Opinions spark over town’s name change

Tori Mitchem


  Recently, there has been a huge debate in the community as to whether the the town’s name of Bluefield should be changed back to Graham. Many of Bluefield’s citizens have showed strong opinions about this issue whether they are for or against the change.

 When the town was first being created, it was not considered a town nor was it originally given one of the names Bluefield or Graham. The town began to from in the early 1860’s when a small post office named Pin Hook was constructed. The post office eventually received a name change to Harman in honor of a Confederate war hero in 1883. A year later, a man named Thomas Graham came to survey for the Norfolk and Western Railway. He ended up purchasing some land and laying out streets to begin a town. Soon after the post office was renamed Graham.

 There was an election held in 1924 to change the town’s name to Bluefield since it was so close to Bluefield, West Virginia. After 518 votes were casted, the town’s name was changed. This change became official on July 12, 1924. In honor of this change, an event was held to celebrate with an attendance of more than 15,000 people. During this event, to symbolize the “marriage” of the two towns there was actual wedding ceremony held between Emma Smith and L. Wingo Yost. This event received the national news coverage.

 The faculty and staff of GHS has also had their opinions about the name change.

Mrs. Cockerham says, “I’m not from here, but I don’t think the name should have been changed in the first place. I am for the name being changed.”

 Anna Lewis, junior, says, “I don’t want the name to change because I am already so used to seeing the name Bluefield, Virginia.”

 Mr. Blevins says, “I don’t really have an opinion, but I prefer for the name to stay Bluefield.”

 Ethan Stinson, junior, says, “I’m in favor of the name being changed, even if high tax dollars are an issue. We can still get federal grant money.”

 There was a meeting held on November 8 at Graham Middle School to discuss this matter. Most people ruled against the change, and as of right now the decision had been tabled.