Friday, March 18, 2011

Bower Cemetery at Twin Falls State Park

 Hamilton (Ham) Bower (b.1817) and his second wife, Virginia (Jennie) Ray Bower, moved into a house built circa 1835 (which is now the Pioneer Farm in the Twin Falls State Park) in the year 1866. 

Originally from Ashe County, North Carolina, Ham and his oldest son, Charles from a previous marriage, fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War.  After the war, Charles was never heard from again, but Ham made it home to North Carolina only to find himself in poor health and his farm in badly need of major repair.  So...he and Jennie packed up their children and set off for the newly formed state of West Virginia. 

In addition to Charles, Ham had another son from his previous marriage named James Frank, who went by Frank.  Jennie, having also been previously married, brought with them her youngest daughter, Clarissa (Clara/Kate).  The family was also comprised of two other children shared by both Ham and Jennie, Jefferson David (David) and Robert Lee (Lee).

In West Virginia, they bought some land from whom it is believed to be Peter Belcher, which quickly became known as Bower’s Ridge.  While in WV, two more children were born to the couple, Wiley Columbus and Cynthia.

Ham’s health never did improve, and in 1869 cousins came and took him back to North Carolina where he died and was buried.  Jennie and the rest of the family stayed in West Virginia.  Jennie died in 1902.  With the exception of only one son, the rest of the couple’s children are buried in the family cemetery.

In 1895, Wiley married Christina (Teenie/Tina) Belcher and took over the house and the farm.  In 1915, presumably to make room for the couple’s 10+ children, Wiley expanded the original house, building a 7 room frame structure around the cabin.  Wiley died in 1959, and when the state began clearing land for the new state park, plans were to demolish the house.  As demolition began around 1965, the original house was discovered and it was decided that it should be preserved.  Today, it boasts the title of one of the county’s oldest standing structures.

Today, both the cabin and the Bower family cemetery are rumored to be haunted.

Photo from Find-a-Grave contributor, Old Hokie


  1. ther is a playground in twin falls and it is full of childrens graves with all of the deaths around the same time period just wondering if anyone has info on this

    1. We conducted a ghost tour a couple years back in this cemetery. We got direct responses to questions on both the k-2 meter and the spirit box at the grave of the only adult buried in the cemetery. We also caught a huge pink orb on camera. Due to the responses we got and the fact that it seemed to get angry or hostile, I believe what we encountered to be a cemetery guardian. Thomas Moseley West Virginia Paranormal Inc.


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