Picture contributed by Bob Meadows
The community began to boom with the coming of the railroad. The station at New Richmond was the natural geographical outlet for a large area to the outside world. It became an important shipping point for agriculture products, livestock and timber while merchants and citizens received most of their merchandise and farm supplies at this station.
At the time of the formation of Summers County, New Richmond rivaled Hinton as the commerce center of the new county and there was a short lived attempt to establish the county seat at this point.
There was another New Richmond on the C&O in the State of Ohio so in order to avoid confusion the railroad named the station Sandstone and for several years the Post Office and station had different names but in 1915 the name of the Post Office was changed to Sandstone. The name Sandstone came from the rock quarry of that native stone which was located on the Richmond land near the present Junior High School. When the Washington Monument was being constructed in the nations capitol, a stone was requested from each state to be included in the monument. the stone from West Virginia was secured from this quarry and in 1884 it was placed in the monument.
During the late 1800's and early 1900's the community was rapidly settled with most of the activity revolving around the railroad. There were several passenger trains each day and in addition to those people arriving and departing, there was always a crowd of onlookers. This along with the freight, baggage and mail being loaded and unloaded made each train arrival an exciting event. Almost daily, local freights picked up cars of lumber, logs and cross ties from the side track and occasionally livestock was picked up from the stock pens. At the same timie, the railroad was setting off cars of flour, fertilizer and other merchandise for merchants to unload.
The first drug store in the county was operated by Dr. Samuel WILLIAMS at New Richmond during the construction of the C&O Railroad. John A. Richmond had the first store. This store and post office was located in the lower end and later was moved into a three story building near the depot where it was operated by his son, John William RICHMOND. Other early businesses were: a planing mill first owned by the GRAHAM brothers and later by Calvin HONAKER. J.A. GRAHAM and Charles LUSHER had a mercantile business and this was later sold to Lon TULLY. Jeff WITHROW had a store on the hill. O.T. HONAKER had a small general store on the Rt. 20 side of the tracks before this road was paved and later moved into the J.A. GRAHAM building. For a while there was a movie house operated by LUSHER and WINGFIELD. Sam GILLIAN opened a store on the hill and John GILLIAN had a store on Laurel Creek. S.C. CANTRELL had a store about 100 yards up the tracks from the depot. George GILLIAN had a restaurant across the tracks from the depot and later Sam GILLIAN opened a second store in this building which was operated by his niece, Mrs. Eula KIBLER. For many years, Bill and Babe SIMMONS operated a store in the lower end that was later demolished during the construction of I-64. J.C. and Mary HONAKER were probably the most enterprising business people in the community for many years. J.C. first had a livery stable and after the coming of the automobile, he had a garage. Jess and Mary took over the mercantile store from his father, operated a taxi service and for a time operated a bus line from Hinton to Rainelle. Dr. Samuel WILLIAMS was probably the first doctor, later a Dr. RIFFE had an office in the lower end. Dr. J.W. STOKES began his medical practice at Sandstone and Dr. J.T. JOHNSON had an office in the Cantrell Store Building. Jess TAYLOR and Lonnie BURDETTE had barber shops. Willa HUDDLESTON SURBAUGH operated the Tea Room. The Fairmont Cream Station was operated by Warren HUDDLESTON and later Mattie GRAHAM. Simon CALES had a blacksmith shop on the hill and later a store at this point. Emmett and Elmer GARTEN took over the store from the HONAKERs and this store together with the post office and two homes were demolished by fire in 1961.
The building was re-built and in recent years stores have been operated by Charles W. BOYD, Bill HOLT and Jim Tom TOLER. Some depot agents were: Oather BURDETTE, J.A. GRAHAM, Luther RICHMOND, A.E. BALL and Fred HUDDLESTON.
Sandstone was a thriving community through the middle of this century but in recent years it has lost much of it's commerce and population. As the passenger trains were discontinued, the depot closed and was later demolished. The High School was consolidated into Hinton High School and a community that supported as many as five general stores at one time was at times without any.
ADDENDUM to above: Interstate 64 is now completed and there is a Sandstone exit. The Sandstone High School is no longer used and was demolished in the summer of 1999. Students now attend Summers County High School.
Visitor Center - Opened September, 2003
Visitor Center - Opened September, 2003
Summers Co. WVGenWeb
Copyright @ 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 Amber Dalakas