High Times in Corton
community of Corton, West Virginia, located along the banks
of the Elk River approximately 27 miles northeast of Charleston,
existed officially from 1927 until 1988. Corton still exists
in the minds of the few inhabitants who live there, but it is
now only a shadow of what was once a very prosperous, bustling
The north side of the Elk River where Corton would blossom
was originally settled by one Ralph Smith. Ralph was his given
name but he was evidently known far and wide as "Rafe."
He laid claim to a large tract of land in the late 1700s. This
tract encompassed what was to become the business side of the
community of Corton.
"Rafe" was evidently a brute of a man who carved
a good life out of the rugged wilderness that had just recently
been vacated by the Indians. Among his descendants, there are
many surviving stories of his great physical strength and overall
abilities. The ice house that he built from huge timbers survived
and was in use until the early 1900s. He made a good living
from the land. That was no small job during his era.
Some time during the early 1800s, Hiram Samples and his brother
Sam arrived in the same general era.
This is a 60-page history of the Corton/Cornwell Station area.
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