A 65th anniversary

 

Henry Ruppenthal enjoyed celebrity status as a teenager as a result of being a cooperative weather observer for Morgan County, W.Va. He holds a clipping of a class field trip at which Henry was the speaker.

Henry Ruppenthal enjoyed celebrity status as a teenager as a result of being a cooperative weather observer for Morgan County, W.Va. He holds a clipping of a class field trip at which Henry was the speaker.

Last month marked a 65th anniversary for Henry Ruppenthal III of Wheeling, W.Va.

It was the 65th anniversary of his becoming a cooperative weather observer. At the time, Henry was living in Berkeley Springs, W.Va., where his father was the county’s only professional photographer and camera shop owner. His dad heard about the job opening and encouraged his son to apply.

Henry was accepted and, with a little help from his father, soon found his picture and story in national newspapers. He became somewhat a celebrity in his hometown, and was called upon by teachers at his school to host field trips to his observation station and explain his important work as a weather observer.

Although he was just shy of his 12th birthday when named to the post, Henry proved that he could make accurate observations and complete the monthly reports that were required. For years, he faithfully checked the guages and thermometers at 6 p.m. and recorded his findings. He even did a weather report for the local radio station, which eventually took over his job when Henry moved away from the Eastern Panhandle.

Henry’s story will be in a future issue of Goldenseal Magazine. It was a pleasure to catch up with him in Wheeling several weeks ago and look at his scrapbook. Amazingly, he still has all his weather records from 65 years ago. One to keep up with technology, Henry is in the process of digitizing them.

You can learn more about this fascinating man, who grew up just a short distance from the Berkeley Castle, by visiting his website, http://www.ruppenthalweb.com/Henryiii.htm

by

Writer, photographer, video producer and film collector, Carl E. Feather has a passion for Appalachia and its people and landscape.

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