From Upper Falls to Tornado and Back
No more Tornado victims
United States Geological Survey places the center of the
community of Upper Falls on A Street, at the intersection of Coal River
II. The United States government issues Social Security
States passports and all other official documents to Upper Falls
Geodetic Survey maintains a control station here named Upper Falls and
references it from additional stations.
IV. The State of West Virginia issues driving
licenses, motor vehicle registrations and all other official documents
to residents of Upper Falls.
V. Kanawha County property records, voter
registrations and all other
official documents use the place name Upper Falls.
I. In 1742, John Peter Salley and his expedition
discovered Upper Falls, Virginia during their exploration of the Coal
A. Of course, Upper Falls is now in West
Virginia, after the state was separated from Virginia in 1863.
earliest settlers who entered the area in the 1700s
called our community Upper Falls for the cascading waters of the
A. Variations included Upper Falls of Coal,
Upper Falls of Coals,
Upper Falls Coal River,
Upper Falls of Coal River, Upper Falls of the Coal River, Upper Falls
on Coal River and Upper Falls Coal River Bridge.
Upper Falls of Coal Post Office, the first to serve the area, was
Coal River was used for commercial
navigation, the location of Lock Number 3 was formally Upper Falls.
Andrews Heights Elementary School was
built, the polling place for Jefferson magisterial district, precinct
1, was named Upper Falls.
The Coal River and Western Railway Company station here was designated
period following the Civil War was extremely tumultuous for West
A. There was no love lost between West
Virginians and the federal
1. The succession referendum that
made West Virginia a state had
been conducted at the ends of the
rifle barrels of federal soldiers.
2. Many West Virginians languished
in federal prison for years
after the war ended.
3. Roughly half of West Virginians
had no right to vote and
didn't even have a right to basic protections under the law.
4. The federal government
bankrupted scores of West Virginians by
suing them for back taxes, even though they had already paid their
5. For years after the war, West
Virginians were terrorized by
bands of roving thugs who were endorsed by the government!
6. Many West Virginians had their
farms and properties seized by
the government without any compensation or due process.
B. Most West
Virginians would refuse to vote for a Republican candidate for
political office for the next century.
C. Lincoln County
Kanawha County in 1867.
ended in 1877, but the enmity it created lasted for decades.
E. West Virginia didn't even have a
permanent capital until 1885.
F. This was the period
of the Hatfield-McCoy feud, as well as many, many other feuds.
G. This climate ultimately
the tragic Mine Wars.
H. In retribution for the "disloyalty" of
residents, federal authorities closed the Upper Falls of Coal Post
Office in 1880.
objected vociferously and were able to muster the political influence
to force its reopening.
2. Federal officials responded to
with the slanderously named "Tornado Post Office" in 1881.
3. Federal authorities then closed
this post office
in 1882 and were forced to
open it again in 1886, but they kept the name "Tornado."
I. The United States Geological Survey
places the center of the
community of Tornado on Old Falls Creek Lane, off Falls Creek Road.
"Tornado" post office is actually located in the community of Upper
Labeling our community "Tornado" makes us a laughingstock.
A. "Tornado, West Virginia" conjures an
it was meant to.
1. It's a tragic reminder of the
Businesses and residents have actually used addresses in nearby towns
B. Residents who will be added to the
larger Upper Falls census designated place vehemently oppose use of
the name "Tornado."
1. The only way to expand our
census boundaries is to abandon the
vindictive name "Tornado."
Historical accounts from the 1800s predicted that Upper Falls
would grow to be larger than Saint Albans.
A. The renaming of the post office "Tornado"
makers often find the prospect of doing business in "Tornado"
A. Managers do not risk investment
capital in places named "Tornado, West Virginia," "Woolly Bugger, West
Virginia" or "Cucumber, West Virginia."
B. Enterprises that engage in interstate
commerce will not
C. Without commercial constituents, the
achieve infrastructure improvements is severely restricted.
V. By being
labeled with "Tornado," grant applications and other liaison with
public agencies is not taken seriously.
A. Our ability to
secure federal funding for community improvements is
the continued imposition of the defamous "Tornado" on the residents of
Upper Falls a violation of our civil
rights under federal law?
I. Restore the name of Upper Falls, West Virginia.
A. Create a census designated place
named Upper Falls that increases our official population by a magnitude
B. Return the name of the Upper Falls
C. Revise the river
monitoring station as Upper Falls.
A. Build on existing administrative validation
B. Achieve goals through the procedures
established by the
West Virginia Statewide Addressing and Mapping Board.
A. Capture the enticing image "Upper Falls,
B. Correct the slander
of Upper Falls
being referred to as "Tornado."
[This page was authored by Upper Falls Community Association in 2000 and originally appeared at http://upperfalls.us/tornado/. It is permanently archived here for historical reference and is in the public domain.]