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

Letter to The Pocahontas Times from George E. Beetham Jr.

Thursday October 5, 2006
The Pocahontas Times

I have watched from afar the saga of the sewage treatment plant currently slated to be developed adjacent to the Sharp farm in Slaty Fork. While I am not a West Virginian, I do travel to Pocahontas County from time-to-time.

What keeps me coming back is the natural beauty of the region, and the historical treasures that abound in your neck of the woods. During the Civil War, Gen. Robert E. Lee headquartered in the area of Slaty Fork. Both the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway and the Western Maryland Railway followed rights of way in Pocahontas County, the Western Maryland having a fairly substantial yard at Slaty Fork, known to railroaders as Laurel Bank.

Cass Scenic Railroad, the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, and the C&O depot in Marlinton add to the historic interests. The Cranberry Glades, Cranberry Wilderness, Highlands Scenic Highway, and Falls of Hills Creek offer scenic beauty that soothes the soul and enriches us.

I briefly met Dave Sharp some time before the sewage treatment facility arose as an issue. I recall his pride in the fact that General Lee had stayed in the building that now houses his business. It was not false pride; it was pride in place, and in a person's place in time. It's a feeling all too often lacking in this day and age.

It seems to me, along with the environmental reasons to fight the sewage treatment plant, that Pocahontas residents should all band together in this fight in order to preserve the natural beauty and the sense of history that you all should feel. This is a fight worth fighting, because nobody is going to travel from the Philadelphia region to see a sewage treatment plant. We can see that sort of thing in abundance here at home.

George E. Beetham Jr.
Glenside PA