BERYL, WEST VIRGINIA
hamlet and post office at the junction of the Western Maryland and
Baltimore and Ohio Railroads, Piedmont District, Mineral County WV.
It was also known as the West Virginia Junction, because of the junction here of the two railroads. It was named Beryl for Beryl Abernathy, who was once postmistress.
Beryl is a town formed at the head of Montgomery Run where the WV Canwal Junction Road leads from the Piedmont Road, or the old Rte.46, to Cross Road. Mountains are the background and the Potomac River and Luke, MD are to the front of the town. Hampshire Road is now the road which leads to the remains of Beryl. Progress has removed all but four houses from the area. Expansion by the WV Pulp and Paper Mill will soon have all of the area. The mill is the principal employer in this area. Many residents are also employed in the mines which surround this town to the back.
A large spring on Montgomery supplies running water for the town.
On Buckston and Land Streets, the big store between the B&O RR tracks and the Western MD tracks was built in 1918. It was a general store and sold dry goods, coal oil, etc. The Post Office was in the building. Loose candy would be given to the customers who paid their bill and loose cookies were sold by the pound. A butcher cut the meat,m a nice man named Dent Davis. Dress goods and muslin for sheets were sold at the Buckston and Land Street store. The Western MD railroad had a depot beside the store, between the tracks.
The store burned down and was rebuilt in 1940. Another store was operated by Jim Donnaley, was located in the George Rhodes house. it sold loose yeast-a nickles worth would make bread for a week. A family who lived along the road to the Hampshire Road had a small store, and at the Y, there was an ice cream parlor. Three stores were on the Knobb which had 29 houses on a flat above Beryl on the mountain.
Three open dance floors were in Beryl. They were owned by Stanley Hagan Douglas, Messengers, and one owned by the Davis Coal and Coke Co.
The residents wanted a church and the Riley family donates the land for one. Zad Riley broke the ground in the year 1910, and the church was completed in 1912, and non-denominational services were held. Samuel Wilt and other residents were contributors to the church and its success. Samuel Wilt died in 193, and years later the Presbyterian Church took over.
Davis Coal and Coke Company built most of the houses in this town, the majority of them double houses. William Shook would keep these houses in good repair ata the expense of the Davis Coal & Coke Co. John Swadley and Cobby Byres would perform the roof work.
Some of the residents in the area were:
Bill Reed, the Messengers, Harry Willhide, Lou Grant, Berke Renalds, Jessie Metcalf, Sis Watson, Junior Armentrout, Ed Whisner, Samuel Wilt, William Shook, Freddie Byres, Linches, John Kight, Roy Evans, Nan Gordon, Gilbert Males, Bob Donley, Albert Kifer, William Broadwater, Vada Trenum, Skiter Watson, Ida Grant, Austin Hanlin, Ed Davis, Mike Beeman, Charles Beman, Dave Woodworth, John Riley, Montgomery, Niland, Supervisor, Tom Niland, Stanley Douglas, Jim Kellers, Edna Ward, Page Jenkins, Jim Fazenbaker, Ada Hannas, Jose, Jones, Siimpson, Doman, Harold Baithweight, Droll.
Streets were dogtown, Gabby Row, Railroad, Church and Main.
The Boons at WV Pulp and Paper Co provided the best swimming accommodations. Ed Riley taught the children to swim at the Piney, just a little distance from the Boons.
George Whisner was the barber of the town, as was Calvin Wilt.
Ida V. Wilt was the midwife of the entire area. Doctors were in town from time to time and put up an office in the front room of the Jones home. Dr. Strothen , Dr. Maston and Dr. Wolverton were doctors.
The people of Beryl were hard working, honest and neighborly folks who liked to talk.
The adults as well as the children shared in the fun times. They would make big eastern sleds of heavy lumber. The Messengers made one called "Old Bell". The Miners would get the runners and together they would build a big sled. On winter nights they would build big fires and ride the big sleds. They would start on the Knobb above Beryl and ride about a mile to the center of the town at the B & O RR tracks.
Some of the mines on the Knobb were Mine 51, Mine 50 and above the Knobb Mine 19, Big Vein, Mine 18 and the 6th Mine.
Annie Flynn was born and raised tin Toosie town, where the Charcoal plant was, Jim Watson & Pink Howard at the Y, The Smileys and the John Kady family along the road, and Mrs. Blye and John Mason behind the Charcoal plant, at a place called Red Block.
Before cars were plentiful, people walked where they needed to go, Sunday hikes were regular.
If someone got a radio, everyone was invited to come and listen to it..
Most people had burnside stoves and straw ticks in the early days.
In 1940, the Davis Coal and Coke company began to sell the houses to the persons who lived in them. Nearly everyone worked at the mill, so the WV Pulp and Paper Co loaned the families money enough to buy the houses.
Now the mill has purchased the houses from the people. Expansion is a very needed project for the WV Pulp & Paper Co.
By Margaret L. Crites
to Mr. Robert Rummer, editor of Mineral County Traits Tracks and
Trails for granting us permission to use this on the Mineral County
Gen Web Page.