Save the Sharp Farm of Pocahontas County
History and heritage in Slatyfork, West Virginia.

Letter to The Pocahontas Times from Dave Sharp

Thursday September 28, 2006
The Pocahontas Times

For three men from Durbin, appointed by the Pocahontas County Commission, not elected, to decide on the fate of historical Slaty Fork, whose vitality goes before the Civil War, is a travesty of justice, common sense, and is a murderous strike against what West Virginia is proud of—its superior environment of natural beauty over all the other friendly states bound together as a result of the Revolutionary War.

Wild and Wonderful West Virginia is on the road to destruction of its recognized place near the top of the totem pole of interesting and scenic tourist attractions in America. And now, to let three men in a distant hamlet, who have not visited the site in Slaty Fork to see the magnificent wonderland in the valley between the great scenic mountains, decide our fate? Thousands of tourists come from all over America to photo memorialize the treasury of Pocahontas County's pot of gold—including Slaty Fork, named by my father, L. D. Sharp, the postmaster in 1899.

The New York Museum of Natural History wrote him in 1900 to get a wild turkey nest. Dad asked Frank Hannah to find it. L. D. Sharp was invited to New York for the unveiling and stayed at the curator's house. This small example of Slaty Fork's natural wonder is still in a huge display at the museum. I have all the official papers on it. Remind me to send copies to the museum in Marlinton.

Not only our 100-year old B&B farmhouse, but also our Sharp's Country Store, started in 1884, both of which sell food, are in jeopardy if the stinking open sewage plant is permitted to be next door. The Public Service District attorney admitted there would be an obnoxious odor engulfing our historical family endeavor.

Bear in mind: not only are we Sharps citizens of Pocahontas County at Slaty Fork, fighting tooth and nail to save our rightful heritage, but many have driven on special trips to Slaty Fork to sign petitions against putting a stinking open sewage plant adjacent to the famous 219 and 55 West Virginia scenic highway! 90% of the citizens of Pocahontas County do not want the stinking open sewer plant adjacent to the scenic highway.

Let's take this decision out of the hands of the two or three PSD members who don't know or care about the fate of Slaty Fork's historical past, its difficult present fight or future place in West Virginia's premier business, tourism.

Don't give up the ship! A free, safe place is available and has been offered by the governor. Who is it that has enough power to keep the stench on the Sharp ranch or off the free state-owned land despite the known dangers, concerns and protests of the citizens?

The Sharp farm is full of limestone sinkholes and caves—absolutely unacceptable for construction of a large sewage plant. This summer, a huge cave-in occurred on the Sharp farm, 20 feet deep and 30 feet wide. If I'd been standing there I wouldn't have needed my plot in our Sharp family cemetery. A week ago our tractor fell into another sinkhole directly adjacent to the proposed sewage plant site and had to be pulled out with big equipment. Is this a forewarning of any future building activity on the Sharp farm? There could be no worse location for a long-time sewage plant for a huge Snowshoe that will double as the years go by.

Please contact elected representatives and ask them to save the environment of the scenic highway and the historical Slaty Fork site from this debacle.

Dave Sharp