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.