1928 - Alderson High School - 1968


The Alderson Iron Works

John McCurdy - '08

In the late 1980's , following the devastating flood of 1985, the Town of Alderson received a grant from the State of WV that was for nearly $800,000.00! Then Governor Arch Moore presented the award to the Town at a meeting, which for a reason I have now forgotten, took place at the Federal Prison. It may have been because the Prison had been so much help to the town after the flood, the inmates did many dirty jobs of cleaning-up and throwing out!

I was shortly afterward elected to the Alderson Town Council and after the state awarded the Grant we tried very hard to determine to what use we could use the money  to obtain the maximum impact. It was our decision that the money should be used to acquire the flood-damaged and or run-down and vacant buildings along the banks of the river. Many of these buildings had been unoccupied and in disrepair for years and were in danger, if they were not already, of becoming health and safety hazards. This might be the last opportunity to see them removed and the river bank cleared.

The Town was fortunate that the Federal Government under the much criticized and maligned Federal Emergency Management Program (FEMA), saw FEMA offer to buy many of the structures. After the purchase by FEMA, title and deed to the properties was given to the Town of Alderson. They did, in the deeds, stipulate the Town could not sell the property and had to use it for the "common' good! This has turned out to pose some problems for the community, in that maintenance, such as mowing is required!

We envisioned even then the site of the present Alumni Park as becoming one day a small park with benches and table beside the river. Toward that aim we were using the site for the disposal of rubble, stones and such debris.

Miss Alice Todd Alderson about that time asked the Town to remove an unsightly object from the creek that flows from Dark Hollow, investigation revealed the object to be what was called a "steel beam". A local wrecking truck was contacted and removed the "beam" to the afore-mentioned spot at the end of the bridge.

I was walking on the bridge and noted the "beam" had one end larger than the rest, much like the "Plinth Block" at the base of many door casings. Scraping the dirt away revealed writing cast in the metal. Curiosity led me to get paper and pencil and trace over the writing to see if I could determine what it was.

You may imagine my surprise when I discovered,  

 Iron Works

The "Beam" was taken to the Towns Maintenance Area, where it is reported to remain still, awaiting some adaptive and  appropriate reuse.  

What we lack is information about the Iron Works! The specific location and any other information, even if anecdotal would be helpful. About all we now know is that it existed in 1888 and was thought to be above the railroad Crossing.


Please enter your name to comment.  
HTML Comment Box is loading comments...