Sharp Family History


The Sharp Farm at Slaty Fork in Pocahontas County, West Virginia has roots stretching back to the 1700's when William Sharp, Sr. made his way over the mountains from Tinkling Springs, Virginia. His parents were some of the early settlers there, (now, part of Staunton) at a Presbyterian community where life revolved around the "Meeting House". The King of England didn't like Presbyterians much, but he had a problem...Native Americans. They were defending their land against the colonies. The King offered land to my ancestors to create a 'buffer zone' around the colonies. Indeed, William's parents were both killed, the sad result of many skirmishes.

As orphans, William and his siblings were taken in by various folk in the community and, in exchange, worked for their keep. Having learned a trade, a now grown William Sharp made his way to the area of Huntersville (now WEST Virginia) and built one of the first dwellings. His son, William Jr., settled a few miles away in Edray where he became a prominent citizen. William Jr. purchased a large tract of land in what we now call Slaty Fork on the Elk River and later deeded it to his son, William, III. (my great, great, great grandfather.).

William, III built a log home for his family that is still standing like the day it was built. (located behind our store). His son, Silas, a former Civil War prisoner, survived and started a life with a new built house on Slaty Fork creek. That is where my great grandfather, Luther David Sharp, (L.D.) was born. They lived on an old dirt road called the Huttonsville Turnpike. In 1884 L.D. persuaded his uncle to lend him $15.00 and began purchasing goods like silk scarves and ink from folks passing by. He bought from one and then sold to the next traveler.

He began using his mother's bedroom as a base for his store but soon found it necessary to build a small place. Before long he needed a larger building. In order not to lose any business during construction, L.D. built the new two-story building around the still open original store. When the new building was done he simply dismantled the old one and took it out the front door!

In around 1930 the state abandoned the old dirt turnpike and built a macadam road nearby called The Seneca Trail (Rt. 219). A new store was built and we are still in business, in continuous ownership for well over 100 years!

Over those years there was tragedy, loss and triumph! One of the more recent challenges was an attempt at eminent domain for a proposed sewer plant. We were very fortunate to have the help of the community. Many, many organizations and leaders helped us through those long years. The battle was won and the future looks good!

If you would like to know more about the Sharp Farm at Slaty Fork a site remains on the web as a reminder of the hard fight for our future and contains many photographs and much history. (our thanks to the generous host)