Appalachian Thursday – Roots of the Mountain

roots contract

Even as I’m looking forward to the release of The Christmas Heirloom on October 2, I’m excited to be working on my next full-length novel tentatively titled Roots of the Mountain. I signed a contract with Bethany House for two more Appalachian stories with the first releasing in the fall of 2019.

And for the first time, I’m writing about ACTUAL places in West Virginia. My story is set in the southeastern part of the state, specifically Thurmond, Ronceverte, and White Sulphur Springs–all rail towns.

White Sulphur Springs is best known as the home of The Greenbrier Resort. The resort opened in 1778 when guests came to “take the waters.” The year of my story–1930–is when the current hotel was substantially rebuilt and refurbished. But this part of WV really only gets a cameo. The bulk of the story is in Thurmond and Ronceverte.

And here’s the cool thing about Thurmond–in the 1920s it was a thriving coal town with a bustling population and lots of ritzy visitors. Today, it’s a ghost town with a population of FIVE. For years, it was accessed primarily by rail and even today getting there involves a harrowing drive down into the New River Gorge. But the town IS STILL THERE. The National Park Service owns it and it’s something of an out-of-the-way tourist destination.

Ronceverte was a thriving coal and lumber town, also on the rail line. There’s a particularly lovely depot built in 1915. The name of the town, incidentally, is French for greenbrier–the name of the county and a prickly plant common to the area.

I’m about to finish the first draft of this story and I’ll be sharing more as I go along, but for now I’m just calling it Jonah meets the Hatfields & McCoys! Looking forward to sharing the whole story with you in about a year . . .


Published by Sarah Loudin Thomas

Author, wife, child of God.

17 thoughts on “Appalachian Thursday – Roots of the Mountain

      1. I guess they did. This is what Wikipedia had to say: “In 1871, it was decided to rename the town Sulphur Springs and market the area as a health resort due to the healing waters that flowed beneath the surface of the Northeast Texas soil.” They went on to talk about how visitors and settlers came, a railway was built. I’m glad you asked, because I’ve driven through there all my life and never knew any history. 🙂

  1. 🤗 CONGRATS!😁 You keep going
    Lady!! Absolutely CANNOT wait!!
    All the mentions in your writings of WV keep bringing back buried
    memories that I have forgotten..
    I luv that. :)) God will keep blessing
    you & you in turn keep blessing the
    readers! Thanks!! 🙏

  2. Congratulations! Whenever we go to state parks and I read the signs about the history of the place, I always come away wanting to nevelize that history. I’m happy for you that you get to do just that. 🙂

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