ALLISONIA (Reid Island)


Allisonia was named for the pioneer ALLISON family. A post office was established in 1872 and was originally located about a mile up the river. William Cassidy was the original postmaster. The town was then know as Reid Island. Among other families who first came to the Allisonia
region were the CALFEE's, the FARRIS's, the NUNN's, the TIPTON's, the MOORE's,
the CARNAHAN's, the COX's, the LINDSEY's, the HURST's and the SOUTHERN's.
Allisonia was a boom town from 1884 to 1934. With the coming of the railroad, the town served as a shipping point for sawmills from as far away as Carroll County. Pulpwood and mining props were delivered by horses and wagons to the station for shipment.
At one time the town boasted a theatre, three churches, two barber shops, one automobile repair, five general stores, a post office, three mills which ground corn and wheat, four iron ore mines, five paint mines, two schools (one for whites and one for blacks), one lumber yard, a tan bark shed and two hotels. Among the pioneer physicians were Dr. Fugate CLARK, Dr. Joseph TIPTON, Dr. J. C. HURST and Dr. Bruce CLARK.
Allisonia had always been a trading center. Sam CROCKETT operated a store for a number of years when the post office was located on Reid Island creek. Perry NUNN and F. R. CALFEE were other pioneer merchants. Established in the area was the plant of the American Pigment company, which was established as an out growth of the old mining operations. Ochre used as a filler for paint is found only in the seams of iron ore so numerous in the nearby mountains.
In 1916 Allisonia was the scene of a great flood which will long be remembered by the inhabitants. The waters of New river rose up above the 60-foot stage that year, washing away several residences and doing great damage to property. Cattle haystacks and hog pens were swept downstream by the water which almost overflowed the railroad tracts.



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