Print | Back to e-WV The West Virginia Encyclopedia

Pinch Reunion

The Pinch Reunion was established by Judge William W. Wertz and other Elk River residents in 1902. For three days in August the gathering is held at Rockwood Glen, in Pinch, northeast of Charleston.

The first reunion was organized as a Fourth of July Sunday school picnic for students who had attended the old Pinch School (1865–1913). The old school, once used as a community building, now belongs to the Pinch Reunion Association. Programs, refreshments and entertainment have changed over the years. Earlier festivities were conducted more like an old-time camp meeting, complete with church on Sunday. Spelling bees and debating societies have been replaced with beauty pageants, car shows, all-terrain vehicle racing, golf tournaments, parades and musical entertainment. In the past gubernatorial candidates from both parties, beginning with Governor MacCorkle, were invited as guest speakers. This practice was abandoned in the 1970s, although politicians still frequent the event.

The U.S. Postal Service permits the Pinch post office the use of a one-day philatelic postmark. These canceled envelopes are valued by collectors. A state highway marker was erected in 1972 commemorating the Pinch Reunion. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the 2020 reunion events shifted to virtual activities, and the concert at the grounds was streamed online, with no audience at the concert.

Written by Cathy Hershberger Miller


  1. Elk-Blue Creek Historical Society. Elk River Communities in Kanawha County: A Continuing History. Cleveland: Typemasters, 1993.

  2. West Virginians of 1934-1935. Wheeling Intelligencer, (1935).

  3. Chambers, W. W., grandson of W. W. Wertz. Telephone conversation with author. 12/26/2000.

  4. Shepherd, Blaine. Telephone conversation with author. 11/19/2000.