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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Runs, Creeks, Hollows and Licks

I got an idea for a blog post this morning by listening to my husband on the telephone.
To put it kindly, my husband likes to gab. Once he gets started, he'll talk about anything and everything to anybody and anyone.

He got to talking to this lady on the phone about hollows (or hollers as we sometimes call them) and how they got to be called that.

According to him, they were called hollers because in the old days when people wanted something from a neighbor, needed a child to come home for supper or such they would go out on the porch and holler. Well that was a new one on me. I had never heard of that before.

Though, I will admit, our families did a lot of hollering from the front porch when I was a kid.

So this is my post about Runs, Creeks (or Cricks), Hollows (hollers), Ridges and Forks of rural WV.

I lived in rural Kanawha County, WV before marrying and moving to Jackson County. In Kanawha County, I was mainly used to Creeks and Hollows.

I grew up on Tuppers Creek and Tate Hollow. And there was Happy Hollow, Bonham Hollow, Jenkins Hollow, Fore Hollow, Derricks Creek, Allen Creek, Alum Creek etc. etc. I could go on and on.

There was also Forks and Branches. Edens Fork and Haynes Branch in the Sissonville area were named after my early ancestors.

Well in Jackson County there is an abundance of Licks, Runs, Forks and Ridges.

You can't travel to the big town of Ripley without seeing lots of little roads, creeks, and hollows along the way.

Some of the common Licks are Grasslick, Stonelick, Claylick . . . .

And then there's the Runs. Joe's Run (my friend and fellow blogger Granny Sue speaks of Joe's Run often), Mud Run, Turkey Run, Crooked Run, Bar Run, Bear Run, Cow Run, Drift Run, Skull Run, Buck Run. . . .

And add to that the Ridges. Angel Ridge (which is right down the road from where I live), Stone Ridge, Divide Ridge, Fishers Ridge, Nobel Ridge, Alpine Ridge, Bibbee Ridge, Dutch Ridge, Foster Ridge, Poverty Ridge, Zion Ridge. . . .

We also have Forks. Dog Fork, Trace Fork, Dudden Fork, Dry Fork, Elk Fork, Tug Fork, Sarvis Fork, Laurel Fork. . . .

I just had to add this picture of an old firetruck
that's rusting away at the foot of Tug Fork road.

And yes we have Hollows and Creeks in Jackson County, too. Mill Creek, Sugar Creek, Peppermint Creek, Sycamore Creek, Wolfe Creek, Jens Creek. . . . Frog Hollow, Kay Hollow, Barn Hollow, Squash Hollow, Spruce Hollow, Long Hollow. . .

I am happy to live in Appalachia with all the colorful language and place names. I can only imagine the stories behind the origin of some of these places along the road.

Hope you enjoyed the tour down my neck of the woods.

Do any of you live up a Creek or a Hollow? or maybe a Branch?

Do any of you locals have any more names to add to my list?


  1. Janet, I am homesick....I miss West Virginia so much. I now, live in a place with names like "Osprey Landing" and "Pelican Cove," but I used to live in West Virginia with Hollers named, Fredrick holler, Litton Holler and Howard holler. We had licks and runs, too. Grandma and Grandpa lived on Coal Run. We waded in Buffalo creek, drove across Pond Creek and Joe's creek. Thanks for reminding me of those wonderful days spent at Chattaroy, West Virginia.

  2. Don't forget that rivers, creeks and runs also have beds. Everyone where I'm from talks about crickbeds, and runbeds.

    I used to live in a place called Johnson Holler. We now live up on the mountain in Monkeytown, and we used to get water up at Deep Holler. Down the mountain a ways there's a place called Roots Run (although local people pronounce it "Rooch"). The term Bottom is also common. The area where we are from used to be called "Buffalo Bottom". As far as I recall, we don't use the term "lick" up in Pendleton County.

    Down where Shirley's from they have alot of Branch's. The little place where she's from is called Coon Branch. It is also known as Matheny Bottom.

    We also refer to the day we met as the day that "Coon Branch met Monkeytown".

    Good post Janet. You always have the best things on here.

  3. Janet, I can't add much to the post because we come from the same neck of the woods.

  4. My husband's family is from Kentucky and he often talks about playing in the hollar. Thanks for stopping by my blog! Have a great week.

  5. Well, I'm not a local anymore. But growing up in WV, I remember all these things.
    Pinch Ridge
    Dutch Ridge
    And I lived at a place called Stoney Lonesome Hollar that was off of Grannies Creek in the Roane County area.
    I miss these names and the area I'm from.

  6. Great post Janet!! I live in Wilson Holler which has Stamey Branch running through it. My community joins the community of Martins Creek. Here we have hollers, branches, ridges, creeks-not so many licks or runs though.

  7. How interesting! What amazes me is how people knew how to get around in all that terrian. Love that these identifications are still used even on the signs:)

  8. I live on a lake but it doesn't have a colorful name like those so I think I'll just rename it! It's pretty small and is part of a river so I'm gonna call it Bush's Crick! blessings, marlene


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