90 Years Ago

Aunt Mary’s Letter Box


Why are the city lights turned off at 5 a.m.?

Many Covington girls going to work have to go in the dark.



This merely bears out what The Virginian has contended all along — that Covington, as a town, hasn’t the money to support itself as a city, which it now really is, in every respect, except providing the common necessities of a city.

Until it is incorporated as a city and spends its money at home, it will be lacking in lighting and many other things.


Chief Jesser Honored

Mr. F.C. Jesser, chief of the Covington Fire Department, was elected vice-president of the Fire Chief’s Association of Virginia at the Virginia State Firemen’s convention, which met in Phoebus this week.

Chief Jesser was also honored by being elected to represent the State of Virginia as vice-president at the 54th annual meeting of the International Association of Fire Chiefs, which meets in Winnipeg, Canada, in September.

75 Years Ago

Pfc. Thermond Persinger

Memorial services will be held Sunday for Pfc. Thermond L. Persinger, 22, son of Mr. and Mrs. Cecil Persinger of Rich Patch, who was drowned on May 11, 1945, near Mannhin, Germany, in the Nekar Canal.

Pfc. Persinger was buried May 18th in the United States Military Cemetery at Benshin, Germany.

Pfc. Persinger entered the armed forces January 6, 1943, at Camp Augusta, Georgia.

Serving thirty months overseas, Pfc. Persinger was sent to Algiers, North Africa, August, 1943.

In April 1944, he was sent to Italy where he served for a year.

In October, 1944, Pfc. Persinger was home on a 21-day furlough, later being sent to France.

He was stationed in Germany at the time of his death.

Pfc. Persinger was graduated from Boiling Springs High School with the class of 1942.

For several years prior to entering the Army, he was supervisor of the Soil Conservation Program in Alleghany County.

Before entering the service, Pfc. Persinger was an employee of the West Virginia Pulp and Paper Company.

Surviving besides his parents are three brothers, Charles Warren Persinger, of Mount Hope, W.Va., and Wilbur, Wallace and Christine Persinger, all at home.

50 Years Ago

Work On 154, Bridge Stepped Up This Week

Work will begin in earnest this week on Covington’s new million-dollar, half-mile road, a four-lane ribbon of concrete tying Interstate 64 near Liberty Street to the south with West Chestnut Street near Casey Field to the north.

The road, designated State Route 154, is the first leg of a proposed project that will eventually see the city with a multi-lane divided highway from the interstate to Route 220 in Dry Run, although the path it will follow between Chestnut Street and Dry Run is still uncertain.

The State Highway Commission in October, 1967, approved a corridor along Craig Street to the City Playground, tying in with Riverside Street, which was also to have been made into a four-lane thoroughfare.

But the plan met with heavy opposition, primarily from Craig Street residents who objected to the probability of the highway taking a good portion of their front lawns, and the plan has never been finalized.

At the north bank, the road will begin a broad arc that will carry it still further west of South Durant Road, until it finally intersects with Chestnut Street.

When 154 is completed, the old bridge, termed outdated, old, narrow and structurally-unsafe for over nine ton-loads, will be dismantled.

But that portion of South Durant Road through Sunnymeade will remain open and will tie-in with the new highway by way of a short spur between the Church of God of Prophecy and the river.

25 Years Ago

Historical Designation Could Derail Economic Development

Placement of the Smith Creek Yard Freight Depot on the National Register for Historic Places could endanger economic development in Clifton Forge.

The application to nominate the abandoned depot for the national listing is being prepared by an assistant archivist for the Chesapeake and Ohio Historical Society.

The Historical Society, which is based in Clifton Forge, holds a 99-year lease on the depot.

Long-range plans call for the depot to be converted to a rail museum.

Glynn Loope, director of the Alleghany Highlands Economic Development Authority, said listing the depot on the National Historic Register would effectively kill plans to develop Smith Creek Yard for light manufacturing and commercial uses.

A proposal, unveiled by Loope earlier this month, calls for the freight depot to be disassembled and relocated west of Smith Creek to the Coach Yard.

Smith Creek and the Coach Yard are among three sections of abandoned CSX Transportation property being eyed by the Authority for industrial development.

Placing the freight depot on the National Register would tie the Authority’s hands in developing Smith Creek, however.

Any effort to alter the depot or its surrounding grounds would have to be approved by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources.

10 Years Ago

97th Birthday

Georgie Gibson, formerly of Intervale, celebrated her 97th birthday July 12 at a surprise party given by family and friends at Western Sizzlin.

She is currently a resident at Highland House on Longdale Furnace Road, east of Clifton Forge.