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The Pocahontas County Opera House

A performance hall comes full circle since its beginning almost a century ago

Video Multimedia. CLICK HERE to see the Pocahontas County Opera House.
The Pocahontas County Opera House.

CLICK HERE to see the Black Mountain Bluegrass Boys.
The Black Mountain Bluegrass Boys.


By Megan Bowers and Jessica Rhodes

At the corner of Third Avenue and between Eight and Ninth Streets, in Marlinton, W.Va. you will find a large buttercream-yellow building with arching white painted windows and wooden double-doors.

The hanging street-side sign reads “Opera House, circa 1910,” but this building has hosted more than traveling acts and local bands during its near-century. Local residents remember the building as a car dealership and a lumberyard longer than they remember it as a performance hall.

The Black Mountain Bluegrass Boys:
A Family Tradition

The Black Mountain Bluegrass Boys are a Pocahontas County legend with three generations of musicians in their hometown band. Richard Hefner, leader and banjo player has been in the band since it’s inception in 1968. The band started when Hefner’s uncle Glen “Dude” Irvine, who despite being disabled by polio, taught his brothers and nephews how to play various instruments. After Irvine’s passing, the band continued and generations have come and gone. They have played all over the United States and Europe, but they always return home to Pocahontas County.


The Black Mountain Bluegrass Boys Current Members:

Richard Hefner – Banjo

Chris Nickell – Guitar

Mike Smith – Bass

Jeff Hefner – Mandolin

The Perley Isaac Reed School of Journalism
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