• A visit to Union 2013. If you grew up in Union, West Virginia and you have not been able to return to Monroe County recently, chances are you will enjoy a little tour of Union and the area.

    View a Picture Tour of Union & Monroe County.


“A Movie in Monroe County” by Joe B. Roles


Joe B. Roles


On Saturday,  August 30th at Salt Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, Joe B. Roles made the following speech…..

On this hallowed ground at the dawn of the Civil War stood two giants addressing the guest here at the Salt Sulphur Springs Resort.  Two United States Senators John C. Calhoun of South Carolina and Henry Clay of Kentucky, men who had powerful influence in the south. Seventy years ago as a boy of eleven years of age I could listen carefully and hear  their voices echoing in these hills.

In 1838, the President of the United States, Marvin Van Buren came here to visit, his being from New York state and not warmly welcomed by the guests from South Carolina, he stood on the porch and addressed the citizens of Monroe County.

In my book, “Mary Jane’s War” I have tried to capture some of that history before it fades through the generations, not about the usual generals and battlefields but about the folks who suffered at home during the struggle between the states.  It is about the courage and character of the real Mary Jane Smith who made a heroic journey to Lexington, Virginia in a wagon with a pair of mules to recover her husband’s remains and bring them home for burial.

Having been educated here in Monroe County and Concord College, I moved on to the Washington, DC area and enjoyed the benefits of that education… yet I still felt a debt to the state of West Virginia.

There comes a time in everyone’s conscience that they should give back .  I have personally given the state of West Virginia, a teacher, by giving a scholarship to the daughter of a struggling coal miner. How gratifying it is and I am continuing to give back.  This past April the good Lord gave me an explosive blessing when I met Mr. Stuart Margolin and we decided to make a movie based upon my book.  A movie filmed here in Monroe County that will benefit all of southern West Virginia, not only improving the economy and employment but will attract the movie industry as the state has been trying to do.  Tourist will continue to come to the site long after the movie is made.

First a docudrama will be produced as a non-profit LLC in cooperation with Concord University and PBS for national viewing to attract investors and then a full length movie will be made.

Joe B. Roles

Union High School – Class of 1951