1928 - Alderson High School - 1968
Rising Sun Ranch Barry Worrell - March 20, 2016
If   you   are   a   regular   viewer   of   the   DIY   channel,   you   may   be   familiar   with   the   shows   "Salvage   Dawgs"   and "Barnwood Builders" . "Salvage Dawgs" out of Roanoke, Va. and "Barnwood Builders" out of Lewisburg. While   watching   Salvage   Dawgs   the   other   night,   I   was   delighted   to   hear   presenter   and   part   owner,   Mike Whiteside,   say   they   were   going   to Alderson.   My   interest   really   peaked   when   he   said   they   were   going   to   a cattle   farm   and   salvage   parts   of   the   house   on   the   Rising   Sun   Ranch.   Rising   Sun   Ranch?   I've   never   heard of a Rising Sun Ranch. With   the   help   of   Ward   Parker,   John   McCurdy,   and   Margaret   Hambrick   of Alderson,   and   photos   supplied   by Black Dog Salvage, we have some history and photos from the television episode. From   Ward   Parker:    It   was   known   as   the   McDonald   Farm   in   the   1950's   and   60's,   and   was   worked   by   Frank Clay   as   a   cattle   farm.   K. A.   Clark   bought   it   in   late   60s   and   had   a   Black Angus   business   until   sometime   in the   70's.   He   built   a   new   home   higher   up.   I   believe   it   now   belongs   to   a   group   of   lawyers,   and   Melanie   and Johnny Deem operate the farm. One   of   the   best   Thanksgiving   dinners   I   ever   ate   was   in   that   old   house   when   Frank   and   Sirelda   Clay   were running   the   farm   back   in   the   early   1960's.   Frank   and   Sirelda   were   both   distant   cousins,   one   from   Mom's side and one from Dad's side. They were Margaret Clay Hambrick’s parents. In   the   1980s   the   old   house   was   occupied   by   a   Reverend   Harper,   who   raised   his   crippled   grandson   and totally dependent grand-daughter there until the place was sold again. From   John   McCurdy:   McDonald   was   from   Roanoke   and   the   ranch   manager   in   40   &   50s   was   Bill   Williams. M/M   Clark   bought   the   place   and   built   a   large   lovely   home,   which   now   includes   a   separate   Swimming   Pool about   50-75   yards   from   the   house   that   is   reached   by   a   enclosed,   tunnel   that   is   covered   and   has   windows along   the   way.   Later   an   attorney   named   Humphries   from   Charleston,   who   became   rich   from   asbestos litigation   was   the   next   owner   and   may   have   been   the   one   who   built   the   pool.   He   was   an   absentee   landlord and   most   such   arrangement   lost   a   lot   of   $$.   Ward   reminded   me   of   what   place   it   was.   I   thought   it   might   be the 800 acres behind the old Feamster (Alec), at the Feamster Scales about a mile further on. From   Margaret   Hambrick:    Ward,   thanks   for   your   kind   words   about   my   Mom   and   Dad.   Mom   was   a   great cook.   I   pretty   much   grew   up   on   Ingleside   as   we   called   it.   I   think   that   was   its   original   name.   The   first   house burned   in   the   late   1800s   (I   have   the   date   somewhere)   and   then   the   one   in   the   photos   was   built   in   the   very current   Victorian   style.   I   am   sad   about   its   neglect   over   the   years   and   its   eventual   destruction.   Here   is   a photo from its hey-days soon after it was built. (Click on photos for larger view.)
(Click on photos for larger view.) Our thanks to Black Dog Salvage for the use of their photos. Here are a couple of links to learn more about them. Black Dog Salvage DIY TV Show - Salvage Dawgs