What’s in a NAME

ROMNEY – Few and far between are the signs advertising Mitt Romney for president in the pristine little town of Romney.

Recent visits from television and newspapers looking for controversy about the “same name” candidate haven’t raised so much as an eyebrow.

With a population of about 1,950, Romney is the center of activity in Hampshire County.

Residents answer questions from the media as they go about drinking coffee, walking down the street or holding a conversation with a friend.

“The fact that he has brought attention to our nice little community is about the only thing positive I can think of,” said Ann Heavener, the co-owner of Romney Florist and Iron Works. “I don’t think I can think of anything fun about Mitt Romney.”

Heavener said the Mitt Romney television ads blame the economy on the past four years.

“We have felt the economic hardship, and it hasn’t been the last four years. It’s been the last 11 years,” she said. “Now we are finally seeing some hope.”

For some folks, the word Romney means just that. Romney, W.Va.

“Someone came in my shop the other day and asked permission to put a Romney sign up” said B’Bells Boutique owner Linda Corbin, who said she asked what was going on in the town that the sign was advertising. “I thought they were doing something in town. I’m here for the community. I let them put it up.”

Romney has an estimated population of 1,950. It is the oldest city in the state, and county seat of Hampshire County, the oldest county in the state, which was formed from parts of Frederick and Augusta counties from Virginia and created by the Virginia General Assembly on Dec. 13, 1753.

Some parts of Romney remain the same as they did 250 years ago. The Davis House a log cabin home still sits along Main Street next to the library. Other older homes of the period remain and are part of the town’s history.

Throughout this year Romney has celebrated its 250th birthday with fireside chats, celebrations, parties, parades and more.

None of the festivities have taken notice of Mitt Romney.

Melanie Milliken is the executive director of the Hampshire County Chamber of Commerce. Her office is located right next to the county courthouse.

“Channel 9, WUSA was here a couple weeks ago to get a feel for what the local residents felt about Mitt Romney running for president,” Milliken said.

“The town became more popular than talking about Mitt Romney. They thought Romney was a fantastic little town with a lot to offer. As far as Mitt Romney goes, the people said he really didn’t matter one way or another.”

Steve Hines, owner of the Romney Sports Connections since 1979, said he hopes Romney will visit if he’s elected.

“I don’t see any real coalition between him and us,” Hines said. “If by chance he does get in, I hope one of the first places he visits is Romney. We’d like to talk to him.”

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