Featured, Local History, The Centennial History of Hurricane

Centennial History of Hurricane: James and May Wallace Family

In 1988, The Centennial History of Hurricane, WV was published to commemorate the town’s 100th anniversary. Since the Centennial History is now out of print, the Breeze is reprinting articles from the book as space allows. This week’s selection will be the 237th installment of the Centennial History.


Submitted by Rebecca Wallace Konduros

It was cold and snowy outside in Hurricane, West Virginia on January 24, 1949, but inside the two story farm house upon the hill, there are lots of warmth, love and excitement. The homeplace of James and May Wallace was greeting the arrival of their granddaughter, Rebecca Gay Wallace, daughter of Arthur David and Beulah Estep Wallace. Wondering about all the excitement was older brother, Danny, and sister, Connie.

Hurricane always held happy memories. There were always lots of relatives enjoying family dinners. I remember playing with cousin Mary (Banks) Moss and my sister, Connie. We used to play under a large weeping willow tree in front of the house. Sometimes we would climb the hills on the farm and pick persimmons from the tree upon the hill, now long gone. I often went with my Grandpa Wallace over to the barn to feed the pigs, which were later slaughtered and hung in the smokehouse out back of the house. My grandpa called me his “Bacon Girl,” because I loved to eat bacon. I always sat on a little white stool by him at the head of a large dining table and was always asking him to pass me more bacon.

Christmas was very special with so much meaning, not commercialized as it is today. I appreciated a bag of candy, fruit and nuts, perhaps a pretty handkerchief from my grandparents.

When I was about eight, Interstate 64 came through my grandparent’s land and they moved to town on Virginia Avenue, where they bought another two story house. My parents worked hard and long hours painting and remodeling the house, which turned into a beautiful home. Grandma had the front porch covered with beautiful flowers in coffee cans. It seemed like anything she put out bloomed beautifully. She had lots of white flowers which reminded me of her beautiful white hair.

Grandpa would take me to Billups’ Grocery and sometimes I got to go to the drug store for a Coke, which was a real treat. I went skating at the tent rink on Route 60. My brother Danny and cousin, Burt Banks, worked there one summer.

Hurricane holds the best childhood memories anyone could ever want. I am proud of where I was born, but even more, I am very proud of my parents and grandparents. I am glad that I grew up in a time when children were raised in a home full of love, were taught morals and learned to appreciate the value of life.

When I was 15, my father was laid off from the coal mines in Logan, West Virginia, where we lived. We moved to Shreveport, Louisiana, which is where I live now with my husband, Steve Konduros and step-son Steven, who is 15. My husband and I are both in the medical profession. My husband is an Independent Medical and Pharmaceutical Sales Representative. I am an Office Manager and Doctors Assistant for three Dermatologists. My parents and my sister and her family also reside in Shreveport.


A digital copy of the Centennial History can be obtained from the Hurricane City Hall for a small donation. For more information, call the City of Hurricane at (304) 562-5896.

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