SNAPSHOT 2021: Shaping cars, garrisoned spirits | New


GARRISON At first glance, Roger Eichenlaub, his wife Betty and Alyssa Clark don’t have much in common.

A second look, however, reveals at least one similarity – they love what they do in the town of about 900 Lewis County residents.

Roger Eichenlaub remodels damaged cars at Roger’s Body Shop. He and Betty live in the South Shore, but they say Garrison’s kindness is at least one reason to open their business on Garrison Lane.

Less than half a mile southeast of Roger’s, you can find Clark refining young minds – she is a first grade teacher at Garrison Elementary School – her dream job.

“I went to school here as a student, so now I teach here,” said Clark, who has just started grade 10. “I love to see (students’) eyes light up when they are learning new things, having fun and enjoying school.

The garrison is about six miles east of Vanceburg, along the Ohio River. According to, it was first known as Stone City, probably for local limestone quarries. It was later named after a local family.

Janey Clark of the Lewis County Historical Society said she was named after Stephen Richard Garrison, a retail trader who had lived in Ripley County, Indiana in 1850 and Covington, Kenton County in 1860 She said Garrison had been appointed postmaster in 1886 when the post office opened.

“In 1880 he was in Lewis County, in Quincy,” Clark said. “The Quincy neighborhood is what it is. That probably covered Garrison at that time… From what I could find, he had a store in Garrison.

Fourth District Republican Congressman Thomas Massie is perhaps Garrison’s most famous native.

Garrison Elementary principal Sarah Porter said enrollment was 290, about 100 more than last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The last few years we’ve been in the 270-280 range,” Porter said. “Last year our in-person number fluctuated around 180. Some families have chosen the virtual path.”

Clark also coaches the Lewis County High School cheerleading team. She didn’t mind the parents calling night.

“It was just hard to interact with the kids and then a lot of it had to be with the parents since the kids are so young,” Clark said. “… Some parents couldn’t do their work until 8 p.m. I’m young, I’m a coach, so I’m around the clock anyway.

Clark said when full face-to-face instruction resumed last spring, children adjusted better than parents.

“They were so excited to see people,” she said. “Last year was not that great… The kids were really easy to get along with ‘Let’s wear our masks, wash our hands.'”

Because everyone usually knows everyone in unincorporated towns like Garrison, when someone is sick people step in.

Lisa Weddington was a teacher assistant for 30 years at Garrison Elementary School. When she was operated on for cancer last year, teachers and parents sold t-shirts and other items to raise funds.

“I wasn’t surprised at all because the school is wonderful for doing things like this,” Weddington said.

The Eichenlaubs have been in the auto repair business for at least 40 years – Roger worked for a dealership in Portsmouth and ran his own store. He said people often think of him as a sculptor.

“It’s actually a challenge to be able to take something that’s ripped and put it back together,” Roger said. “The rewards are there when you’re done. “

Betty Eichenlaub is the office manager – an arrangement that she says works very well.

“We just didn’t fall in love. We really love each other, ”Betty said. “I know, in the garage, he knows more than I do. So 8 to 5 is my boss. Afterwards, it’s my turn.

Clark, Porter, and the rest of the community can’t wait for the new $ 16.4 million Garrison Elementary to open in late 2023. (The current structure will be razed to the ground and turned into a parking lot.)

“Ultimately, I would like to be the counselor here someday,” said Clark, “at the new school.”


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