(01/18/2018)

Last man standing at Richardson, Mark Meadows, high on rocky
hill overlooking the former village, a fourth generation
resident/owner - his parents, James Spencer and Judith Lou
Chennoweth Meadows; grandparents, Charles Roscoe and Nanny
Ball Meadows and great-grandparents, John Spencer Meadows

A likely July 4th celebration in muddy road along West Fork about 1910

A family gathering on rocks above Village of Rocksdale

By Bob Weaver 2018

Historic Photos: Meadows Family Collection

Mark Meadows has returned to his ancestral home at Richardson, returning to the long-gone village with his wife and daughter, land that has been owned and occupied by the Meadows family for four generations.

Meadows (left) is a man closely connected to his roots, now living, farming and hunting on the expansive property. "I love the place and all its memories," he said.

The village has been the subject of a few dozen articles and numerous photographs on the Hur Herald for many years (use search Richardson), a once busy rural village with little remains of its' glory days, except the cemetery on the hill and a beautiful grassy field along the river. Much of it is now owned by Meadows.

The village once had a population greater than Grantsville, about 100 citizens, and by the turn of the 19th century not only had an illustrious water mill and dam, but a church, general stores, a hotel, a barbershop, a shoemaker, a blacksmith shop, a doctor's office, drug store, a lumber dealer, and numerous livestock producers.

After the oil and gas boom came to the area in the early 1900s, drilling was followed by the construction of a large gas compressor station with company houses, a 20th century rejuvenation of the village.

The smoke from the Civil War had barely settled in 1866 when a 25-year-old Charles H. Richardson of Watertown, Massachusetts took a quantum leap with his worldly belongings and $7,000 and settled on the lower West Fork of the Little Kanawha.

There were few scattered settlers in a place that was called Wilson's Mill, but in rather short order the place would be named Richardsonville by Charles Richardson, with one of the early post offices in the county established there, he being the postmaster.

Later the village name would be shortened to Richardson, a place built by the "sweat of thy brow," with little assistance from the outside world.

HISTORIC PHOTOS FROM MEADOWS COLLECTION

The large F. B. Grimm General Store was located at the nearby
village of Hassig, which had general stores and saloons

F. B. Grimm, early settlers and owner of general store.

Swimmers likely at "Mose Hole" and an entertaining picker

Roscoe Meadows (with Rosalie) and horses, note Richardson Rocks

Early gas field worker John Hickman at Bee Compressor Station early 1900s

Coy Rader at Richardson station early 1900s

Man posing at Richardson Dam (left), Hayward and Pete Bennett

Photo of abandoned Richardson Methodist Church
about 1975, before it was burned by arsonist

L to R: Ray Oliver Blosser, Charles Davis Whytsell and Charles Roscoe Meadows

Visitors sit on Hotel Meadows porch, which had 8-10 rooms

Willard and Ethel Gibson, who with his father operated
numerous stores from Little Creek, Rowels Run and Grantsville

Richardson, after clearing 400 acres of forested land, introduced the celebrated Holstein breed of cattle to the valley, and was the shaker and mover behind the erection of a dam across the West Fork of the Little Kanawha, whose water power would drive the Richardson Mill, which not only ground grist but sawed lumber.

He was elected to the WV House of Delegates in 1885 and was also appointed to a committee to find the best route for the Little Kanawha Railroad through Calhoun and regional counties. The railroad was never built.

Early on the village had a population greater than Grantsville, about 100 citizens, and by the turn of the 19th century not only had the illustrious mill, but a church, general stores, a hotel, a barbershop, a shoemaker, a blacksmith shop, a doctor's office and drug store, a lumber dealer, and numerous livestock producers.

After the oil and gas boom came to the area in the early 1900s, drilling was followed by the construction of a large gas compressor station with company houses, a 20th century rejuvenation of the village.

Now, in the 21st Century, nothing remains of its' glory days, except the cemetery on the hill and a beautiful grassy field along the river, to be gratified by last man standing, Meadows.

RICHARDSON WAS WIDE-AWAKE CALHOUN VILLAGE - Busy Place With A Few Worthless Wags

RICHARDSON - Photos Of What Once Was

A FLAG NOW FLIES OVER LONG-GONE RICHARDSON

HASSIG - A Lost Calhoun Village Rediscovered

ELVA DUSKEY WILSON DEAD AT 96 - Last Surviving Grandchild Of Moccasin Ranger Daniel Duskey

OLD NEWS: The Village Of Richardson: Child Killed By Rats, Knifin's And A Worthless Wag

DUSKEY'S 1975 DEATH AMONG CALHOUN'S MOST GRUESOME MURDERS - Convicted Murderers Themselves Shot To Death Years Later


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