A community is defined by its place or geographic location, culture,and associations or relationships. Shaping Athens were its early residents, churchesand organizations, and family businesses which included grocery, lodging and dining, specialty shops, and many services. The initiative of townspeople working toward common goals helped establish strong cultural bonds and led to the growth and development of the community. This division introduces early residents, churches, and commerce as it grew over the years. There is also a selection of common street scenes. At the bottom are two features that reflect on the quality of education and professional life in the community.
Although Athens has of course remained the same place since it was settled and named, the culture and associations that nourishes and sustains community changes over time. This section therefore serves as a bridge between the History of Athens and Our Years, as we remember the community in the 1950s and 1960s, and inevitable Change.
Initiative, Growth, Development and Change over the Years
It is perhaps remarkable that the small town of Athens has given so many of its sons to the medical professions. This realization is positive reflection not only on the sons and the families from which they came, but is testament to the quality of education that has existed in the community, first in the earlier years in subscription schools and Concord Normal School, and in later years in the Athens public schools and, of course, Concord College.
Every story must have a beginning, and this one begins with Miss Ella Holroyd of Athens when she said, “I remember my mother speaking so fondly of Dr. James R. Vermillion, the first doctor to serve the people in the Athens area.” The involvement of the Vermillion family extends from the 19th century when Dr. James Reason Vermillion (1816 – 1882) moved from Dublin, Va. to Athens (Concord Church) in 1845 to establish his farm upon a Land Grant of 1,575 acres. Dr. Vermillion married Elizabeth Trinkle (1813 – 1882), and two of their children, son Stephen Trinkle Vermillion and daughter Elizabeth Sarah Vermillion, each had sons and descendants who entered the medical professions. Read more...
Concord Lodge No. 48 A.F. & A.M.
The Grand Lodge of West Virginia issued a charter for the permanent establishment of the Concord Lodge No. 48, on November 15, 1871, and appointed as its officers: Herbert B. Barbor, W. M.;James M. Killey, S. W.; Robert Gore, J. W.; William H. French; Treasurer; William M. French, Secretary; Charles Clark, S. D.; Albert Nash, J. D.; and Allen Thompson, Tiler.
In addition to the appointed officers, other members of the Lodge, in 1871, were William B. Crump, M. Vincent Calloway, Joseph A. Darr, Timothy P. Darr, Nehemiah Danieley, Samuel Holdren, William Holroyd, William M. Reynolds and Stephen T. Vermillion, making a total of seventeen members.
The Lodge had three permanent meeting places in Athens. The first was established in 1871, the second in 1896, and the third in 1936. Read more...