I lived in Thorpe about 60 years ago! My grandparents lived there and raised two sons there; my father and my uncle. Both of them were educated in the county. My grandpa worked in the mines and grandma and grandpa kept boarders who also worked in the mines. And my mother worked in several of the areas Company Stores!
Some of my happiest memories are of Thorpe and the one and only time I rode on a motorcycle! I was about four and my father scooped me up off the porch and put me on the back of his motorcycle and we rode off to Welch. Grandma was yelling from the porch for him to bring me back. He kept going~(since he was a rebel!), and I remember looking into the shop windows in Welch and seeing our reflections in the windows as we passed by.
The whole area was booming and just beautiful back then. I remember going into this little restaurant there on the main street after shopping in the department stores with my grandma and my mother. The restaurant was located between two of the larger buildings and it was called “The Hole In The Wall.” They made the best chili dogs in the country! (notice I didn’t say county?) Whenever my grandma, mother or my uncle talked about Welch, that restaurant and the hot dogs they served always became THE topic of discussion. They had many happy memories of being in that little place.