August 7, 2013
DELBARTON – Nestled in the center of Mingo County is the Town of Delbarton. Overseeing the goings and comings of this town is a Mayor with twenty years under his belt and a committed and dedicated town council that works diligently to move their community into the future. Recent additions and renovations that have been completed prove their quest has been a successful one.
Several years ago, a park was constructed on top of Buffalo Mountain that bore the name of a beloved resident of Delbarton, W.H. Compton, who served as the pastor of the Delbarton Regional Church of God for many years. After the Mingo County Commission assumed control of the park and renamed it as part of the Hatfield and McCoy Trail System, the leaders of the Town of Delbarton had a dream of creating another park and using W.H. Compton’s name once again, honoring a dear friend and neighbor. With a lot of hard work and help from numerous individuals and organizations, that dream is now a reality; although Mayor John Preece will be the first to tell you it’s still a work in progress.
“We’re so pleased with the results so far, but we’re still not done with this project,” stated the mayor.
The “W.H. Compton Park at the Elk Creek Bridge” sits on property that was given to the town by the Coal and Crane Mining Company. It is the result of labor, time, finances and community support. Complete with a paved walking track, picnic shelters, trees that will be beautiful when they bloom in the spring and a well maintained creek bank running alongside the creek that just beckons you to grab a fishing pole and sit a spell, the park has been deemed as a success and a welcome addition to the Town by those who have utilized it.
“Just the other evening, someone told me they drove by the park and there were close to twenty-five people walking the track, fishing, and using the picnic shelters,” remarked Delbarton Councilman Mark Sizemore. “That’s exactly what we wanted to see happening. We wanted to create a place for people from all over the county to enjoy, and I feel like that’s exactly what we’ve done.”
The track is now fully paved, and measures a little over a ¼ of a mile (1650 ft.). According to Mayor Preece, if you walk the track from one end to the other and back again, you will have walked approximately 1 ¼ miles.
“In the near future, we’re going to be installing restrooms, at least one more picnic shelter and playground equipment for the kids,” said the Mayor. “I want families to be able to come here and spend the day knowing that there’s something for everyone, no matter their age.”
One of the latest additions to the park was the installation of street lines that line the walking track. The town council expects Appalachian Electric Power to hook electricity up any day now, making for a safer environment for those who prefer early morning or late evening walks.
The mayor stated that he wanted to thank the County Commission for their support on the park, as well as the Judge’s Work Program and Commissioner Dave Baisden for their assistance keeping it maintained.
“We invite everyone to come and see the park, but plan to stay a while when you do,” said Councilman Joe Crum. “Once you see how warm and inviting it is, hear the sound of the creek and see the deer who sometimes make their presence known, and take advantage of this great place to get your daily walk in, I guarantee you’re going to spend a little time and make plans to come back.
In the future, the picnic shelters will be able to be reserved for parties and family gatherings. More information will be provided in the future as further additions are added to the W.H. Compton Park at the Elk Creek Bridge, as they are released to the Daily News.