Slovene immigrants to Richwood in the early 1900s came to the mountains of West Virginia from their homeland in south-central Europe determined to make a new life for themselves. Skilled woodsmen with last names like Bartol, Jonas, Logar, Prelaz, Svet, Urbas and Wise, a number of them found work in the booming timber industry and, later, in the nearby coal mines.
The story of these immigrants, their families’ lives in the lumber camps and coal towns, and their eventual assimilation into American life is told in the current issue of GOLDENSEAL magazine. The article, “Where the Rails Turn Up: Slovenes Come To Richwood,” was written by Nancy Svet Burnett, who was raised in Camden-On-Gauley where her Slovene parents settled.
The winter 2000 GOLDENSEAL also features an interview by local author Patricia Workman with Nicholas County coon hunter Ralph Bryant and a radio interview with coondog expert Clennie Workman, who appeared on Summersville station WCWV-FM in 1985. The magazine also includes information about the new “Centennial 1901-2001 Early Richwood Calendar,” along with ordering information.
Rounding out this issue of GOLDENSEAL are several stories about coon hunting and coondogs, an article about an 85-year-old granddaughter of slaves whose dreams were fulfilled in West Virginia’s southern coalfields and a profile of Lewis County woodturner Paul Weinberger, who is sharing his knowledge and artistry through an apprenticeship program.
GOLDENSEAL is West Virginia’s magazine of traditional life and is a quarterly publication of the West Virginia Division of Culture and History. It is available for $4.95 at the U-Save Travel Plaza in Mount Nebo or by calling (304) 558-0220, ext. 153.
Visit the Division’s website at www.wvculture.org. The West Virginia Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.
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