Sept 4 1976 - Good article with info on Bankers Club history and Thurmond in the 1970s
am o h o Rh. micron Ded an churc wife of M \vh Northwest Arkansas TIMES, Sunday, SÂ»pt. S, 1976 Â· FAYKXTEYlUr, ARKANSAS Dodge City, East Thurmond Restored THURMOND, W.Va. (AP) -- liis Tonne- "Dodge City of the "jiisl," after years ol neglect, ias come full circle. The Dun Glen Hotel, where a '1-year poker ganie and gcncr- lly bpvdy activity took place arly in this century, bunu'd in 930. But a hustling Whitewater afliiig business has risen in its "nco. The National Bank of Thurmond failed in 1932. h u t now Irsktne and Jackie Putfh run lie Bankers Club, an unusual lotcl ,inl restaurant, in the original stone and brick build"I really think they're sur- jrised Â· \vlieii they come in ici'c." Mrs. Push'said, taking :mo out from making frcsl strawberry ice cream, "This is just tike finding a palace in the wilderness." Finding (he Hunkers Club is often the hardest p a r t . Thur niDiid, a Chesapeake Qhi Kaitroad center thai declined in population from 1.000 to 8 when nearby coal mines failed had no roads leading to H unti the 1920s. It is now reached b; a narrow road twisting Lhrougl t h c F a y c l t e County hollows. The road ends abruptly at hurtnond'a edge. To tho right I s the Dun Glen Grocery and| Vitdwatcr Expeditions Unlimit- l. Straight ahead is a railroad ridge over tho tumbling New Uvcr with a narrow wooden ftcithought locked onto one Ede for cars. Across that is tho railroad yard and, down and across the racks, a narrow sidewalk past onic shells of buildings. At the ^nd is the four-story Banker Club, facing Thurmond's "Main ~lreet," the railroad tracks,' Until Iwo years ago, the Bankers Club also was abandoned shell and the Pugtis ,verc running the Dun Glen Grocery, as they had for 41 .'cars. But Jon Dragon's Wildwaler 'irm was bringing adventure- lovers from all over the East to Thurmond, and (he Puglta saw licre was no place [or them to stay or eat, They sold Ihe grocery to Wildwaier guide A] Whiit and restored the oM bank, opening it in 1974. For two years they employed man agers. "ThiS'yenr, I'm doing It my self, 1 . 1 -'said,Mrs. Pugh proudly. They have 16 modest hotel corns and serve breakfast and inner. Diners 'also come from urrounding towns to eat Ihe teaks, seafood, fresh vegs- ables and b.iked goods. "I do everything," she said. "There isn't any oilier way but o start from the beginning." _ The Pughs said their visitors, many of whom come from .big" cities, are impressed by the ricnilluujss in West. Virginia nnd the beauty of the'New P.iv- ;r Gorge. Visitors arrive aloof, nit aro on a fjrst-name basis jy the time they leave, they aid. ' "I think it's the quiet and icace. Of course, the railroad s noisy, but people like the rains," she said. The Puglis kept as much of Ihe old bank decor as possible in the homey, compact dining room. In the center is a stand that held deposit slips in :ho mining-railroad heyday and now holds travel brochu res sy mb oil zing Thu rmond'a trend. Pictures of the town in its prime hang on (he pillars and walls. Mrs, Pugti also has a display of old checks from 1913.