Our parents thought of towns and communities around Athens as destinations which offered additional shopping, entertainment, and retreat opportunities. As children we grew accustomed to short trips to nearby places. Although Athens had its own grocery stores, sundries, restaurants, hardware, and specialty shops, the surrounding area enriched Our Years in the community. For example, Princeton and Bluefield were larger and offered what we thought was a more cosmopolitan experience.
As teenagers we explored nearby areas without our parents, and with our friends discovered our favorite restaurants, theaters, and stores. We enjoyed Brock's pizza and the first fast food restaurant, Kenny Burger's. The La Von and Mercer movie theaters in Princeton, and the larger Colonial and Granada theaters in Bluefield, extended the entertainment horizon. Seeing a movie followed by a visit to Bill's Drive In, Mooney's, or Thurston's completed many Friday and Saturday night adventures. Princeton and Bluefield were simply assumed to be part of the Athens "night life."
Nearby parks provided a different kind of enjoyment. We visited Bluestone Lake and the park, and were delighted to explore Pipestem State Park when it was developed. The roadside stops were special, too. These included the Speedway Roadside Park, developed around an artesian spring by the State on property provided by the Keatley family, and Pipestem Falls Park north of Lerona. Visiting these parks was often combined with exploring the nearby countryside and other communities including Elgood, Oakvale, Spanishburg, Bramwell, and Montcalm.
The space below is reserved for photographs and short stories that reflect the "extended" Athens experience. Contact us here if you have material to contribute.