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MAY 2021 - VOL 1 ISSUE 1

How Towns Get Their Names

Towns may be divided into at least two categories concerning their names, those akin to chameleons and those more like turtles. “Where do the names of towns come from?” Behind each town’s name is a story. Before each town came to be, a geographic place waited to be settled and named. Thus, places that came to be settled and named only to undergo name changes fit the “chameleon category” while those that have remained void of name changes fit the “turtle category,” being that turtles have protective shells as homes, ones that permanently resist change. Jordan Mines, a town in [...]

Mother’s Special Day

Abraham Lincoln once said, “All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” This sentiment has been shared by sons and daughters since the beginning of time, and will no doubt continue to be shared until time reaches its end. It is for this reason, and so many others, that we honor our mothers each May by celebrating “Mother’s Day.” This year, Mother’s Day will be celebrated on Sunday, May 9. It is a day for love and laughter, family and togetherness. It is a day for flowers and cards, candy and hugs. It is [...]

Editor’s Note

I’ve been a lot of places in my life. In fact, I have stepped foot in 39 of our United States. Big cities and small towns. I’ve traveled highways, byways, railways, waterways, dirt roads and the friendly skies. And I always found that I agreed with Albert Einstein when he said, “I love to travel, but hate to arrive." In my heart of hearts, I fancy myself to be a quixotic-Thoreauvian; an often unbalanced contradiction of unrealistic rationality. The knight-errant who wishes for nothing more than to live life deliberately. It was more knight-errant that brought me to the Greenbrier [...]

River Rock Summer Concert Series

The Covington Parks and Recreation Department has announced the lineup of its “2021 River Rock Summer Concert Series”. The series begins over Memorial Day weekend and continues through Labor Day at the River Rock Amphitheatre, located at the Jackson River Sport Complex in Covington. Saturday, May 29: Summer Kick-Off “A Hot Time In The City” 2-3 p.m., Patsy’s Dance Studio; 3:30-5:30 p.m., Frequency; 6:30-9:30 p.m., True Cadence. Saturday, June 12: Country Night Under the Starz “What’s Not To Love?” 3:30-5:30 p.m., Corey Hunley; 6:30-9:30 p.m., Tim Elliott. Saturday, June 26: Bubblin’ Blue Grass “A Flat Footin’ Good Time” 3:30-4:30 p.m., [...]

Wind Your Way To Welch, West Virginia

When you think of the state motto of West Virginia, Wild and Wonderful, your mind may not turn to the southernmost area, McDowell County. The Appalachian Mountains define the borders of the county and the rugged landscape is a perfect escape from city life to enjoy winding byways, mountain trails and small towns rich with coal mining heritage and local flavor. While some might find the partial cell phone coverage in rural areas or lack of a Walmart limiting, true explorers will enjoy discovering the best of outdoor recreation and mountain tranquility that can only be found a few hours [...]

Alleghany Highlands Arts And Crafts Center

Founded in 1984, the goal of the Alleghany Highlands Arts and Crafts Center is to, “encourage your interest in and enjoyment of the visual arts of the Alleghany Highlands, and to have some fun in the process.” The rotating gallery features a wide variety of handmade pieces created by artists “whose work can be enjoyed by Alleghany Highlands residents and visitors alike.” The Alleghany Highlands Arts and Crafts Center sponsors several exhibits each year, including the Fall Festival, which features a full range of media, and Fx2, which features regional photography. The annual Artist Residency for High School Students program [...]

Wings For Words

President John F. Kennedy chose Robert Frost, Vermont’s poet laureate and four-time Pulitzer Prize winner, to read one of his poems at his inauguration, the first to be televised around the world. Frost read “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,” instantaneously elevating his rhyming poem (iambic tetrameter) as the best-known poem in the English language. After Frost was asked about whether or not he intended the crow in the hemlock tree in one of his other poems to be a symbol, Frost simply told the questioner that poets need not intentionally create symbols in their poems because readers will [...]

Celebrating National Travel And Tourism Week

Hans Christian Anderson once wrote “To move, to breathe, to fly, to float. To gain all while you give, to roam the roads of lands remote. To travel is to live.” It is in the spirit of Anderson’s poignant words that we, as Americans, recognize National Travel and Tourism Week each year during the first full week of May. This year’s celebration will take place from Sunday, May 2, through Saturday, May 8. So then, what exactly is National Travel and Tourism Week? As explained by the United States Travel Association, “National Travel and Tourism Week is an annual tradition [...]

Alleghany Highlands Triathlon

If Virginia is for lovers, it is in the Alleghany Highlands where the passion which fuels that love is born. From the natural beauty of Falling Springs Falls, to the stirring performances at the Masonic Theatre, the Alleghany Highlands are an eclectic blend of nature and art, history and culture, resilience and desire… Yes, the Alleghany Highlands incubate that passion...the passion to live life through to its completion, and leave no tales to tell of things undone. It is in the name of such passion that competitors from all walks of life journey to the mountains of Clifton Forge each [...]

Pipestem State Park Offers Everything Expected Of The Ultimate Destination

Spring has arrived. Trees have popped open their green and floral finery. The morning chill is leaving the hills faster as days grow longer. Summer is right around the corner. What time of the year does that make it? Time to get out of the house into the great outdoors. Sure the backyard with its lounge chair, swing set and grill is appealing, but beyond that is an entire world filled with family adventures. Why settle for the familiar? One place that offers mountain-to-mountain adventures is Pipestem State Park, a 4,050-acre property located on the border of Summers and Mercer [...]

New River Gorge National Park and Preserve

Despite being home to one of the oldest rivers on the North American continent, New River Gorge is now our nation’s newest National Park. Centered between the towns of Hinton and Fayetteville, West Virginia, New River Gorge National Park and Preserve boasts more than 70,000-acres of adventure. The New River features over 50-miles of flowing rapids, including the 13-mile “Lower New” section. The rapids on the Lower New reach as high as Class V, making it the ideal destination for both whitewater-enthusiasts and thrill-seekers, alike. The nearly 13-miles of mountain bike trails provide a fun and exciting challenge for all [...]

Carnegie Hall/Barbara Nissman

When you think of the Greenbrier Valley, you probably don’t think of it as a “thriving music town”. And that’s understandable. It’s easy to get thrown off by the rolling hills and laid-back lifestyle. But don’t let the down-home country living fool you. Once you peel back a few layers, what you’ll find are some of the coolest performance venues in the country, and some of the most talented musicians in the world. Take Carnegie Hall for example. You’re probably familiar with the New York City location. But what about the Carnegie Hall that calls the City of Lewisburg home [...]


So, let me tell you what music does... I have a recurring memory. I don’t know how accurate it is. It may be bits and pieces mixed together, I can’t be sure. Thirty-five years is a long time. But the texture is real. I’m pretty young, not sure how old exactly. Six, maybe? No more than eight. I’m laying on the floor in a Chevy conversion van between the back and middle seats. The carpets red, and there’s a metal-ringed hole in the floor that would support the leg of a table if it were there. But since it's not, [...]

Peace, Relaxation, Flexibility: The Perfect Mother’s Day Gifts

When looking to patronize an unfamiliar business, seeking to embark on a new adventure or travel to an exotic destination, one of the first things people do is to get advice from family, friends and/or online reviews. Most typically venues chosen are ones that get the most positive comments and receive the highest marks among candidates. So, if there is a business your friends love and it's also rated through Tripadvisor 312 times, earning 288 excellent, 22 very good, only 3 average, and zero poor or terrible marks, I'm betting that is a business you would frequent. The Salt Cave [...]

Falling Spring Falls Is Sure To Please Any Nature Loving Mom

Celebrating Mother's Day with an active mom opens the doors to an outside family adventure. Living in the Greenbrier Valley we have access to splendor within our home state, but it's also a short trip over the border into Virginia and the Alleghany Highlands to discover its glory. It's there that Falling Spring Falls welcomes visitors to view “a breathtaking 80' waterfall that is one of the most visited and photographed spots” in the region, according to virginia.org. “One of the largest falls in Virginia, it cascades from an overhanging ledge, and is easily visible” from Route 220. Thomas Jefferson [...]

The Greenbrier Resort Kicks Off Memorial Day Weekend

According to history.com, “Memorial Day is an American holiday observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Originally known as ‘Decoration Day,’ it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. Unofficially, it marks the beginning of the summer season.” To put it another way, Memorial Day is an opportunity for us to look back at what is behind us, as well as [...]

Dear Hope

Hello, everyone! My name is Autumn Hope Ingram. I am a 26 year old resident of Greenbrier County, a wife, and a mom to an awesome eight year old. In addition to those things I am a fully certified, licensed and bonded travel agent, as well as the owner of Travel with Hope. I was born and raised in Alleghany County, Virginia but have called Greenbrier County home for the past two years and have loved every minute of it. Every month we will be doing a column in the magazine called “Dear Hope” where readers may contact me with [...]

The Battle Of Lewisburg

During May of 1862, General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson was successfully conducting the Shenandoah Valley Campaign for the Confederacy while Confederate Brigadier General Henry Heth was defending Lewisburg in western Virginia. Having marched east past Lewisburg earlier to the banks of the Jackson River in search of enemy forces, Col. George R. Crook had not encountered any Confederate forces to engage, but when he received news that Gen. Heth was occupying Lewisburg, Col. Crook, who had earned the nickname, “The Grey Fox,” ordered his men to retrace their footsteps. Awakened by the early morning sounds of cannons firing on May 23, [...]

Fun for The Whole Family at HOOT

After a long year without fun events to attend, 2021 is preparing to get back in the swing of things. On May 22, the town of Alderson will be full of activities as it celebrates HOOT (History of Our Town), which runs from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. HOOT takes place in the middle of Berry Fest. The host of Berry Fest, Sunset-Berry Farm, is also a major contributor to HOOT. The farm, run by Jennifer Gilkerson, is holding multiple activities geared towards children. One of the activities they are hosting is a Jump Pad where for $5 a kid [...]

Green Bank Welcomes Visitors For Outdoor Adventures

Green Bank, West Virginia, is a place unlike anywhere on Earth. It is a small town, tucked into the hills of Appalachia, with a population of around 200 people. The town does not have a Walmart or a McDonalds. Cell phones do not work and neighbors actually talk to one another. Ordinarily, a town like this wouldn’t receive much attention. However, Green Bank has one thing that brings thousands of visitors to the area every year — the world-renowned Green Bank Observatory. It is precisely because of Green Bank’s remote location that it became the ideal spot to build the [...]