Arbovale was named for one of the first settlers
in this valley, Micheal Arbogast, who was given a land grant in the 1800's.
The first post office was established June 20, 1899. The first postmaster was Christopher C. Arbogast. At that time our mail was carried by horseback from Hightown, Virginia by the way of the Stauton-Parkersburg Turnpike to Travelers Repose. From there it was carried by mule to Arbovale and on to Cass. The saddlebags of mail had to be held high when the mule waded across the Deer Creek and Greenbrier River.
The first contractor to carry mail by mule was Charles Lee Burner. His carriers were Charley Hidy, Charles Maverly, Harry O'Brien, and Madison Mullenax. After the roads were better, they used horse and buggy to transport the mail.
In 1901 the first train came to Cass, and the new road was built in 1905. Thereafter the mail was taken from Arbovale to Cass by truck; two trips a day -- one in the morning to meet the train for incoming mail, and one in the evening for outgoing mail. The carriers were John Williams, Joe Hamed, Cecil Arbogast, Mrs. Markwood Gum, James Simmons Sr., James Simmons Jr., and Dewy Ervine.
At that time there was also a mail route from Arbovale to the top of Buffalo Mountain, and back. This was carried by horseback for many years, sometimes in temperatures of twenty below zero, with four to six feet of snow. On some days the man and the horses just couldn't get the mail around. The carriers were Martin Judy, Lee Ervine, and Herbert Sutton. At that time twenty families lived on Buffalo Mountain; only three are left now.
Unfortunately, on February 19, 1998 the U.S. Postal Service abruptly closed the Arbovale post office, on the grounds that the building in which it was housed was unsafe. To my knowledge there are no active plans to replace or repair the facility. Post services have been transfered to the Green Bank office. Thus endith almost 100 years of operations.
The following is a list of Postmasters from 1899 to 1998:
|Christopher Arbogast||June 20, 1899|
|Henry M. Hannah||Fenruary 10, 1904|
|David O. Woods||January 16, 1905|
|Jesse Lee Lambert||August 2, 1909|
|Miuta S. Woods||June 17, 1911|
|Edward B. Lambert||September 24, 1918|
|George P. Kerr||May 7, 1920|
|Mrs. Lillian C. Sutton||January 22, 1923|
|Mrs. Marie Ervin||October 1, 1947|
|Leonard C. Wenger||February 19, 1954|
|Beatrice B. Sheets||August 25, 1954|
|Evelyn F. Sutton||February 6 1958|
|Bernice E. Taylor||October 18, 1980|