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This Week In History, 6-23-11


Updated on Wednesday*:

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The following reports are taken from The Calhoun Chronicle archives:


1911, 100 years ago


Six teams came in from Roane County last week to haul lamp black from Cabot’s factory to Creston, but after one trip, the owners decided that it was too hard to wash up at meal time, so they moved their teams back to Roane.


The Teachers Institute for Calhoun County will be held at Arnoldsburg on July 24. The instructors will be O.G. Wilson of Elkins and Thomas W. Haught of Buckhannon. This will be the first institute held in the state.


A small outbuilding burned on Leafbank, near the residence of Frank Norman. The fire was started by some small children playing with matches.


Two boilers and a rig were hauled into the Bell’s Run field last week by South Penn. Work is progressing nicely.


The water in the river has got too low for even the smaller boats, the Acme having made its last trip until the river rises, and storekeepers here, as well as farmers, are wishing for rain.


R.L. Hays will go to work next week for South Penn Oil Co. in its new Bell’s Run field. He has long been assisting with the work in the Chronicle office, but the lure of the dollar, of which John D’s principle subsidiary branch has a few more than the Chronicle man, calls to him and he has answered the call.


1961, 50 years ago

There are 42 churches in Calhoun County, according to the count of Jane Jones, who has been making a study of the county and all its services in an Extension course she has been taking.


The Methodist are by far the most numerous, with 26 churches, followed by nine that are Baptist, three United Brethren, and two each of the Church of Christ and com-munity churches.


Another count made in her study was that of various business services in the area. She found that there were 55 different services available. She also found that there were 54 different organizations or clubs of some kind in the Grantsville area.


 1986, 25 years ago

Dale Levering, who spent many years teaching science to high school students before he retired, had a close-up look at the power and fury of a lightning bolt in his own home earlier this month. It was the second time in his life that he had had a close encounter with lightning, and he confesses he didn’t enjoy it a bit.


It happened when a fierce lightning storm centered above his home at Russett, five miles from Grantsville on Rt. 7. Mindful that lightning has a nasty way of blowing out electrical appliances, Levering decided it would be prudent to disconnect various plugs from electrical outlets.


His wife, Maxine, was seated in her favorite armchair talking to him as he went around the room. Levering disconnected the TV set and the VCR, but completely forgot to unplug the telephone from its jack. He was standing about six feet away from the telephone when suddenly he saw a long lightning bolt emanating from the telephone directly towards him.


It all happened in a split second, but he noted that the tip of the bolt was like a small red ball and that the bolt itself, about 1¼ inches thick, was bluish white. As the tip of the lightning bolt raced towards him, the ball at the end expanded to about one foot in diameter.


“Then there was a loud bang,” said Levering, “and then there was nothing.”


The red ball exploded less than a foot away from his left leg. “It was very close--too close for comfort,” he said.


Mrs. Levering, who was facing away from the telephone, didn’t actually see it, but she heard the “bang” and exclaimed, “What in the world was that?”


Levering said there was a smell like brimstone. He said he was not scared at the time it happened, but the next day he had a reaction. He decided it was the grace of God that had let him live.


After the incident, he examined the phone. The casing did not show any signs of damage, but when he shook it, it sounded as if it were filled with small pebbles. Needless to say, it was inoperable. There were no signs of lightning damage on the outside of the house.


Levering’s other experience with lightning happened many years ago, when he was about six years old and growing up at the family house in Frederickstown, Ohio.


His mother had warned him not to stand near the wire screen of the sun porch whenever there was an electrical storm. Being a curious boy, he had to find out the reason.


One day, there was a severe electrical storm and, when his mother wasn’t looking, Levering stood with his nose about two inches from the screen.


There was a lightning bolt, he recalls, and he could see sparks coming off the screen and going right towards his nose. He backed away in time to avoid getting scorched. He remembers vividly that the tip of his nose tingled, just as if he were experiencing an electric shock.
























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