy, Mill Creek, Mink Shoals, O’Dell, Pentacre, Pinch Ridge, Pinch, Lower Pinch, Upper Pond Gap, Quick, Sanderson, Three Mile, Walgrove and Wills Creek.
Richard Bashler of Frame said, to his knowledge, copies of the first volume are no longer available, but the second and third volumes can still be purchased. The books sold originally for $30 each, plus shipping fees.
Bashler added that the Elk River Community and Education Center on Main Street in Elkview also has a museum of Elk River memorabilia on its premises. Photographs, documents and other items on view come from Elkview, Clendenin and Herbert Hoover High School, including its precursor, Elkview High School, which was open from 1922 to 1963. “Most of the Elkview High School yearbooks are there,” Bashler said.
For more information about the books or the Elk River Community and Education Center displays, contact Richard Bashler at 304-965-6596.