Turning a Mole Hill Into a Mountain

The (Harrisville) Gazette
July 8, 1949

Mole Hill Becomes Mountain, W. Va.

Mole Hill, W. Va., became Mountain, W. Va., in a colorful ceremony on Saturday, July 2, 1949.

Borden County Fair, a radio program heard nationally over CBS was the instigators of the plans to change this rural community from a "Mole hill to a mountain."

Their master of ceremonies Win Elliot, accompanied by photographers from Life and Newsweek magazines had charge of the ceremonies.

El[l]iot introduced Gov. Okey Patteson, Senator Kilgore and Rep. Bailey from atop a wagon full of hay, to which was hitched a pair of mules and a team of horses. These were being used by the courtesy of the Ritchie Livestock Association.

The taking down of the sign "Mole Hill" and the putting up of the one "Mountain" took place in front of the post office, where a huge crowd had gathered to witness the event. It was estimated that there were close to 1500 there.

From the postoffice the crowd returned to the "fair ground" above the town, where the program continued. Many local residents were interviewed as to their opinion on the changing of the name of this little community. These may be heard over CBS on Saturday of this week at 1 p. m.

Mrs. Florence Haymond, president of the then Mole Hill Farm Women's club was presented on behalf of Borden's, a lovely sterling silver coffee and tea service, which is to be used by her club. The club incidentally is celebrating their silver anniversary.

The Mountain Farm Woman's club had stands where good country food was sold. They also had a lot of beautiful handmade articles for sale. These included quilts, stand covers, scarfs of all sizes and shapes, crochet work and others too numerous to mention.

A merry-go-round for the kiddies had also been set up and many grownups were reliving their childhood by indulging in this all time favorite pastime. There were also ponies to ride and other attractions which are to be found at a country fair.

Bob Drain and his helpers entertained with some old time music to which two couples demonstrated the square dance technique.

The day was brought to a close by [sic]

The day's celebration which was begun with a prayer, ended with a moonlight dance and a Fourth of July fireworks display. Exploding rockets on the mountainside spelled out the town's new name.

The town also has a new city anthem. This was first sung by the "famous male quartet" featuring the Governor, Senator Kilgore, Rep. Bailey and Contestant Falk. Later the crowd joined in singing the chorus. Copies of the song had been passed out and many no doubt were put away as souvenirs.

One of the highlights of the day was the appearance of the Pennsboro High school band, which played a number of selections.

Autograph seekers were much in evidence also and some were the envy of others who had not prepared themselves for the occasion.

It was contestant Bob Falk who came to Ritchie county to start the long list of events which were climaxed on Saturday.


West Virginia Archives and History