Bulltown, W.Va. . . . by Lars O. Byrne
Byrne Family Reunion
My father, Charles Allen (Al) Byrne, was born in Sutton in 1907, the son of Charles
Morgan and Anna Berry Byrne. In the late 1950’s and early 60’s I can remember only
a few trips to Sutton and Braxton County. Those trips were to Sutton, Sutton Dam or
the then recently relocated Sterrett Cemetery. Dad never mentioned Peyton, John B.
or John other than to show me the grave markers at the cemetery. For years I thought
our family history only revolved around Sutton and newspapers there.
I had done Civil War research around my grandmother’s father, James M. Berry [Cpt.
Co. G (2nd), 25th Regiment Virginia Infantry Volunteers] and by doing that I found out
that I also had two Revolutionary War officer grandfathers [I have long stopped trying
to figure out how many great-great’s to use] – namely Benjamin Wilson and William
Haymond. Only in the past several years have I learned of the Byrne family at
Burnsville (Lumberport), Bulltown and Falls Mills.
I picked Bulltown as a stop on the car caravan tour only because it was close to Bee
Run where the picnic will be held. I was familiar with the historical area of Burnsville
Lake because of my Civil War reenactment activity there. I also knew my good friend,
Ken Connell, would give a great tour of both the Civil War part and the Cunningham
farm and make the car tour worth the effort.
So only recently have I begun to put the pieces together. The Byrne family of the 18th
and 19th centuries, along with their extended families and friends, are key players
here. I knew that John B. Bryne married Ann Haymond but only discovered this past
weekend that Ann’s sister, Phoebe [Phebe], married Moses Cunningham. Ann
Haymond Byrne’s father was Col. John Haymond. Even further back is the second
husband of Clary Byrne, Samuel’s widow, who married David Stone. Stone was a
personage in Preston and Monongalia counties and had surveyed the country around
what would become Bulltown around 1800.
Braxton tax records show John B. Byrne paid taxes on the Saltworks at Bulltown. The
W.E.R. Byrne letter says John B. began operating the saltworks there around 1822.
The Burnsville Dam historic review papers say the works there had been in operation
during the War of 1812 but production had hit a bottom around 1822-23. Evidently
John B. had something to do with its resurgence. The present-day historic area at
Bulltown showcases the Cunningham farm, the Civil War fort and relocated buildings
on the far side of Millstone Creek. The area where the relocated log cabins etc, is
where the Corps of Engineers' study says was the site of the tannery, and it was
noted in the study that the land was purchased from John B. Byrne for that purpose.
What’s the connection with one of best grist mills of the county at Falls Mills and Col.
Haymond? After the Civil war it was sold to a man from Preston County, a son-in-law
to one of the Byrne sister's there.
And how is the story of the Indian raids and Capt. Bull massacre at Bulltown relate to
the Byrne family movement west out of the Northern Neck of Virginia?
I am only now beginning to look through the Braxton County histories, Historical
Society Journals, papers at Bulltown museum [Mr.Connell’s group runs the museum
there] and anything else I can get my hands on to put this story together for our Byrne
Family Reunion. I'll post some pictures as I find them. There are pictures of Bulltown
and Falls Mills on the West Virginia University Libraries’ web site under it's Regional
Library Collection. Go to the search engine http://images.lib.wvu.
sid=dfb9ae01c2447b4401d55d88bf588db4 and put in “bulltown” or “falls mills” and
take a look. I will also put information here as I get it together.
LOB—18 February 2007.
|Mouth of Oil Creek At Burnsville once denoted
the property of Peyton Byrne
|Site of relocated log cabins at Bulltown Historic Area was once property
of John B. Byrne and later the location of the tannery at Bulltown
|Grist Mill at Falls Mills On Little Kanawha
River was established by Col. John
Haymond, father of Ann Haymond. Ann
married John B. Byrne. The river and father
time have all but eliminated the land area
of the old mills to the left of the falls
and below the cliff face.