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A Battle For Calhoun
by Maricia Mlynek

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There are few meetings that I attend where the topic of money and economics is not the center of discussion. This has made me wonder why so much time is focused on what Calhoun is lacking, instead of what we possess.

I have grown to understand that West Virginia is a proud state. Mountaineers love Mountaineers and anything that has to do with Mountaineers--and West Virginia, in general, is working hard to sell itself.

I believe that the product speaks for itself. Our beauty, history, and undisturbed peace and quiet are sought after more and more each day. Calhoun County, to be honest, is an escape.

 To dream of Calhoun becoming a booming metropolis of businesses is highly unlikely, but would Calhouners want that anyway? I think not.

I would venture to say that most enjoy the scenic roads, the quiet evenings, and the tranquil settings of our valleys and hilltops. This being said, perhaps some are overlooking the wealth we truly do possess and could share with others.

In a little less than two months, several projects based on the Civil War in Calhoun County have begun. They include the reenactment of the Sycamore Skirmish at Calhoun County Park, the development of the Civil War Highway through Arnoldsburg, and the publication of Major Michael Ayers’ letters.

Meanwhile, work continues on Heritage Village, Family History Center, and Stump Hotel.

It is all right at our fingertips. It is not necessary to lose our identity for the sake of progress. Our identity could be the source of our progress.

Someday, we could also  have re-enactors at the Battle   of Arnoldsburg. Perhaps, we may celebrate the legends of Nancy Hart or Mike Fink. Would people desire a steamboat to ride down the Little Kanawha?

Maybe, there will be trail rides on the paths of the Moccasin Rangers. Is it possible that language like “roust abouts” and “rough necks” will be understood in coalminer country and steel plant land?

 I can dream of thousands of ideas. Our mere oral history is priceless, not to mention the deep roots of bluegrass and old timey music. Could something great be on the horizon for our county? I guess that will depend on you.

In my own personal effort, I will begin a column on Calhoun County during the Civil War. Ayers’ letters make me wish to understand the times, the trials, and the heartaches of our county during the “war between the states.”

My work is cut out for me. Originally a teacher of Ohio history, and a celebrated “Buckeye,” I must now face the unknown pages of the past.

If you are a Golden Horseshoe winner or a historian at heart, feel free to send in information, stories, and pictures of times almost forgotten.

If you are an able body, get involved in projects at the park or with the historical society. Devote time to preserving the past. Get up and work toward the future.

Our yesterdays will help lead and form our tomorrows, but only through the labors of those that are willing to make it happen.

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