When Jim and I return to WV we stay at the Smith house in Beartown - I wanted to give my viewers a feel for the drive from McComas to Beartown - these pictures were taken on a beautiful fall day October 2007

Driving from Thomas Coal Camp, McComas, WV up the mountain towards Conner Mountain

Johhny Spicer's house sat to the left of photo - Katherine Eanes to the rightMs Roberts lived here - we would come and buy eggs from her and be afraid of her Geese - they were mean!site of #6 mine north side - the tram tracks started here and ran back around Thomas to Pinnacleto the left was the strip mining road that led out to the Conner Mtn. Schoolhorseshoe turn = we're almost up to Conner Mtn turnoff
as children we would push our bicycles up this road so we can enjoy the thrill of the ride back down to Thomas WHEW!!!!

Leaving the hard top road and heading out towards and up Conner Mountain to the ridge road

Heading out the dirt road at Conner MountainDriveway to the right to the old Sherman Steel home.Site of the old Conner Store - now the home of Susan and Roscoe OdleStewart Reed to the left - Roscoe Odle to the right and the road begins to climb from here.upon the hillside from where the old Conner School use to sit - my aunt Viola & Tommy Odle lived to the left.another horseshoe turn at this point in the roadthis view points back towards the McComas area

just around the horseshoe turn you still climbing up the mountainhome of Gladys & Skip Odle down to the right in this photohome of Shirley & Peanut Odle to the rightlooking back at Peanut Odle's house this is the driveway to his parents home Victoria Spicer & Harry Odleroad splits - to the left the ATV trails back on Pinnacle Creek - to the right the ridge road to BeartownOdle Family Cemetary entrance

My cousin Sandra Davis Bailey traveled this road from Beartown to Bluefield for over 20 years as she worked as a Registered Nurse at St. Luke's Hospital.  The area of the Odle Cemetary was where she came around the turn from the forks in the road and a big black bear was standing tall directly in front of her car.  Luckily she wasn't attached - just scared.  Weather is rough for travelers in this area during the winter months - but as you see in the summer its breathtaking.

The mountain levels off and your now riding the ridge road from Conners over to Beartown.  The view is spectacular. 
You feel as if your riding on the highest point in the area.  Your almost in the heavens with God.  In the 1700/1800s timeframe the Indians used this ridge as part of their roadway/pathway system back up into Ohio where their tribes lived. 

sign of the gas wells that are abundant in the area

one place I can get Verizone Phone Service on the mountain is here..eidence of the 4-wheelers riding on the hillside

The drought is harsh this year but these flowers are growing by the roadside covered  in a thick dust - no water - but still blooming!  The leaves are falling off the trees before too much color can be seen.

End of the Ridge Road - Beartown to the left - Lusk Hill (over to Clarks Gap or back down Lamar Hollow to Matoaka.
This portion of Beartown was known as Bailey Ridge in honor of Everett Bailey who settled here (he was the father of Clayton & Earnest Bailey)

End of Ridge Road - this is the Wyoming/Mercer County dividerClarks GapI went left towards Beartown at the forks in the road.Lusk Placeaunt Tom (Carmen Baileys) house in the distancedriveway out to Willam McGuires and later Donald Bailey's home.front side of Carmen & Clayton Baileys homeview from Tina & Willis Mitchem's living room window

Sandra Davis & Dennis Bailey house - (under the red tree - distant rear) red barn and white garage on Dennis & Sandra Davis Baileys propertyHome of Pastor Scott & Barbara Bailey (blue roof) home of Sandra & Dennis Bailey in rear and the red barn on their property.Home of the Lafler's - was previously the home of Carl and Lorraine Lusk Roberts.

Sunset photos taken from this same area above the Dennis & Sandra Davis Bailey home.  Sandra is the daughter of Everett & Margaret Davis Huffman of the Thomas section of McComas, WV 
They have a gorgeous view from their home - this looking back over Beartown Creek into the Crumpler area.

These photos go from Bailey's Ridge around to the Beartown Church House and the forks of the road (left to Beartown Creek/Crumpler - right to Herndon - straight to the old Mitchem homestead area)

 road from Bailey Ridge to the Beartown ChurchJohn Greer's home behind the Beartown Churchrear of the Beartown ChurchJimmy & Gaye Blankenship Hancock home beside the Beartown ChurchCrumpler to the left - Herndon to the rightCarol Greer with sister Gaye & husband Jimmy Hancock can be seen every day - regardless of weather walking the roads of Beartown for exercise.

From the Beartown Community Center (original Beartown School) heading to the Smith House at Beartown

 Beartown Community - which use to the the Beartown SchoolThis house sits directly beside the old Schoolhouse - which is not the Community Center.Bailey Cemetary, Beartown, WVEmpty house - Jim's grandparents Verlie Milam Bailey & Ivan Kelly lived here at one time!Home of Cephus Kelly - Jims uncle - their all decorated for Halloween.Main road below Cephas Kelly's home - the gas head is coming from a gas well on the Smith property.

Smith Driveway

 Looking from the main road you can look down and see the gate to the Smith driveway?Turning into the Smith driveway at Beartown!Thru the gate and starting down this LONG driveway!More drivewayNow for the horseshoe turn 1/2 way down the driveway!Around the turn - the rest of the driveway is level!Look close enough and you will see the white Smith house at the end of this long driveway.
Its a long long driveway

Labor Day weekend September 2007 Pat and Jim had visitors at Beartown
  • our oldest daughter Karen, her husband Eric - came up from Canton, GA
  • our son Chris his wife Lauren - with Katie, Scott & Allie came down from Taneytown, MD

the grandchildren experienced what life was like for grandma & grandpa growing up - we did a weiner roast and celebrated Chris birthday.  We attended church at the Beartown Memorial Church - then traveled down on Beartown Creek to show them the ATV campsites and the wagon wheel - then over to the Crumpler Slate dump site where they saw a rider come up then jump the guard rail.  We then went down to Ashland - over Windmill Gap - up to Bluewell and stopped and had footlong hotdogs at Lynn's drivein.  A little shopping at Lowes to replace the chain saw the guys had broke attempting to cut down a walnut tree.  Then back to McComas for a visit with aunt Elsie & aunt Margaret.  The kids got to play in the creek behind Pat's old Elementary school which is now converted into the Crane Creek Pentecostal Holiness Church.  We visited inside the church and saw one of the classroom that has not been renovated.  The little bookshelves still in tact were still there.  I told my 8 year old granddaughter this was where I first met Nancy Drew (in book form).  We went down to the lunch room and I think the grandchildren were really impressed with the pass through window they were pretending they were serving me food.  That area looks the same as it did in th e1950s when I attended Pinnacle Elementary School.  

House - taken in 2004kitchen porch looking back into the old garden areafront porchJims clearing out old trees and brush - he cut down a dead walnut tree here

side yard by the living room looking to the front yardfront yard viewfront yard looking out to the drivewayGrandma Pat & Grandpa Jim with the grandbabies on the stepscoloring time on the porch Grandpa Jim & Scott driving the tractorScott located a copperhead in this cinderblock - he didn't go near it but yelled it out to everyone - we told him he SAVED OUR LIVES!!!
The ole Smith house - we cut lots of grass, trees and Jim used his tractor to clear alot of overgrown land. 

Katie & Scott driving - grandpa Jim walking with themDaniel & Allie get their turn to playAllie helping put up Chris's tentEric watching Daniel exploringAllie & Daniel eating their hotdogs at the weiner roastScott with Uncle Eric & cousin DanielScott and his mother Lauren roasting weiners - he loved it!!!
grandkids having fun at the ole Smith house in Beartown - we had a weiner roast just like Jim's mother always did for our children

Scott & Katlyn Smith at PinnacleAllie, Lauren, Eric, Daniel, aunt Elsie Bailey, Katie & Scott at Pinnacle
we're at Pinnacle - aunt Elsie's house and the kids are playing in the creek behind the school/church