The Great Turkey Drive
Abilene and Amarillo had their great cattle drives;
Christiansburg and Cambria had "The Great Turkey Drive."
Once a year, farmers from southern Montgomery County, especially those
who lived out Five-Points Road, which connected Christiansburg to
Riner, drove their turkeys to Cambria to put them on a train and send
them to market. While no photographic evidence has been found of the
event, we have an eye witness who swears that the turkeys were driven
down Main Street and Franklin Street in Christiansburg and then over
the hill on Depot Street and down to the station. The turkey handlers,
called gobblerboys, raced after stray turkeys and stray youngsters
who happened to relieve the turkey handlers of ownership of their
fowl. Given the number of turkeys in the vicinity of Montgomery County,
it is not, therefore, surprising that Virginia Tech is the proud home
of the gobblers, although there is also no record of turkey drives
from Blacksburg nor that there is any connection between Tech and
the south county turkey farmers.
Baseball in Cambria
Baseball has a long and storied history in Cambria,
although certainly not at the level of Elliston, where the Elliston
players took on a professional team from either Baltimore or Philadelphia
(the story escapes us). Close your eyes and on a hot summer evening,
you can still hear the shouts of "come on batter batter"
in the Cambria Grove. If you listen close enough, you can still hear
the thump of a fist in a baseball mitt.
It's anyone's guess how many kids learned to play baseball
and football at the Grove in Cambria. While it is not officially a
park, the property has been used for kids recreation for years.
Puzzles and the Like
Cambria Word Search. Hot off the presses. Whether you are
an adult or a child, the Cambria Word Search is a way to spend a few
minutes and learn something about Cambria.
School Yard Games
According to Barry Akers, one of our best local historians,
Weller Baker School, at 1175 Cambria Street, was built by T.G. Moore
in 1935 on the site of the Cambria Primary School, which burned in
1933. His father attended classes in the Cambria Hardware building
after the fire, while Weller Baker School (named after the hardware
store owner) was being built, and attended school there after it's
completion. Weller Baker is fondly remembered by those who attended
classes there. "When I was in high school, you could still here
people call out "Weller Baker" in the halls when they would
see someone that they had gone to that school with." The building
is now occupied by the Montgomery County Public Schools Service Department.
What kinds of games would have been played at Weller
Baker in the 1935? It may surprise you that the games played at Weller
Baker are probably the same ones played in the 1960s and the 1990s,