The Eastern Panhandle duo publishes a book on the history of North Mtn. Depot, Allensville Areas | Journal-news
Retired pastor William D. Moore met Laura Fink Sperratore at a memorial service for her uncle, held in Allensville Cemetery about two years ago.
The couple spoke after the service, discussing something that would eventually come to life in the couple’s recent book, “Our Neck of the Woods: Life at North Mountain Depot and in Allensville, West Virginia.”
“Afterwards, we were sitting across the table, having refreshments, and we had this dialogue about generations and the fact that in one more generation people won’t know anything about Allensville and they won’t won’t know anything about North Mountain,” Moore said. mentioned.
After Sperrratore proposed a book, the duo spent a few months before finally deciding to take the plunge.
“If we didn’t, then (this story) would be lost,” Moore said. “The book is an outlet of desire so that the identities, backgrounds and history of these communities are not lost.”
The idea of lost and forgotten history struck Moore, recently, upon encountering an 1835 document of the Tomahawk Presbyterian Church, the dilemma of what to do when it had fallen into disrepair.
“Without this document, we would have no idea what happened or why,” Moore said. “It made me think about the lifespan of memories, the lifespan of documents?
“If a generation lasts 20 years, it does not take too long, unless something is written down or forgotten or not remembered. This book about the North Mountain and Allensville was born out of a realization that if we didn’t write something, if we didn’t post something about these two communities, in the short space of the next generation, only memories would remain.”
In a press release, Sperratore said: “It was realized that with the passing of my parents’ generation, the stories of the people who lived in Allensville and North Mountain would be lost. We recognized the need to bring to life those who lived before us, to tell their stories of love and loss, of success and hardship and how they leaned on each other as a community. This book captures the lives of the generations that we preceded and puts into perspective the sacrifices made during the beginning of this community.
Moore came into the project with a working knowledge of history, having already written a few books on history and having grown up in both fields. Sperratore asked Moore to systematize his knowledge in a way that readers could follow.
Moore said that at one time, North Mountain Depot was a thriving shopping center thanks to the B&O Railroad, the book highlighting the region’s travel.
“At one time, there was the brickyard,” he says. “There was a mill. There were three grocery stores. There was a post office. There was a cold store. It was a very active and vibrant community and it continued that way until about the 1970s.”
Meanwhile, the part of the book focusing on Allensville covers more of the issues of the families and people who lived in the area.
“The Allensville portion of the book is about the family structures, events, tragedies and life that took place there,” Moore said. “The Allensville book only tells stories of families who have gone through a very difficult time. These are personal tragedies that are recorded.”
Moore explained that because Allensville was about a mile from Hedgesville, she had her own school and church, unlike North Mountain Depot. There’s also the graveyard where the whole idea for the book started.
“There’s a map in the book of every family that lived in Allensville at any time,” Moore said. “It was put together by a local historian, Ronnie Good, and his wife, Mary Beth. It’s a detailed history in map form of everyone who lived and the little house they lived in. It’s is just fantastic original research that we have in the book.”
The duo will host a book signing event on April 16 at the Hedgesville Public Library from 1-3 p.m. Books will be sold at the event for $20.