Education & Resources

One of our goals at The Old Store is to provide different educational opportunities and resources.  Read below to learn more about various fascinating subjects!

Saved by a Salamander: What the Heck is a Hellbender?

One of the rumors about Grassy Creek is that when the American Electric Power Company made plans to dam the New River and flood the Grassy Creek valley, the obstacle that finally prevented them from doing so was a salamander.  James Watson, a member of our staff and avid herpetologist, decided to dig into this story a little more.  And what he learned was fascinating!  

Meet the Hellbender....  Scientific name, Cryptobranchus alleghaniensisSometimes called the “snot otter,” “lasagna lizard,” “devil-dogs,” and many other imaginative nick-names, the hellbender is one of the most secretive residents of the Appalachian area. They are the largest amphibians in the country, reaching 29in in length. They can be found thinly scattered across the Appalachian Mountain Range, but are only well established in pristine areas.

Want to know more about the Hellbender, including whether Grassy Creek was indeed "Saved by a Salamander"?  Read more here.