May 24, 2012 |

Edray United Methodist Church, 1883.

“Edray occupied the Site of Fort Drinnen, a small stockade named for Thomas Drinnen, who settled here in 1774. His cabin was attacked by Indians, his wife killed, and his little son taken captive. Drinnen joined General Lewis’s expedition against the Indians, fought in the Battle of Point Pleasant, and after the war wandered through the Northwest fighting Indians. Many years later he found his son, who had been ransomed by a trader, and returned with him to the settlement.”- West Virginia Writers’ Project, 1941

The community of Edray lies approximately 3 miles north of the town of Marlinton, on Route 219, in Pocahontas County. Thomas Drinnen, son of an Irish immigrant, would have been the first recorded white settler in the Edray area, in the late 1700s. After going off to fight with General Lewis in the Battle of Point Pleasant against the Shawnee on the Ohio River, Drinnen returned to his home to find it ruined, his wife killed, and his son taken into captivity by hostile natives. Drinnen then set off on a long journey and later returned with his son, who had been found near Detroit, Michigan. Returning to Edray, Thomas Drinnen remained in Pocahontas County, owning several thousand acres of land.

Small forts were built in the area in the late 1700s to protect frontier families from hostile Native American tribes, including the Shawnee and the Mingo tribes of the region. Two early forts were built near Edray in the late 1700s, including Fort Drinnen, and Fort Clover Lick. These would have been garrisoned during the Revolutionary War as tensions between native tribes and frontier communities heightened.

The Edray Post Office was established around 1849. Eliza Moore, from a prominent and early family in the area, is credited with giving the town its name, Edray, which was a fortress city from the Old Testament. Her son, George, P. Moore, served as postmaster in Edray for sixty four years, after being appointed by President Pierce in 1856.

The Edray United Methodist Church was built in 1883.  The dedication services were preached on December 9, 1883, by a Presbyterian minister.  Many of the original members transferred from the Hamlin Chapel on Stony Creek. The church is located on U.S. Route 219 near the foot of Elk Mountain.

In 1925 the state road was moved to its present location, running from the Edray Church up Elk Mountain, from its old location running directly through the village of Edray. In 1932, the Edray State Trout Hatchery opened, and continues operating today.


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Category: Elkins to Marlinton

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