Thomas, WV

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Thomas, West Virginia – 1914

The history of Thomas, WV is long and very interesting. The entire region including the towns of Thomas, Coketon and Davis are rich in history of the lumber and coal mining industries. For many of the DePollo descendants the town of Thomas was their center, though the nearby towns of Coketon, Davis and Blackwater Falls State park are of equal importance to their lives.

The head of the DePollo family, Giuseppe DiPaolo, a.k.a. Joseph DePollo originally emigrated from Italy to the site that would eventually become the town of Thomas, WV.  He, like so many immigrants, was lured by the prospect of employment created by the coal industry that was emerging from the former lumber camps in what was once mountain wilderness. Joseph DePollo built his first store in Thomas in 1903, a second building was created on the site and opened in 1915. The second building was much larger and had apartments over it where his entire family lived.  Seven children were born to Joseph DePollo and Agnes (Falabella) DePollo, four of them born in Italy. There was only one girl among the seven children. Each of these children married and most had families of their own. Several of the children of Joseph’s family lived above the store even after marrying and beginning families of their own. The majority of the children eventually moved from Thomas to various parts of the U.S., but son John DePollo inherited the family store and operated it as the ‘DePollo Store’ until his death in 1994.

DePollo Store

The DePollo Store Building as it was in the mid-1900s. The store was operated by John DePollo, son of Joseph DePollo, the founder. (Photo from Joe Sagace collection)

A 2015 DePollo Family Reunion took place from July 17th to 19th in Thomas, West Virginia. It was held in conjunction with the 100 year anniversary of the current DePollo Store Building which is now operated by john Bright as the Purple Fidde, a coffee-house and local market.

Thomas, West Virginia - 1926

Thomas, West Virginia – 1926