There are several hundred people who have shared the stories, images and history of our small corner of West Virginia: Grant District of Ritchie County and the numerous communities located there. Many people have given so much information that it is overwhelming to search or find specifics. This is a web page created from the content of “our” Facebook site, as shared by us all, and organized here in a manner that is searchable and organized (a little). Enjoy this companion to our https://www.facebook.com/groups/cairowv/ known as CAIRO and GRANT DISTRICT WV HISTORY PRESERVATION.
This project is created and driven by the many fine people whose roots lie in and around Cairo !!!
I created and maintain this web site and the related Facebook page. I am Dean Six, born of parents from Cairo. My father’s Six family has lived a few miles out of town since the 1850’s. I am the sixth generation. My mother’s McGinnis family has been there five generations. While I was born in a Parkersburg, WV hospital, at the age of a few days old I came home to live with my family in the town of Cairo. I attended school there for 8 years. I have degrees from WVU, including an undergraduate in history. I have written several books and was the co-founder (way back in the early 1970’s) of the Ritchie County Historical Society. For 15 years I was co-owner one of from one to three businesses in Cairo.
The Cairo I remember was tidy, houses were neat, lawns were trimmed, gardens were large and behind every house. People all knew each other, talked about each other, and were quick to help or support one another.
To say I am tied to the community with roots that LONG preceded me is an understatement. Cairo will always be home for me. I think this is true for many of us who can say we came from Cairo and Grant District.
To those whose roots lie elsewhere or your ancestors were folk in our midst- welcome and share our memories. Preserved here for future generations are our photos, memories and conjecture.
PLEASE explore, enjoy and join us on the facebook page to comment. dean
Only sorta Cairo/ Grant District…here is the long story:
A lot of interest in the past few weeks in the old drive-in movie theater that operated a short time on the hill near the current Dept. of Highways/ between Ellenboro and Harrisville. The local paper has identified it as the Ritchie Drive-In and owned by Perry Dye.
My dad has other recollections of it. He says the mans name was not dye but Dry. Adn he told me he knew the man and recalled him. His home was a tidy house on the Ellenboro street that now is opposite the DQ and leads to the Physical Therapy building. Dad recalls him as Perry Dry not Dye. Dad also told me I owned this man’s Pennsboro High School Diploma? I said no way. He then took me to where the diploma lives in his garage. It came to me in a selection of old papers from the estate of Sadie McGinnis of Ellenboro. I purchased a large quantity of items form the Bogard family who purchased Sadie’s Ellenboro home in the 1980s.
My dad says this was the man who owned the drive-in. His name on that diploma (dated 1910) is Bennevelle Perry DREY. (see attached photos) Dad knew this man and says this was him. DREY not dye or Dry. If he graduated in 1910 he as born, probably, in the first half of the 1890s. By the 1950s, when the drive-in was operating, he would have been in his 50’s.
Further dad related his wife (Mrs. Drey) was maiden name SCOTT and a sister to Mary Scott Smith (whose daughters are on this site!) and a sister to Maime Sandy AND Bess Beckner and he recalls one other sister who taught at WVU (?) SO- can anyone help by addressing the Scott family AND this Mr. Drey/ Dye/ Dry? Dad says the Dreys’s had no children. Can somone related to this family help?
Cairo june 2019. The small building where Sandys did dry cleaning in town for many years. Anyone know dates for opening and closing? The large building faces the B&O / railtrail and was John Sandys store ,a mens clothing store (?) for much of the early 20th century. Who can add to this or share memories?
As of June 2019 this little block building between the rail trail and the road to Overton Heights in Cairo still claims to be the Cairo City Building. The town offices are in fact on main street on the first floor of the Odd Fellows Hall. This building shown was for decades the office and yard for Eureka Pipeline.
Photo purchased from ebay and shipped to me from OREGON. I got a copy not the original- it was listed as Cairo WV so they must know/ have known SOMETHING but no names or dates. Sadly the few I could have asked are now gone…. further proof of the important of a project like this! I will keep chewing away at finding more info-
UPDATE: This picture was taken by traveling photographer Albert J. Ewing, ca. 1896-1912. The original dry plate negatives are owned and housed by the Ohio History Connection. You can view this photo and more of Alberts collection at https://www.ohiomemory.org/…/colle…/p16007coll19/id/1101
Early map of Ritchie County – the green I THINK shows Grant District boundaries…. probably circa 1870s or ? NOTE the “Oil Region” between Petroleum and Volcano, the road is titled “N. Western Pike” and the Railroad comes into Cairo WITH the narrow gage shown going toward the Ritchie Mines (it was not the C&K yet) AND the P.O. (Post Office a bit west of Petroleum is name ROGERS – which existed only a very short time. There does not seem to be much more showing in the district at this early time….
There are three CAIRO dairies that had embossed milk bottles. The most common (which is NOT common) is CC Sears, the second is RIDDLE and we have used a black marker to TRY to highlight the letters on this to make it easier to see. We only have pints from Riddle. The third being D.G.McGregor CAIRO is the only one known- so I guess it qualifies as rare. The Sears bottles come in half pint, pint and quart.
Two of the three sizes of C C Sears bottles from our town. Half pint not shown.
I interviewed Ruth Sears, daughter-in-law of CC, some years ago and wrote her story up as the women who delivered milk while the guys were off to WWII – it was published in the Ritchie county historical society newsletter way back there- if I can find it i will share here. Ruth wife of Ralph. Both active people in the Cairo of my youth.