1928 - Alderson High School - 1968

 

 

Plans For A Mountain Top Airport

Will Stevens - Submitted by Ward Parker May 30, 2016

Foreword by Ward Parker

Will Stevens lived in a little cabin that was just up the road from Shelby Neely's little log store at the mouth of Griffith's Creek. I remember him well. He ate supper with us several times, and discussed this airport plan. He was looking for financing, but it was all anyone on that mountain could do to keep families fed. Will was a surveyor, but also a dreamer. He was convinced there was gold or silver on Keeney's knob. There is a small cliff up on the side of the mountain that has 1816 chiseled on it with numbers about 6 inches high. Will was convinced someone had a gold or silver mine close there. I think someone was marking their boundary or making a claim.

He walked every where he went, or caught the mail carrier. He passed away in the late 50s, early 60s.

Below is a map and text from an apparent flyer Will made to promote his plan.

Question: Where is Kenney's Knob, Summers county, Vest Virginia, U.S.A.--anyway? Well one way to find it is by the directions (above) a few of our well-known landmarks (cities). Another way is: Wait until the proposed mountain-top landing is actually cleared end completed (everybody's talking about it) and planes come sliding in at the (ground) elevation of something like 3880 feet on additional land available right near the 12acre Tower Park (above),

From the 90-foot tower, without the aid of glasses, forest fires are being spotted "50 miles by the fly of the crow" in the region of the Coal River Valley, for example, known to be a very important part of our southern West Virginia coal fields. Same look, a bit northward, goes right into the "World's Chemical Centre"--the Great Kanawha Valley, e -regular beehive--all kinds of business.

Turning southward and you are seeing up the valley of "the only river in the world according to the late Judge Sawyers, "that cuts clear through a great mountain system"--the wonderful New River rapidly coming under control in the nearly-completed. Bluestone Dam at Hinton.

Speaking of rivers: the meandering Meadow River, northward, through the farming, timbering, coaling regions of western Greenbrier has its source right up here where you are talking about landing your craft.

Then take the eastward look at limestone cliffs "mountain high" being worked down, in places, to powerful crushers and grinders such for example as those of the Acme Limestone Company on the Greenbrier (river) on the main line of the C & 0 and within ten air-miles of this--gliding-in-gracefully, port proposed, in due time.

Yes look at this whole broad area--the limestone lands, the valleys and hills, among the forests, covered with the famous Greenbrier bluegrass--the world's finest, the highest in protein. First a field and then a forest of hardwoods unsurpassed in quality if even equaled on this side of the globe; and for the protection of all this valuable timber the Forest Service Airplane is on the alert. Suitable "forest" landings are few and far between. We need more landing-strips on these "beautiful hills".

What will it cost to clear the air-strip of timber? Excepting stumps, the sale, most any kind of timber, should pay for the "clearing". Dynamite, stump-pullers and other machinery required to complete the job. Fifty to seventy-five years ago fifty cents and board the usual wages per day for work in any clearing for corn.

From federal sources reported: "Also the (President's) commission recommends strengthening and improving of civilian aviation and goes into details as to extensive changes in governmental organizations which it believes necessary to its program". This "Fly Leaf" wings its way from "Mountain Ranger", Alderson, Monroe County, West Virginia. (June 1948).__ Will Stevens

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