Beech Fork is a great little camping spot. Stayed there two summers ago. I knew little of it’s history. However, my friend Nau know’s the history all too well. You could say it is part of her family’s history.
Beech Fork Lake is a 720 acre reservoir located near Huntington, West Virginia. It is a flood control impoundment authorized by the Flood Control Act of 23 Oct 1962 and was constructed by the Army Corps of Engineers in the mid 1970s. It was dedicated in May 1978. Located on the adjacent hill is Bowen Cemetery.
According to Wikipedia: Some tombstones in the park’s Bowen Cemetery date to the 18th century; and family names adorning Civil War graves can be seen on roadside mailboxes even today. Government appropriation of private land for the lake caused rancor among locals with historic land holdings. The Beech Fork strain of Adkins family (appropriately known as “Beech Fork Adkinses”) was largely driven out to the Huntington metropolitan area. So numerous were these displaced persons that townsfolk joked about an “Adkins factory” at Beech Fork which mass-produced persons of the surname.
My friend, Nau is one of the line of displaced Adkinses. She and I traveled to Bowen Cemetery today and walked among the graves.
The page below is from “relocation of Certain Cemeteries to Bowen Cemetery 1975”. The last four lines are from (top to bottom) Nau’s Great Uncle, second great Grandparents and third great Grandmother.
The original documents involving the seizing of the property:
There was thirty pages of individuals who har property/graves seized. On the following page, Cynthia Lucas is Nau’s great Grandmother. Her Parents, Brother and Grandmother’s graves were moved.
Additional photos from today’s walk: