Hometown in Putnam County, West Virginia — The American South (Appalachia)
A Park for the Coal Miner
Hometown Park can trace its existence back to at least the 1920s. In 1918, Hatfield and Mitchell Coal and Mining Company bought the Apha Mine located nearby on the Little Guano Creek. The mining company provided a small piece of land as a place for recreational and leisurely activity for mine workers. The superintendent of the mining operation was William C. Mitchell, which led many to call the park “Mitchell’s Grove” or, when shortened, “the Grove.”
“The Grove” outlived the mining industry in Putnam County. After World War II, the park stood as the only established roadside recreational site for miles around, offering a place for picnics and family gatherings for residents of Putnam County and surrounding communities as far a way as Mason and Kanawha counties.
Mr. Meeks at “The Grove.” After losing an arm in a coal mining accident, local resident Christopher Columbus Priddy worked in the 1940s as caretaker of the park. A decade later, Hometown resident Herbert H. Meeks, 2ho was also a disabled coal miner, served in the role of Park
Water Fountain ca. 1950. The park at Hometown provided many visitor amenities not to be found elsewhere. For example, the presence of a water fountain made “The Grove” enticing, as no other regional parks could boast running water.
Photos [on the marker] courtesy of Mr. Guy Meeks.
Erected by West Virginia Humanities Council's Rivers to Ridges Heritage Trail.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Parks & Recreational Areas. A significant historical year for this entry is 1918.
Location. 38° 31.729′ N, 81° 51.447′ W. Marker is in Hometown, West Virginia, in Putnam County. Marker is on Charleston Road (West Virginia Route 62) south of A Street, on the right when traveling south. It is at Hometown Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Hometown WV 25109, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Coal Mining in Putnam County (here, next to this marker); Andrew & Charles Lewis March (within shouting distance of this marker); George Washington (within shouting distance of this marker); Washington’s Land (within shouting distance of this marker); Kanawha Valley Drag Strip (approx. ¾ mile away); Historic Hoge HouseThe Civil War in Putnam County (approx. 1.8 miles away); Putnam County War Memorial (approx. 1.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Hometown.
Credits. This page was last revised on August 12, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 26, 2015, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 388 times since then and 42 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on July 26, 2015, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.