agriculture, Appalachia, coal, farming, history, Logan, Logan Banner, Pennsylvania, Point Marion, poultry, West Virginia
From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this interesting item about a transition from industry to agriculture in Point Marion, PA, dated August 19, 1927:
HOW A FARMING COMMUNITY WAS BUILT AGAIN
Glass factories and coal mines had kept the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker, and the banker busy the year round in Point Marion, Pennsylvania. Hired men left the farms, followed by the farm owners, to get their share of the attractive wages. Suddenly labor saving machinery was brought in to the old hand method window glass factories. The coal business took a drop and hundreds of people had to find new employment. Savings accounts dwindled. Deposits of the two banks dropped off almost a million dollars. “Bring in more industries,” was being sung at luncheon clubs all over the land, every town seemed to be advertising unlimited water supply, cheap fuel, and free factory sites. Competition was keen and the reward doubtful.
The question came, “Why not stimulate the agricultural pursuits of the community which have lain dormant so long?” Farm income might be increased and production costs lowered in many instances. The first move of one of the banks was the purchase of healthy chicks. These were furnished by the bank at wholesale to interested farmers, payment to be made by note payable in six months. The bank followed through by aiding in the dissemination of culling and feeding knowledge and by helping to market the cockerels, which in most instances paid the initial cost of all the chicks.
When the pumpkins began to turn yellow, plans were laid for a great community exhibit. Besides the poultry display, farm produce exhibits from the surrounding country were entered. Altogether it made an impressive exhibit, bringing home the lesson to Point Marion people that there were great undeveloped opportunities within their own dooryards which they had overlooked.
The annual exhibit will be continued in the future by the bank. A horse show is sponsored, better seed corn and seed potatoes are made available to the farmers for planting, and the bank will continue to build agriculture in the community as a sound basis on which to work. “It will probably be some time before we shall see larger fruits of our endeavors,” the banker says, “but we are looking ahead ten to fifteen years.”
For more about Point Marion, PA, follow this link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Point_Marion,_Pennsylvania