HINTON, WV (WVNS)– In honor of Black History Month, it is the perfect time to remember the ultimate legend of man versus machine in Summers County.
The legend of John Henry is about a real man in history who raced against a steam drill and won, only to die shortly thereafter with his hammer in hand.
John Henry Historical Park is dedicated to celebrating his memory at the very site of his battle in the Great Bend Tunnel.
The park is open year-round and offers walking trails, informational kiosks, a picnic shelter, a stage, and more developments in the works.
Michael Cales, John Henry Historical Park Director, believes that many people enjoy the legend because it is a proud demonstration of hard work winning out, especially as it relates to African Americans.
“I think that he would stand as a role model for African Americans because he is a hard worker, he is talented, and he cared for his other people…for all people,” said Cales. “In my opinion, I think that John Henry did it to help his fellow man because he worked with these other steel drivers, he lived with them, he knew their family, and he knew they were going to lose their livelihood.”
Later this year, Cales will be doing a Walking History Tour at 2 p.m. on Feb. 26 and the three-day festival of John Henry Days will return the second week of July.
To learn more about John Henry and the park, visit their website.