Mannering, West Virginia

In a valley southeast of Windmill Gap, Mercer County, WV existed a small mountain hamlet in the mid to late 1800s/early 1900s. Farmers, trappers, and settlers lived in crude log cabins in this remote backwoods place called Mannering, VA/WV. One family was named "Manning".. Other families such as Martha and Harvey Peters, Wilson and Elizabeth A. "Lizzy" McComas Bailey, Rufus Allen McComas, James and Rebecca Bailey McComas, Eli McComas (in 1859 owned 100 acres on Crane Creek Branch of the Bluestone) Samuel Taylor, George W. and Sarah M. Taylor, N. F. Heslep, Reece and Sarah Lusk, James Walker, Thomas Crane, Thornhill, and Conner also lived here.
The 1860 Mercer Co, VA census lists a
  • John Manning age 64 who was a farmer
  • Margaret Manning 57 female wife
  • John E. Manning 25 male farm laborer
  • Tobias Manning 23 male farm laborer

  • Andrew F. Manning 27 male farmer
  • Jane Manning 20 female wife
  • Margarete E. Manning 1 female

A letter written to the uncle of Dora Bailey Baldwin - Mr. G. H. Bailey and Family, Mannering, W.Va, on February 7, 1907 was on file at the Regional Coal Archieves in Bluefield, WV. It had been written on letterhead stationary from "New River and Pocahontas Consolated Coal Company, Office of the Superintendent, Pocahontas Division, Berwin, McDowell County, West Va". The early Post Office for this area was located at Mannering. Shortly after the turn of the century coal mining interests began moving into the area. This area of the Mannering Post Office was later called Crane Creek because of the mining operations that took place there. The citizens of Mora wanted the Post Office to be relocated to the McComas area. In 1904 the citizens of Mora partitioned Congressman Kee to move the Post Office. Their wish was granted. A building was constructed that housed the McComas Post Office for approximately 60 years. The last few years a Post Office existed at McComas it had been moved into a Trailer.

In an article written by H. Edward Steele for the COAL Section of the Bluefield Daily Telegraph dated Sunday, January 20 1991 lists recollections from area residents. "Athlane Moody 83, recalls that the first Mannering post office was in a wooden building that also housed the coal company store and offices with Ned Hall as the Postmaster. Later a brick structure was put up for American Coal's Crane Creek operations. Neil Ratliff Lively, like Mrs. Moody now a resident of Rock has similar recollections of Mannering."
"Ken Bowen (of Lortin Lick Road whose hobby is researching the county's history) says Mannering, or Manning as it was sometimes spelled, was the first name of Crane Creek long before the railroad's arrival. The area was fist settled by the Crane, Manning, and Thornhill families, who were excellant hunters and trappers. The creek was named after the Cranes, who had extensive trap lines."
1870 Community of Mannering established
One room log school house, scattered cabins and a few farms existed.
Several deeds I've located at the Mercer County Court House at Princeton, WV.
May 12, 1881 Rufus Allen McComas sold the Coal, Iron, Mineral and Metals of every kind character and description contained on 250 acres of his land for three dollars per acre
May 12, 1881 Wilson S. Bailey sold the Coal, Iron, Mineral and Metals of every kind character and description contained on 230 acres of his land for one dollar per acre. Twenty percent paid in cash and the remaining in equal yearly installments.
May 12, 1881 George W and Sarah M Taylor sold the Coal, Iron, Mineral and Metals of every kind character and description contained on 280 acres of his land for one dollar and fifty cents per acre. Equal installments of 6 over 12 months.
1897 Will Hamlet relocated his sawmill from Spanishburg to Crystal, WV.
1898 Hamlet began construction of a wooden rail tramway so that he could transport his lumber to During, WV.
March 6, 1901 Railroad construction began between During and Crane Creek (Mannering), WV. In order to build its Crane Creek line Norfolk & Western Railroad used much of the same right of way (or in close proximity to it) that Will Hamlet had cleared previously for his tramway.
Click here to view the Mora Circuit News Vol II Supplement, Mannering, W.Va dated September 1918
(Copy obtained November 2001, at The Regional Coal Archieves, Kraft Library, Bluefield, WV)

View of what once was Mannering then Crane Creek/McComas areas taken from Windmill Gap.
(This photo was taken in May 2001 by Pat Smith)

View of what once was Mannering then Crane Creek - taken from Company Store roof looking southeast.
(photo supplied by James Woods husband of Gloria Dickson (formerly of McComas))

View Pats Bailey/McComas Relatives Family Tree
(Family Tree Maker report generated by Pat Smith)

Mannering Road Sign
at the entrance to Church Hollow
 at McComas, WV

(photo by Pat Smith 3/2007)