WATER STORY IN ANTIOCH
Many years ago, the homes in Antioch were without water. If a well was drilled, it was invariably “hard” iron water. Most households therefore had a rain barrel placed under the eaves of their homes to catch rainwater for washing their clothes. Otherwise water had to be carried uphill by the bucketful from Mill Run.
Two springs, one known as the Gardner Spring located back of the present day Marshall Rotruck weekend home and the other, the Roberts Spring on the left side of the Graysons Gap Rd as you travel toward Sunnyside, provided the residents with water for drinking and cooking.
In March 1909, Joe Martin and Jim Mott purchased from Fred Grayson a right of way to a small spring near the lower bridge in Graysons Gap. From this spring a pipe was laid along the road to an area below the Martin and Mott Store. A spigot was attached and water flowed to supply the surrounding home, carried by the pail-full. A large trough, built by the blacksmith Vernon M Grayson, caught the overflow of water.
At this trough horses were watered as their owners were passing through the village from martin on the way hauling back to the Tannery at New Creek.
The owners of the water-powered mill at Antioch went to court suing martin and Mott. As a result of an old law, which forbade the piping of water around a mill, the water was shut off and the spigot removed. Once again, the homeowners went back to their previous supplies.
When James Billmyre bought the mill in 1923, he at once authorized opening the water line and the spigot was again attached. The community was again supplied with water. Eventually the pipes deteriorated and were not replaced.
In the early 1940’s, Earl Martin bought the right of way to use the Gardner Spring. He constructed a large reservoir on the mountain on his land and installed a “rife ram” to pump the spring water to the reservoir. This system continues to provide water for Antiocheans today. Twelve hook-up[s are on this system.
Submitted by Edna Mott and Betty Bane Dzubba
MINERAL COUNTY WEST VIRGINIA, FAMILY TRAITS, TRACKS AND TRAILS