AROUND THE BEND: ROANE'S ULER-ELANA COMMUNITY HOLDS FAST TO COUNTRY LIVIN'

(02/13/2017)

The Uler-Elana Valley remains a peaceful farming and resi-
dential community, shown is a view of the Village of Uler

By Bob Weaver

The Roane County valley leading for several miles from Newton, Route 36, to the Uler-Elana communities is now a mix of modern homes and historic structures back to its early days in the early 1800s.

The community is a rock-throw over the mountain from Calhoun and Clay County.

The pastoral valley has some flatland squeezed between the tall mountains, still being farmed on the land of the leading citizens of times past, including Odgen, Hamrick, Ross, Tawney, Smith, Harold, Keen, Ellison, and White, among others.

Hanging on is the long-closed Uler General Store, last operated
by Ralph Harold, originally operated by John Hamilton Tawney

The last one room school in the valley still stands at Uler

Original post office building and grist mill at Uler

Rev. Hugh Burns, a Baptist minister, moved to the Uler-Elana community in 1859 from Clay County KY, to spawn two sons, prolific Baptist preachers Rev. William Burns, who started numerous churches in central West Virginia before his death in 1910, and Rev. Anderson Burns, who returned to Clay County KY, one of the state's poorest counties, to start the first public school there in 1900, the Oneida Institute.

Still open in the valley are two churches, established by the Baptists and Methodists at Uler and Elana.

The work hardiness and contributions of the communities original families could fill a book, and many of their descendants are still rooted there.

The Cy Ellison Store at Elana,
originally operated by Ernest Hamrick

The valley's two churches, the original
Methodist church at Uler (left) and the Elana
Baptist Church at Elana, open for over 100 years.

In the Elana Baptist Cemetery reposes early
citizens, with numerous other cemeteries in
the valley including Harold, Smith, Ogden and others


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