CALHOUN BACKROAD: UPPER NICUT VALLEY - Lane 'What We Learned Was Work, Work, Work'


The narrow Upper Nicut valley has supported
several generations with little flat land

Paul Lane, 75, and his sister, Monsa Jean Sears, 79, have returned
to their Upper Nicut Lane homestead of at least three generations

The old Lane homestead has been restored

By Bob Weaver 2012

Upper Nicut is an end-of-the-line Calhoun road and community, ending a few miles for "downtown" Nicut up a winding, narrow hollow, fading into Braxton County.

"There is much history here on our old farm, not the least that 13 sprung from here," Paul Lane said.

Both his parents, Ralph and Arlie Harold Lane and his grandparents, Jim and Ida Metz Lane, operated country stores on the property these last 100 years.

"What I remember about growing up here was, work, work, work," said Monsa Jean. "There was no other choice with 15 mouths to feed."

Seven of the Lane children served in the US military, five at the same time.

Monsa Jean graduated from Calhoun High School after going to the two-room Beech Grove school, riding in the back of a truck every day to go down the hollow to catch Euell Stalnakers bus.

Paul married Park Richards' daughter, a former Calhoun County sheriff who was killed by a gunman, and lived and worked in Parkersburg for many years.

"I've learned about America through a windshield of a car," referring to operating a service station for many years in days attendants actually serviced customers.

Up the hollow behind the Lane homestead is the Metz Cemetery, where reposes many family members.

The Roud Lanes (left) on
their 75th anniversary in 2003

One of the best known couples that long lived on the road was Roud and Hannie Cottrell Lane, married over 75 years and living to be 98.

Nicut was named about 1850, referring to "A near way to travel by foot from Rosedale to Minnora," according to postmaster D. W. Chenoweth in 1937.

Upper Nicut commences at what was once the Nicut post office and store, operated for many years by Willie Bourne and the Chenoweth family, built by David Oscar Chenoweth about 1915, the logs and timber sawed from the property

Upper Nicut Road starts at the Chenoweth-Bourne-White house

The closed Nicut post office and store has
some comfortable loungers for community members

The Denver Chenoweth farm (left) and the
still open Beech Valley Baptist Church

The two room Beech Grove School, long closed, educating
hundreds of children with over a half-century run

Cattle graze on the few pieces of flat land

The old outhouse returning to the dust