In the early 1930s, there was a lot of activity in Wyoming County. Although the country was in the grip of a terrible depression, folks were still trying to make a living. A few enterprising businessmen were still opening small stores and shops. Business might not be booming, they thought, but families still had to have food and clothing as well as basic tools and other necessities.

In 1934, J.K. Beverly, a prominent merchant in Wolf Pen for many years, opened a store on Main Street in Pineville across from the court house. It was this kind of venture that helped the county fight its way through the depression.

The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was begun to recruit and provide training and employment for young men who were faced with few opportunities. At the same time, they provided many public services, especially in reforestation and in fighting forest fires.

In early 1934, 18 Wyoming County young men were to report to the CCC camp below Pineville for training and duty. Among the inductees was Russel Beavers, later a fixture in the sheriff's office for many years. Also on the list was our long-time next door neighbor, Everett "Ram" Collins. Many of our older friends had a lot more interesting life than we had imagined.

An interesting little news item at the time related how the wife of assistant superintendent of schools Virgil Stewart was injured when their car went into a ditch. Back then, many car doors opened from the front. When Mrs. Stewart noticed that the door on her side was not latched, she opened it to slam it shut.

Big mistake.

The wind caught the door and the force caused the car to swerve and to go into the ditch. Fortunately, Mrs. Stewart was not seriously hurt.

Some years later, Virgil Stewart would become president of Concord College and his wife would teach art there.

It is hard to imagine now, but lack of revenues caused the county to declare an "indefinite holiday." The state asked the county to reopen the schools and were confident that revenues would be forthcoming. Some teachers and principals showed little confidence that the money was coming and resigned.

Interesting times.

Email. Sportspaige30@gmail.com.

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