Dedicated to Raising a Monument in 2009 to Jeremiah and Mary Solesbury,
Clover Bottom-Spanishburg Pioneers and Progenitors of the
Shrewsbury (Shrewsberry) Families of West Virginia
2009 will mark 200 years since the death of Jeremiah Solesbury (about 1755-1809), the patriarch of the Shrewsbury Family of West Virginia. With his wife, Mary Elizabeth (Clay) Solesbury, Jeremiah was among the earliest British and European pioneers to the Clover Bottom-Spanishburg area of Mercer County. At a time when the region was marked by the dangers of both wild beasts and Indians, the bounty of the land was enjoyed only after the considerable hardship of clearing the land, planting and harvesting crops, and providing shelter for one’s family. But Jeremiah, Mary, and their offspring managed to prosper amid such dangers and hardships. Today, after 10 generations or more, their descendents are spread throughout West Virginia, and the greater United States.
The grave of Jeremiah is marked by only a rough-hewn stone in the small Nubbins Ridge Road Cemetery lying off of Beckley Road, Spanishburg. The grave of his wife is unmarked but presumed nearby. In recent years, since the passing of John Maxey — local resident, teacher, and family historian — in 1994, the cemetery has fallen into some neglect and obscurity.
To mark the 200th anniversary of Jeremiah’s death, we propose to raise a small-scale monument honoring Jeremiah, Mary, and their children, at the Nubbins Ridge Road Cemetery, with an appropriate formal dedication of the monument to be held in Spanishburg during the summer of 2009 (date to be determined).
A three-dimensional model of the proposed monument may be viewed on the internet (www.SolesburyMonument2009.org). The monument is to be a prism-shaped stele standing about 5 feet in height, set just behind Jeremiah’s original grave stone and integrated with the original stone in order to better preserve and support it. The monument will feature a commemorative inscription on its main face, and the inscribed names of the ten sons and daughters of Jeremiah and Mary on its other two faces. The monument stone will be cut from granite, and will weigh about two tons.
The cost of the proposed monument stone and installing it at the Nubbins Ridge Road Cemetery is currently estimated at $8,000-to-$10,000. To raise this sum, we invite donations from Shrewsbury family members and other interested parties throughout West Virginia and the United States. Please send your donations to:
Solesbury Monument 2009 Fund
c/o Jo Ellen Lagowski
585 Tank Branch Rd
Glen Morgan, WV 25813
(Please make checks payable to “JS Monument 2009 Fund”)
Any excess funds raised by the Fund will be devoted to defraying the costs of the 2009 dedication, and/or upkeep and improvements to the Nubbins Ridge Road Cemetery.
The progress of the fund drive will be reported on the Solesbury Monument web site (click here). The final plans for the 2009 monument dedication will also be found on the web site, along with an interactive guest book for exchange of Shrewsbury family information, and any comments or questions.
Finally, in early celebration of the Jeremiah and Mary Solesbury bicentennial observance, we invite Shrewsbury family members to an informal family gathering to be held this summer, in [MONTH] at [Camp Creek State Park (Camp Creek, WV)]. Plan to bring your family, picnic food, and some Shrewsbury family memories or stories to share. Also, please contact a monument committee member to register your family or to express your interest in attending the Summer 2008 gathering. Further details will be posted in the coming months through community announcements and on the Solesbury Monument web site.
Solesbury Monument 2009 Committee
Jo Ellen Lagowski, Glen Morgan, WV
Hollie Price, Winchester, VA
Dean DeRosa, Arlington, VA