The Ritchie County Historical Society was formed in 1973 and was incorporated as a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation in 1976.
Located in west-central West Virginia, Ritchie County was created in 1843 from parts of Harrison, Lewis and Wood Counties.
Named after distinguished Richmond journalist Thomas Ritchie, the county has vast historical significance and continues to be a contender in today's world with growing population, business and industry, and productive agriculture.
The Ritchie County Historical Society, established in 1973, provides historical and educational information about the development of Ritchie County and the significance of its residents.
Our Old Stone House Museum is filled with artifacts and memorabilia from many different periods of the county's history, plus houses a regional genealogy and history library.
David Scott Interview About Rithie County Railroads
We invite you to view our current projects which have been made possible by countless hours of volunteer labor and donations received by our members and interested public.
Our Store offers several publications and maps which will prove helpful to those researching family genealogy in Ritchie County.
Join Us Today and help preserve the history and heritage of Ritchie County.
Officers President - Mike Nichols
1st Vice President - Walt Fleming
2nd Vice President - Annetta Whippen
Secretary- Jane Kraft
Treasurer - Jackie Fleming
Our Mission Statement
The Ritchie County Historical Society, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization for charitable, educational and scientific purposes to:
•Discover, procure, preserve and publish whatever may relate to Ritchie County's natural, traditional, civil, military, literary and genealogical history of interest to this and future generations, and
•Encourage the study of and research into archaeology, genealogy, sociology and other matters of history of this area.
Earlier this year (2017), the historical society heard from Linda Huey, a resident of Alfred, NY. Her Pritchard ancestors had lived in Ritchie County where Wolfpen Run empties into Slab Creek, about five miles south of Pullman. Her great-aunt, Clara Pritchard McGary wrote a history of the family, “Childhood Memories” telling about their life on Slab Creek, their very eventful trip to Wyoming in 1907 and their lives in Hyattville, Wyoming.
After a trip to Wyoming in 1981, Linda also wrote a history of the family life in Wyoming. Also, after a visit to Ritchie County this summer, she wrote an article about the trip and provided more information about the old Slab home place.
All of the articles and information about the Pritchard family are now on the historical society’s website Documents Page. We appreciate Linda’s sharing of these stories and articles about her family. They may help someone connect with long lost cousins and will provide insight to future generations about the effort, energy and enthusiasm which the early settlers displayed as they made a home in these deep woods.
The article on the right, written by Linda, is a brief description of Clara’s story about the family when they lived on Slab Creek. Clara’s story may remind you of stories you have heard about your Ritchie County ancestors….
New Website Addition
“Clara’s description made their home in West Virginia seem like a place hard to leave. Her father, T.T., had married a neighbor girl, Bette Summers in 1878 and they lived on his father’s 400 acre farm that had several buildings that included houses for his parents, his own family, and for a sharecropper/tenant. There was also a barn, a smoke house, and a post office (called Slab).
There were three lovely orchards that included peaches and apples, and gardens that produced vegetables. Their animals included cows, sheep, chickens, pigs, and many horses…saddle, team, carriage, and racing. Each of the children had their own horse, and could ride bareback at a gallop.
The whole family worked really hard, and the farm was self-supporting. They raised sugar cane for sorghum molasses, corn, tobacco, and all their grain for feed as well as for bread. Clara wrote that her Grandfather had a grist mill to grind the grain, and had a blacksmith shop that her father took over. They butchered their meat, milked many cows, sheared wool, and made maple syrup. Chestnuts and blackberries were plentiful.
Her mother, Bette, made their soap, knitted all their stockings and mittens, and wove cloth for winter dresses and blankets. Sometimes her Grandma Summers, who smoked a clay pipe, would come to help Bette with her “sittin work” such as mending, knitting, and quilting, and would also churn 8 or 10 pounds of butter at a time.
They sold their surpluses to a traveling peddler. There were neighbors and friends on nearby farms, church and school, picnics, spelling bees, box suppers, music...and life was full of joy and adventure.” Read More
Old Stone House Museum
Pennsboro B & O Railroad Depot
Pennsboro B & O Depot Trailhead
Earlier this year (2017) our president, David Scott, provided a program on Ritchie County railroads to approximately 75 visitors at North Bend State Park. The next day, the park invited local folks to hear the program and the attendance that day was 99. Although our railroads have been gone for many
decades, they are still a subject of much interest. So much so that David was invited to present his program in St. Marys at a Pleasants County Historical Society meeting. He also then presented it
at a Ritchie County Historical Society meeting at the Pennsboro Women's Club building.
Apparently word gets around as David was contacted by Gary Bowden with the WAJR AM Radio station in Clarksburg, WV. Gary interviewed David on August 1, 2017. The interview is about 12 minutes in length and may provide you with some interesting information about our railroads.
All of the county railroads were not discussed in the interview. Just so you'll know, David reports there were 8, possibly 9, railroads in the county as follows: 1. Northwestern Virginia (B & O) 2. Calico (to Ritchie Mines but not Macfarlan) 3. C & K (to Ritchie Mines & Macfarlan) 4. P & H - Pennsboro & Harrisville (Name changed to Lorama around 1905 and line built to Pullman) 5. Harrisville Southern 6. Laurel Fork & Sand Hill 7. Buky Run RR 8. Bear Run RR 9. (Possibly) Eureka-Cochransville & Cornwallis (the E-C & C started at Eureka, below St. Marys, with intentions of reaching Cornwallis).
The Old Stone House is temporarily closed for repairs. The Ritchie County Historical Society is accepting donations for the repairs.