Said to be haunted by the ghost of a murder victim, 22 Mine Road is a popular paranormal tourist spot in Holden, West Virginia. 22 Mine Road, 22 Mountain, and Trace Mountain are all the same place; the area has more than one name. All the names are used interchangeably by most Logan county residents. The 22 Mine Road is located near Holden, along the four-lane road towards Williamson, WV/KY. 22 Mine Road was made famous when the body of Mamie Thurman was found there on June 22, 1932.
22 Mine Road, often simply referred to as 22 by many Logan
county residents, is located on the Logan-Mingo county line. The mountain was
made famous during the summer of 1932, when the body of Mamie Thurman was
discovered approximately fifteen feet away from the road. It is believed
that Mamie had been murdered elsewhere and then dumped on 22 Mountain. Garland
Davis, a young deaf-mute, stumbled upon the gruesome scene while picking
blackberries. According to the autopsy report, Mamie had been shot twice in
the head and had her throat cut from ear to ear. Mamie’s body was prepared for
burial by the Harris Funeral Home in the city of Logan. The funeral was held at
the Nighbert Memorial Methodist Church. It was said to have been the most
bizarre funeral ever held in Logan County. The service took place on
Friday, June 24th and was attended by 550 women and 30 men.
There was much speculation as to who exactly was the murderer.
There were rumors that Mamie had had several affairs with prominent men in
Logan County. There was a list of approximately sixteen men from the
Logan area that were thought to be Mamie’s lovers. This list was
never made public, but it is believed that it was revealed to the Grand Jury
during the investigation. The main suspects were Harry Robertson and his African-
American handyman, Clarence Stephenson, who were both arrested and taken to the
Logan County jail for questioning. Harry Robertson was a prominent member
of the community. He worked for the National Bank of Logan and his wife
was the treasurer of the Logan Women’s Club. Clarence Stephenson rented a room
in Robertson’s attic. The Robertson’s and the Thurman’s were all members of the
Nighbert Memorial Methodist Church. This was the most scandalous event to date
in the county and near everyone in the area had a hand in speculating as
to who had murdered Mamie.
Harry Robertson admitted that he and Mamie had an inappropriate
relationship, but he did not murder her. Robertson had said his handyman,
Stephenson knew of this relationship and would arrange dates with the help of
Stephenson covering for him. Robertson also admitted to seeing Mamie the day
she was murdered. However, his wife testified to him being home on that evening
at around nine o'clock. Robertson and Stephenson both went to trial for
the murder, which in turn was covered by the local newspapers. Stephenson had
to be transported to the Mingo County jail in Williamson because of racial
tensions in Logan County. Clarence Stephenson was found guilty for the murder
of Mamie Thurman. Robertson was found not guilty. According to West
Virginia Penitentiary records, Stephenson was received at Moundsville Prison on
August 22, 1934. He was transferred to Huttonsville Prison Farm in June
of 1939. He died of stomach cancer in 1942 and was buried on the property of
the farm. Norman Sloan, a Logan County resident whom spent time in jail with
Stephenson, said, He told me he was hired to take the body to 22 Mountain,
but he didn't do anything to Mamie Thurman. He never did say who killed her,
but he did say he didn't do it.
Mamie Thurman's grave site is also an unsolved mystery. Harris
Funeral Home's show Mamie Thurman's body was taken to Bradsford, KY for her
burial. However, when asked, Mamie's husband, Jack, said she was buried at
Logan Memorial Park. This is indeed strange, as a headstone has never been
found for Mamie Thurman.
Mamie Thurman's murder is still an unsolved mystery. There
have been many so-called sightings of an apparition on 22 Mine Road, thought to
be the restless spirit of Mamie Thurman. 22 Mine Road has been visited by many
searching for her ghost. Currently the most popular time to visit 22 Mountain
is during Halloween, in October. There is a hayride that carries paying
customers around the mountain looking for Mamie's spirit.
According to legend, it is said that if you go to the bottom of
the hill to where her body was found, put the car in neutral, and the foot off
the break, then the ghost of Mamie Thurman will push your car back up the
hill. 22 Mine Road, 22 Mountain, and Trace Mountain will forever be
intertwined with the gristly murder of Mamie Thurman and the legend of her
restless spirit for years to come.