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Robert McCormack -Histoiran

Robert McCormack -Histoiran

The main purpose of this web site is to recreate (preserve) the once vibrant community of Cherry Tree where we grew up.  It was a comfortable, nurturing environment where neighbors looked out for each other.

Remember the gray school with the white trim; the oiled floors swept with sawdust; the water fountain in the center of the foyer-boys bathroom on left, girls on right; candy sales from Sally Gore’s cloakroom, the little curtains at the bottom of the tall windows, prints of “Little Boy Blue” & “Pinky” in Mrs. Von Péchys’ room? ( I recently saw the originals at the Huntington Library in Pasadena, CA).

 The two room Cherry Tree School and the Pilgrim Holiness Church had great influence on that little community.  It was a busy place with 4 grocery stores, three gas stations, a large bakery, donut shop, bottling company, body shop and various other businesses.

The character of the community began to change when the new boulevard took one complete row of houses and the two room school along Island Creek.  When Cherry Tree School was torn down the community began it’s decline.  The new road also added to  reoccurring floods.  Those two issues along with a struggling economy lead to the demise of that one vibrant community. As you browse through the Cherry Tree Gallery of pictures and look at the backgrounds, you will notice some familiar homes and businesses that no longer exist.  They bring up many memories for me.  I’d welcome more pictures of cherry Tree as it existed in the 1940’s and 1950’s.

 Be sure to check out the old Guestbook for entries from people you may know who have Cherry Tree roots. (These entries were from my old cherry Tree web site.)   Don’t overlook the picture galleries of Cherry Tree and The Pilgrim Holiness Church as well as Mt. Gay School.  My special thanks to Frank Thompson who has helped me get this new site up and running.  His site covers Whites Addition.   Growing up aross the creek in Whites Addition and attendng Cherry Tree School, he also shares an interest in Cherry Tree.  You may contact me directly at:  lhswildcat1968@gmail.com       or  760 320 6272

                                                                                                              __Robert McCormack

Introduction by Paul Dyer

Paul Dyer

Paul Dyer

It seems that as we grow older, we inevitably come to the realization that there really is a limit to the number of days we have to exist upon this world. And it seems that with that realization come remembrances of things past, people and places that we once loved and were a part of.  Time, that abominable thief of memories, stops for no one and, as we age, purloins more and more of our essence.  Our thoughts turn ever increasingly toward home.

Home is more than a place to lay your head or hang your hat. Home exists in the here and the now: this place where we live our lives day by day but home also exists in the past. Those of us who are not native to our present “home” sometimes cannot understand the ambivalence of those around us who are “home”.  It has been said that a West Virginian will always be a West Virginian, no matter which part of this world they may find themselves.  The strong attraction to those hills and hollows will always have an irresistible pull towards home with its sweet memories of what once was.

Home to me is that certain someplace where I was raised: the little community of Cherry Tree, a place that, if suburbs existed at that time, would have been considered a suburb of Logan, West Virginia. It’s a place where, during the summer, the sun does not peep over the eastern rim of “the mountain” until around nine o’clock. It is a place where you never really see a sunset unless you can climb the nearest mountain to witness the grand spectacle that is spread out before you as the sun goes down behind the western ramparts of “the mountain” well before darkness creeps in and softly covers the mountains that surround you with a star-studded, soft, velvet spread.

But children never pay much attention to the rising or setting of the sun and during the summer vacation from school, time never meant a whole lot to us; we were blessed with the assumption that those halcyon days would never end and that each new day would bring a new challenge or surprise.  We arose when we wanted, we ate when we wanted and we went to bed when we wanted. My parents expected certain attitudes and behavior from me in exchange for the latitude they granted me but it truly was a small price to pay for the total freedom that I experienced as a child.

Cherry Tree was an ideal environment for boys to grow in –sometimes on the banks of Island Creek and sometimes under Island Creek.  Cherry Tree nevertheless provided myriad havens of opportunities for adventurous small boys. There was always “the creek” and “the mountain”. Can you imagine a place without fences? Can you envision a place where there were no man-made obstacles, only those created by nature and we never considered those to be obstacles, only challenges? If we could not go over it, we would go around it and if you could not go around it or over it, chances were that you were not supposed to be there anyway.

There was what was called a tram road some distance up the side of the mountain that fronted Cherry Tree.  I should explain that a tram road was cut into the mountain side where a seam of coal was located.  Then huge boring machines would arrive to drill huge tunnels into the coal seam.  We were never quite brave enough to find out how long those tunnels were.  It’s the place where boys could and would climb large beech trees and gorge themselves on the small beechnuts the trees would provide so abundantly.  At the end of the tram road, various paths branched off towards raspberry and blackberry patches where we boys, and sometimes girls, would go to pick the wild berries to take home for our mothers who would serve up those wonderful blackberry cobblers.  I recall a forsaken apple orchard on the mountain that also served us well. Then too, dark “hollers” provided us with the renowned paw-paw trees which were not really trees like the magnificent oaks, poplars and beeches but more like overgrown bushes that provided a succulent treat after being sweetened by the first few frosts of approaching winter.

Progress they say is wonderful and that may well be true but sometimes progress has a fearful price to pay.  On a visit back to Cherry Tree with my sisters, Phyllis and Elsie, several years ago, I was staggered by the changes that had been wrought to the little community.  The Island Creek that figured so prominently in my childhood, a stream that I recall was wide enough to float boats and car tops in was no more but had become a mere brook that a person could very nearly just step over. I can remember actual creek banks that were sandy and a creek large enough to swim in and catch fish out of.  The changes were so dramatic that, on the same visit as we crossed the mountain on a super highway through Mt. Gay we arrived at a stop sign where my sister Phyllis asked, “Where are we?”  And I replied, “This was Fisher Bottom and you were raised just over that bridge ahead of us; that was Cherry Tree!”

Needless to say, most of the little community was simply gone. In its stead were mining equipment shops and such. What few houses remained looked absolutely ancient. The alleys and byways we children traversed to the little two-room school house were no more. The Fisher Bottom previously mentioned, across the creek from Cherry Tree, of course ceased to exist in the early sixties when the “boulevard” was pushed through and road construction was, by its very nature the major reason why the place I grew up, the place that I call “home”, exists only in my memories. No, you can’t really go home again. Things change, people change and we ourselves change; only in memory can we return once again to what we once were.

♫ My Misty Mountain Memories ♫
Words & Music by Paul Dyer
(Cherry Tree’s own talented musician)
Paul’s YouTube Videos


Home Page — 61 Comments

  1. Robert,
    I noticed that your wedsite contains some of my ancesters.
    Mary “Emzy” Hatfield Riffe was my gggg-grandmother. (she was also the neice of Anderson “Devil Anse” Hatfield.This is also the branch that produced Vernal Riffe of Portsmouth,Oh who was Speaker of the House of Ohio for many years.
    Peter Duzan was my gggg-grandfather. His daughter Rachel married Eli Cooper of Kehoe,Ky.(Tygarts Valley) Eli and Rachel are buried in the Cooper cemetery(Kehoe).
    Their son Ransom Winchester Cooper married Harriet Elinor Pogue,daughter of William Lindsey Pogue and Carolyn Roach (#1722 in “Descendants of Robert Poage”) of Ashland and Maysville,Ky. William Lindsey Pogue’s first wife was Ann McCormick,daughter of William McCormick of Frederick,Va.William Lindsey was born at Harrodsburg.His grandfather and grandmother (William and Ann Kennedy Wilson Poage came into Kentucky through the Wilderness Trail with Daniel Boone in 1775. I was born in Kehoe in 1944 and moved to Marion,Oh in 1950.Feel free to call at anytime.My cell # is 419-231-1281 and my home # is 740-387-92756.


  2. I lived in Cherry Tree in about 44 to 46 and went to school 2 nd and 3rd grade , i think these dates are about right . We lived in the corner house across the road from the bakery and across the ally fromNapiers . We lived with my grandmother Cora Forbes and had a aunt and uncle that lived in the log cabin in the next ally back.
    I was a couple of years ahead of my brother Eben Staggs his picture is in one of the class pictures. We lived there when the bakery burnt . Thomas Staggs

    • I was born in Cherry Tree, May of 1942 to Sallie Curry We lived w/ Wayne & Stella Curry. We moved to Whites Add. when I was 4 or 5, I went to school in Cherry Tree & Mt. Gay I remember my grandmother talking about the Napiers. Any information on any thing concerning these families would be greatly appreciated. e-mail me at baptistcouple51@aol.com thanks Janice Curry

      • Janice: I remember you and your grandmother quite well and I believe you were one or two grades behind me at Cherry Tree Grade School. Memories of your grandmother walking to church from Whites Addition are still imprinted in my mind. She once kindly gave me advice about a girl I was dating. She didn’t think the girl was a good influence on me. :-) Do you have any pictures of the Curry family to share?

        • from logan west va. live in holden 21 and logan ave dad name was john g brown mom ruby m brown brother bucky// lee a brown live in cherry tree pass 8/26/14 in logan for me i move to ohio in 1980 still here but logan allways be home

  3. I did live not live in Cherry Tree but just down the road at Mt. Gay. My house was at the curve you took to go up the road to mt. gay post office etc.
    i spend a lot of time in cherry tree working for joe chirico grocery.

    I remember climbing the mountains around cherry tree picking apples.

    I had a lot of friends who lived in Cherry Tree.

    • My dad worked for Joe Chirico as ameat cutter from 1948 to 1952.Manford Adkins[Tiny]him an my mom Carrie Adkins lived across the street in an apartment.Fred an Lou Richards lived across from the RC cola plant later National cable.Myrtle Tomlin lived next door,picture of her son Ray in high school years sophmore junior,1954,1955.Sid was her husband.David Lee Tomlin lived in the upper end of Cherry Tree.There was alog cabin next door to the Richards an old lady lived in i forgot her name but my mom knows it.Dingess lived there later i think.Feel free to call 1-740-646-1976 might be able to give some info.Reading comments my family has spoken over alot of Cherry Tree .I never lived there was only a place to visit 2 sundays out of the month by my mom and dad.They lived there early in life an moved on.


    • Phillip, I went to school with Peggy Nagy. Did you know her? I graduated in ’70. I just wondered whatever happened to her.

    • I lived in Cherry Tree above the post office around 1958 or 1959 I was( 9 ) then and I walked to Nagy’s store for my Mom a lot.

  5. Howdy Y’all, Me again, I need information on the Sheppard family that lived in Cherry Tree. I have been working on this side of me for so long I am forgot who I really am. LOL! I am looking for anything stories, photos would be wonderful. I can’t seem to find anything on them Bessie and Lewis and children were Fred, Wayne, John L, Frank, Harrison, Tom and Martha then 2 older was Ernest and Florence who’s last name was Pack they were half siblings. I never met Florence. All of the family are gone now. My dad Fred was the first one to leave us and my uncle Harrison was the last one. I didn’t get to spend much time with them for so unknown reason. I just want to pass information down to my kids and grandchildren. Thanks in advance. Jeanette Adkins

    • Hi Jeanette, if you go to familysearch.com you will find the
      1940 census for the Lewis Sheppard family. It states that
      Lewis was born in 1894 in WV. It lists all of the Sheppard
      family names you have & a Willis which you don’t have.Its a
      free site,you can get a copy. Take care.Bob Piros

    • Hello Jeanette,
      I Know several of the Sheppard family from Cherry Tree, John L. had 3 daughters i grew up with and went to school with. I remember Martha and Harrison also. I have John L.’s middle daughter Connie’s daughter added to my Facebook page. If you are using Facebook you can message me there and i’ll connect you with John L.’s daughters. Hope this can help you. :)

    • My sister dated Frank for we lived in cherry tree and mt.gay for years and it was in the late 50’s and until the flood of 1963 and we moved to Logan e-mail me or call me on my cell phone 919-901-2726-i answer all calls w/ a 304 area code i will/or would love hearing from you and thank u………….

      Susan Stewart

    • Frank was married to my Mom Evelyn Dorton I remember Grandma Bessie when she and I knew Donald Pack Ernest’s son I have often wondered what happen to Donnull and his last girl friend Judy Stevens.

  6. Thank you to all of you who have written and told of Logan county. My name is Derek and and currently live in Canal Fulton, Ohio. I have always lived in Ohio, but my parents were both from Logan born and raised. I still have family there. Although this may make me seem so distant I ve got to say Logan seems like home to me. I always spent my summers in Logan with grandparents aunts uncles and cousins. I remember those allys in Cherry Tree. Kick the can. Walking to Jimmy Chericos. How the flood waters were always a scare. I had family up at 15 Mudfork. The Pullens Kenny and Jessie were my grandparents. Family in Cherry Tree there the Williamsons. Ervin and Ethel. The Munceys Bertha. I always am trying to find more on my family and there heritage. The time we always spent during holidays always making that trek several times a year and how we walways hated to leave. The tram road you speak of. There is family I had at Sunbeam and Ethel.
    There are the Currys, Webbs of Holden, Fred Pullen, The Sprys, There was a Donald Curry who has since passed. If anyone remembers these names or people I would Love to hear from you. You can email at dpullennw@gmail.com Thanks for your time! Derek Pullen

    • My grandparents were Lucy Evelyn and Dexter Webb. My dad was Richard (Dick) Webb. They lived in Logan, Cherry Tree, Holden area forever!

        • Tara: In junior high his friends began calling him “Dick” but I always thought of him as Richard Lee. Sometimes we would go with his grandmother to the post office at Wilkinson. We used to ride out bicycles together. Lucy Evelyn drove us to boy scout camp one year at Chapmanville. Both of us were in junior and high school band together. We were good friends. Do you have family pictures pertaining to Cherry Tree that you would like to share?

        • Tara, I was so sorry to hear of your Dad’s passing, I lived next door to “Granny” Harrell which was next to your Grandparents Webb’s, last saw your Dad in the “70 when he stopped by my house in CA while he was in the Air Force. Lots of history with the Webb family. Glad you found Robert’s site.

      • My great aunt and uncle had lived in cherry tree their whole lives.There names were Fred and Lou Richard they lived next door to a log cabin I think the lady who lived there was named Dingess.This was across the street from the rc cola plant.Lou was close to 90 when she passed away, Fred also they passed away between 1979 an1981.I can’t remember what year , but they had lived there all their lives at least since the 1920s.By any chance did you know them?

          • Visiting Logan on 10/20/15 drove thru what was Cherry Tree ,sad,sad 0nly house standing that remembered is across from the rental center.gray house vinyl siding.the road used to be dead end now u can drive onto 73 there.It was my great uncle and aunts home .Had a lot of child hood memories there.Their names were Fred and Lou Richards that lived in the house that is gray vinyl sided.Used to be creek gravel roads ,sad sad.Does anyone remember David Lee Tomblin ,This was Lou Richards nephew.

        • Sorry not rc cola plant but my great uncle Fred and great aunt Lou Richard lived directly across from national cable. The pic in the gallery of national cable seems as if was taken from their front yard.wow remember that veiw like yesterday.

    • Hey Cousin Derek, I am Susie Daughter of Dana Muncey. I was just researching this site looking for some of the same.
      My Husbands Father Was Arthur Browning, Son of Brookie, brother of Charley, I was looking for info on his grandfather. Charles Browning
      If anyone has any info On Charles Sr Please email me At Danielle.S.Browning@gmail.com

  7. my grandmother and step grandpa ada and milford long used to live in cherry tree next to the picorillo station I used to stay with them often

    • Debra: As I recall, the Milford Long family lived the first house above the school. I remember your grandfather quite well and would see the Longs as I attended the Cherry Tree school. The school was torn down about the time I was leaving WV for college so I don’t remember where they lived next. After a whole row of houses and the school were torn down to make room for the new road I remember seeing the Picorillo station when I would return to Cherry Tree for visits. Do you remember Jimmy Herald? He married the daughter of Milford and I don’t remember her name. Jimmy’s mother was a half first cousin to my Mother. Do you have any pictures of your grandparents to post on the site? Lhswildcat1968@gmail.com

  8. This Note is for Paul Dyer. Your Family has been on my mind lately, I was telling my wife about you all and asked if she could find you. And She did. Yeah, I’m Billy Booth and I’m still around.We live above Monitor. A place called Frog Town. Beside Monahill Church. I am very sorry to hear about Sharon.

    • Hey Billy Booth. If this is the same person I knew You lived behind my grandmother Ethel Williamson and Uncle Raymond. I am Raymonds sister Juanita son Derek a little fat guy if you remember me. Just have been looking for family in that area and seen your name . thought I would say Hi.feel free to write back. Derek

  9. My dad was Ronald Owens,brother’s were Clyde,Eddie,Billy all passed. Sister Audrey Lou, Frankie. They all lived in Cherry Tree.

    • :-) As a kid I remember getting a loaf of hot, unsliced bread fresh from the cooling rack and taking it home where we relished it with butter. My brother, Ronnie, worked at the bakery as a teenager racking the hot bread.

  10. Researching the Richard Gilliam family 1600 in New Kent, from Vestry book, thence to Goochland/Buckingham counties. Entered into the Gilliam/Glover Bible was the death of two McCormacks, Sherwood & David. Their land was adjacent to Epaphroditus Gilliam. It appears probable, on the Bible entry, the McCormacks were either family, or less likely good friends.
    It also seems possible that a McCormack daughter married into the this Gilliam Family.
    If able to shed any light on this, even if it lacks documentation, a comment would be most appreciated.

  11. I was born in Fisher Bottom in 1951. Our home and land was purchase by the state of WV to build the blv. My father, Leon Young had our home moved on a flatbed truck to Whites Addition. Many memories growing up in Fisher Bottom and Whites Addition and my Cherry Tree friends, the Tillers and Nagy families.

  12. I grew up in Whites addition until 12 years old.Ihen moved to Huntington I now live in nc.If you remember me look me up on facebook.

  13. Hi, my name is Bill Nord, the son of Lewis and Annabelle Nord–early(1940’s to early 1950’s) residents of Cherry Tree. My family have deep roots in Cherry Tree. My grandmother was Maude Ward, commonly known as Mrs. Ward. She ran boarding houses all over Cherry Tree. She was one tough lady. She lived in the Log Cabin at one time and ended up living next door to the Sunbeam Bakery. That’s another aspect of Cherry Tree I remember well. My mother and father both worked at the bakery and I seem to be there as a very young child quite often. Mom worked in the upstairs cake and pie area, while Dad was the bread mixer. I spent many an afternoon watching Dad mix bread dough, put it in tubs on wheels and roll them into the low ceiling room where the dough would rise and get punched down. But that’s another story. When the bakery closed, Dad took a job delivering bread in the Holden area. I spent summers washing the bread trucks on Saturday afternoons.
    I never really formed any lasting friendship in Cherry Tree since we lived at Godby Heights and only visited my grandmother when school was out. The only boy I remember was Billy Erlewine(sp) who live directly across from the bakery. I do remember Jimmy Kidd that worked in the bakery office. I also remember going to Nagy’s grocery and Jimmy Chericos. I also have a fellow coworker that also lived in Cherry Tree named Victor Kidd. Someone may remember him.
    All this was “long, long ago and seemingly far, far away”……..

    • Thanks for posting, Bill. I remember your grandmother, Mrs. Ward, as I used to deliver papers. My brother, Ronald, worked at the Bakery as a teenager in the 1940’s. Enjoyed reading your description of yours Dad’s job of mixing bread dough. I remember seeing him in his white uniform and white hat. I certainly remember Billy Erlewine and Victor Kidd. Victor lived in the upper end beside the ESSO station. i wonder if your Mother remembers working with Mrs. Piros? She worked in the Bakery Department as well as Mrs. Atkins. Cherry Tree was once a bustling little community.

    • Bill Nord, my name is Linda Kidd Egnor and I remember your mom and dad very well…my dad was Jimmy Kidd and we lived right across the street from the bakery in the corner house…I also remember going upstairs in the cake and pie area and watching your mom and Mary make the cakes and icing them…they even let me taste the icing…lol…when I was born in ’47, we lived in some apartments close to the bridge and moved to the house across from the bakery…I also attended the little 2 room school with 3 grades with Billy Erlewine, Elsie Dyer, Lana Gore and so many other friends..when the flood came in 1957, we moved to Maple Lane and went to Mt. Gay Grade school…living in NC now…look me up on FB Linda Kidd Egnor, if you are on there…

  14. Went to mt.gay elementary school 1st thru 5th grade 1948 to 1952. Moved to Roanoke, Va. Christmas of 1952. My Grandfather owned Dehaven’s Transfer at Monitor Juction and the new bridge and highway took his building. Does anyone remember any of the DeHavens. Richard DeHaven at rdehaven4@cox.net

    • I was very young but I remember Dehaven’s transfer when it was in Cherry Tree and I remember seeing the Dehaven family but don’t remember their names. Do you have pictures from you Mt Gay School days? You would have been a year or two behind me as I went to Cherry Tree grades 1-4 and then Mt Gay grades 5 & 6. Would love to have more pictures of the Dehaven family. You can scan and send to lhswildcat1968@gmail.com

    • I was married to grandma Booth’s younest son son Danny Wright I live in NC but am from Cherry Tree, Ernest And Ruth Dehavens Long -David-Bruce-Robert-Carolyn Patty I think Robert & David now run Dehavens in Durham,NC I don’t see them anymore but my brother Ralph grew up with David and all of then and still see’s David and Robert.

  15. I went to Cherry Tree School in the first grade either 1948 or 1949 We lived in a little house next to a gas station I think owned by Nagys I remember a swinging bridge by our house going over the creek people would come and be fascinated over that bridge we moved to Crooked Creek when I was in 2nd grade

  16. My parents grew up in Cherry Tree – Dana Edmondson and Billie Dingess. The Edmondson house is one of the few houses left there. My grandmother, Maude Edmondson may have taught Sunday School at Pilgrim Holiness Church. My grandfather, Simon Dingess was Clerk of the Court for Logan County.

    • How neat to hear from you. i remember your grandmother Maude Edmondson quite well. She was my Sunday school teacher and we missed her when the family moved to Ohio. You grandmother, Zeva Dingess, became county clerk after her husband, Simon, died. She was a kind, sweet lady. I guess you were named after her. Pete Edmondson was a pal of my brother, Ronald.
      Robert McCormack

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