1928 - Alderson High School - 1968



Alderson Students Camp on Keeney’s Knob
The Raleigh Herald – June 2, 1910
Allegheny Collegiate Institute Boys on Recent May Day’s Outing in the Mountains

Source: Face Book - Bygone Days of Keeney's Knob & Surrounding Areas

We, the boarding boys of the Allegheny Collegiate Institute, Alderson, WV organized ourselves for camping parties early in the session. We had visions of two or three days trip to some of the surrounding mountain summits, but until the month of May our trips were limited to only a day’s outing, on which we got a foretaste of what we might experience on a more extended trip.

About the first of May we begun to plan more definitely. The Flag Pole Station on Keeney’s Knob was agreed upon as the site for our next camp. We elected our cooks, wood choppers, water carriers, and appointed a committee to raise funds necessary to enable us to provide an abundant supply of good things to eat.

The committee did their work faithfully. It was supplemented by the thoughtful arrangements made by Mrs. Harris, the school matron. At noon, May 6th, we were allowed to free our minds from the burden of our studies, and we took upon our shoulders what proved to be an even greater burden – our camping outfit and supplies.

The day was very warm. Soon after we began our ascent some of the company began to fall behind. But frequent rests kept up their courage until about four o’clock, at which time we arrived at Clay Pinch. At that point we were marching over a famous Indian trail leading from Muddy Creek settlement to Green Sulphur Springs.

An act of savage cruelty makes Clay Pinch memorable. In the early history of this part of the state, a white settlement on Muddy Creek, Greenbrier County, was attacked by the Indians. The settlers were all murdered except a woman and her infant child. The Indians were carrying them captive along this trail. When they came to Clay Pinch the woman escaped from their sight. One of the Indians caught the child by the heels and struck it against a tree thinking that its cries would cause the mother to come to its relief. She failed to come. They knocked its brains out against a tree and moved on. They marched over the log in which the woman was concealed. After they passed she went back to Muddy Creek settlement, built a rail fence around her murdered husband and made her way back to the fort at what is now Lewisburg.

At Clay Pinch our camping party disputed for a while. Some voted to pitch camp, others voted to go on to Flag Pole Station. The latter party prevailed. Fernando Sabourin, our Cuban member, declared the American boys were crazy. Other complaints were heard but on we went. The part of the climb just before we reached the top was the hardest. One of our scribes, not a large boy either, had to carry three skillets, a basket and two blankets up this rough and almost perpendicular ascent.

At three minutes after six o’clock we stood at Flag Pole Station, 3,940 feet above the level, and 2,384 feet above the sea level on which we stood only five hours before. We soon located the Elliber spring, near the very summit, and by it pitched our camp. A roaring fire and the scent of ham, eggs and coffee, soon made us realize that our ravenous appetites could be indulged. I don’t believe we were ever so hungry or that we ever enjoyed supper so much in our lives. We all agreed that it was the best supper we ever ate and probably the largest, for we were hungry as bears.

The camp fire, jokes, songs and tricks and a royal good time, such as no other people in the world can enter into so heartily as a band of school boys free from every rule and restriction, made up the program until about eleven o’clock.

The night was divided into four watches with three men on duty for each watch. Heaps of leaves were collected for beds. We wrapped ourselves in our blankets and some of us were soon asleep. The first watch was quiet and peaceful but the other three were mixed with laughter and tricks. When some of us awoke we found our feet tied securely to the tree and others found themselves in various predicaments.

At three o’clock the entire camp was aroused to see Hailey’s comet, but clouds hid it from view.

We ate breakfast at 6 o’clock. At eight we started on our homeward journey. We stopped near Clay Pinch on our return, played a game of baseball and were in the full enjoyment of our noonday meal when it began to rain. A frame tent was hastily constructed and covered with blankets, but they leaked. Finally we broke camp and after a long muddy march arrived at Alderson and the A.C.I.

Though we suffered some hardships yet all declare that we had a royal good time, and some of us look forward to the time when we shall camp on this grand old mountain for several days at a time and experience to even greater degree the genuine delight of camping in the mountains sleeping under the bare sky, drinking the sparking mountain water, and eating when we have appetites that cannot be satisfied.
A.C.I. Camping Party

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