Ninety-year-old Ivan Gorby, the unofficial "mayor" of Bowman Ridge, Marshall County, is the subject of an article in the current issue of GOLDENSEAL magazine, now on sale. The article, titled "'Mayor' Ivan Gorby of Bowman Ridge," was written by Ohio author and photographer Carl E. Feather.
According to the article, Gorby lives on rural Bowman Ridge, where his family has been for generations, first settling in the area in 1835. A former schoolhouse, built on land donated by the Gorby family, now serves as a meeting place for the Bowman Ridge Community Association. It is used by Gorby and his neighbors as a polling place, as well as for community dinners, bingo games, square dances, and musical performances.
Gorby learned to play banjo at an early age, and has also learned to play the fiddle and mandolin along the way. Today, he plays music with other residents and visitors at the community center on Saturday afternoons. The weekly dinners and jam sessions draw audiences from as far away as Ohio to Bowman Ridge, where listeners are welcome to dance, join in the singing and playing, deal a friendly game of cards, or catch up on local news.
Also in this issue of GOLDENSEAL are articles about the Randolph County New Deal settlement communities known as the Tygart Valley Homestead; John and Wilbur Hahn, two octogenarian brothers who operate a small sawmill in Hardy County; the late Rube Stump, a maker of fine porch swings in Calhoun County; and the checkered history of McDowell County's infamous Jones Mansion.
GOLDENSEAL is West Virginia's magazine of traditional life and is published quarterly by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History in Charleston. The magazine sells for $4.95 and is available at the Grave Creek Mound Archaeology Complex in Moundsville or by calling (304) 558-0220, ext. 153.
Director of Public Information
West Virginia Division of Culture and History
The Cultural Center
1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East
Charleston, WV 25305-0300
Phone (304) 558-0220
Fax (304) 558-2779