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Amick's Rangers
THE RED RABBIT SALOON
The Tyree Tavern (1824) lies along what used to be the Midland Trail and Kanawha Turnpike. There used to be a road that led up along Manns Creek from the Tyree Tavern to an old mill.  At one time this mill was operated by my great great grandfather (Wm. Henry Amick, father of John Walker Amick).  I donít think he was the one who actually built it.  I think he bought the mill and the property around it when he moved into the area.  I believe this was the first place he and his family lived.  Living in the mill was what my great grandfather (James Anderson Amick) attributed to his hearing loss.  It was said that he complained of being hard of hearing and blamed it on the noise from the grind stones in the mill where he lived as a boy.  In addition to grinding grain, the water power at the mill was also used to operate a whip saw to cut logs into boards. 

The family eventually gave up the mill and built a log home along the Midland Trail near where I live, a distance of approximately 1 mile.  The family retained ownership of the mill property and someone else was given use of the property.  The tenant turned the old mill building into what became the Red Rabbit Saloon.  The saloon catered to guests staying at the Tyree Tavern and to passers by on the Midland Trail.  My great grandfather had 5  sons and 2 daughters.  The youngest son died as an infant.  After they were older, the sons began frequenting the saloon and coming home drunk.  The problem continued until their mother (Bettie Masters Amick) took things into her own hands.  One night she took a can of kerosene with her and set the saloon on fire and burned it to the ground.  Iím guessing this occurred around 1890. 

Two of her sons went on to become medical doctors (Wallace and Albert).  The older (Wallace) was a doctor who worked for a coal company and traveled around to the different coal camps to see patients.  Many times he would ride the train to these different coal camps.  On one such trip, some Italian bandits attacked the coal company payroll train on which he was riding, killing him and the others on the train.  The bandits escaped with the payroll, but were later hunted down by the law officers and some very angry miners .

By:  M. Amick  June 2004
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