Stringtown, West Virginia: A Brief History of a Pre-World War II Rural Community


Old-timers in Stringtown called this shallow pool in the Pocatalico the Indian princess bath.

In 1964, my father wrote a short history of Stringtown, the “lost” community in which he grew up and where our farm is located. He also did extensive research during that same time to trace our family’s history from England to Colonial Virginia and Roane County, West Virginia. Of course, being the disorganized person I am, I lost track of my copy. Recently, I was gifted with a copy of Part I of that history by Georgia, who had the copy of Part I my father had given to my great-aunt Ruby Dye Sergent. I was thrilled to get it, and only wish I could lay my hands on Part II, which includes even more Stringtown stories. Mom? MOM! I know you’re reading this. Do you see how I’m preserving Dad’s work? I need a copy of Part II, Mom. ::collapse:: Uncle Bill? I KNOW YOU’RE READING THIS, UNCLE BILL. I KNOW YOU HAVE A COPY. Help.

During the boom there was a boardinghouse for the men who worked in the oil fields, and there was also a notorious house in which Nellie Francisco, the wife of one of the workers, lived. She had several girlfriends living with her and they were often seen in the company of various men……

Yeah, you want to read the rest (of Part I because I don’t have Part II, MOM), now don’t you?

Read Stringtown, West Virginia: A Brief History of a Pre-World War II Rural Community.

(When they make Stringtown: The Movie, I want to play Nellie.)

52: “You’re 44 years old and you’re still manipulating your parents.”

Me: “I need Part II! Maybe Mom will be inspired to dig it out and send it to me since I put Part I on my website!!!!”

52: “You’re 44 years old and–”


See my related column about family roots in today’s Charleston Daily Mail.

P.S. If you’re interested in ancestry stuff or just wanna see our connection to Stumptown and George Washington, you can also read my Dye family history page here.


  1. Heidi says:

    OH I SO Love history!! I will beg your mom if it will help!? LOL :hissyfit:

  2. Wendy says:

    I see where you get your writing chops, Suzanne. Your Dad is quite the writer!

    REALLY enjoying reading this.

    Everyone has a story. Thanks for sharing yours!

  3. CindyP says:

    If only the history books in high school would have been written this way I may have enjoyed it!! Your father writes very well, also. I enjoyed all of the stories!! BUT we need more!! I can beg, also, if needed!! :happyflower:

  4. Fencepost says:

    You are so lucky to have all this information about your heritage! I only wish I had someone to tell me more about my neck of the woods.

  5. Gail says:

    Being able to hear firsthand (through your Dad) about the history of Stringtown and your family is amazing and a real treasure. I enjoyed reading Part 1, and Suzanne’s MOM, I beg of you to make Part 2 available to us! I always feel sad when I drive through a small rural town that only has remnants left and you wonder who lived there, what type of work was there, why was a town in that particular spot, what happened that made it disappear, etc! Thank you for telling us Stringtown’s story!

  6. Kelly says:

    There are a whole bunch of Dyes in Nebraska, you related?

  7. JeannieB says:

    Wow, what a treasure you have, to be able to live in a place steeped with so much family history. I started genealogy several years ago, but after my parents and grandparents had passed on. I have names and dates, but no stories like you do. I hope your siblings and children realise what a wonderful gift your father left them with his work. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Kate says:

    Wow, sounds enchanting! :pawprint:

  9. Nancy in Atlanta says:

    Your history is fascinating, Suzanne, and – (MOM!!! Please help Suzanne!!!) I hope you get the “rest of the story”. Princess has already performed a great part in the story with her interview. Next, an interview with Georgia?

    My family treasures an autobiography my mother wrote in her 80s about her Pennsylvania farm life. She wrote it for a creative writing class, my sister and I typed it, and a niece added old photos and had it printed in a small booklet. She had copies of it for dozens of us at Mom’s 85th birthday party. I hope you can gather all your stories into something like that! :purpleflower:

  10. Claudia W. says:

    How great! I have a “somewhat” book on my family’s history…going along with the Donner party tragedy. We aren’t them, we were tied in with them. (Exciting!) I’ll have to dig out my copy and do something with it, you’ve encouraged me AGAIN!!!
    Suzanne’s MOM…please, we would love to read part two, it would be so wonderful of you, if you could help Suzanne out! Thank you!

  11. Jenni in KS says:

    I so enjoyed reading Part I of your father’s story! I wish more people would take the time to write their own memories for future generations. Lately I’ve been digging around a little to find out about the area where we live. We’ve only lived here for 4 years, so we are newcomers. There are a few people who have taken time to write about the history, but unfortunately none that I have found have written about it as well or with as much personal feeling as your dad. History is so much more than a list of people, places, and dates. Stories like your dad’s are what make it come to life and give it meaning for those who didn’t live it.

  12. catslady says:

    I too hated history in school when it was memorizing dates and wars – you think they could make it more enjoyable. Much better that you manipulate your mother than those mil’s out there that try to manipulate their sons and dil’s. Sorry, but my newly married daughter has the kind you always hear about :no:

  13. Estella says:

    It must be really great to know so much about your family’s history!

  14. Donna says:

    I love family history and history period.

  15. Leah says:

    Not to worry….youre 44 y.o. and you’ll find a way to get part 2,ha,ha! I want to read part 2!

  16. ed daugherty says:

    Suzanne it was a pleasure meeting you. If you could send me an email address ill send you my file.

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