UX Librarian: Location, Location, Location

Friday, August 10, 2012

Location, Location, Location

In researching the history of Harman, West Virginia, I found the following in "Goin' Up Gandy" by Don Teter, (1977):

"Because of its location on the trail between the South Branch and Tygart's valleys, the community of Harman had been a small commercial center for many years before the coming of the Dry Fork Railroad, but when the rails reached there it changed from a "quiet country hamlet" into another boom town.

Although Harman was never the site of a band sawmill, several small circular mills were located there or nearby during most of the boom years. Since Harman was on the main trade route for many local farmers, the railroad station there handled a large volume of agricultural goods, and by 1901 Harman had grown so large that it was incorporated and a school was started.

After the railroad pulled out of the Dry Fork, Harman lost population for a few years, but its location on the highway has allowed it to maintain its size and usurp Whitmer's position as the social and economic center of the Dry Fork."

And while Harman was named for Asa Harman, there had been settlers there predating him by about 100 years. According to local historian Bill Rice those main players were Uriah Gandy, Joseph Summerfield, and George Harness.

It turns out that the Harman region may have been Tory territory at one time. I'll stop on my way home from work soon and take a picture of the historical marker on the way to Elkins.

In the meantime, if you have any family history, photographs or genealogies that you would like to share, please contact me at the Pioneer Memorial Public Library right next to the Harman School.

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