Three Brothers Island, named in
honor of the Briscoe brothers, who are said to have taken tomahawk claims on
them in about 1783. The first Brother Island lies close to the main
shore at Belmont, WV, and the separating channel has so filled that now it is
really a part of the mainland.
The Second Brother Island, commonly known of Broadhead because of the wide
sandy bar which almost blocks the river in low water lies well out in
midstream. The boat channel being on the Ohio side.
The third Brother Island located also well out in the river, perhaps owes its
existence to McElroy Run, and Willow Island which nestles close to the shore
about a mile below, is perhaps a creation of Cow Creek.
The soil is very fertile on the islands. They are especially adapted to
growing peaches and small fruits.
Tomahawk claims each comprising from one hundred to four hundred acres roughly
guessing at. And marked by hacking trees on the corners with hatchets or
tomahawk, whence came the name. Valid titles were given by the
In 1885, the government constructed a dam, extending from the shore just below
the mouth of French Creek to the head of Second Brother Island or Broadhead
Island at work that gave employment to quite a number of laborers.
The dam was very strongly constructed, composed of huge blocks of stone laid
between large timbers. The object being to compel a greater flow of water
to the west side of the island, scouring out and deepening the steam boat
channel. There was so much silt to be deposited in the still water below
the dam that First Brother Island is no longer an island in ordinary stages of
the river the old channel being now part of a corn field. "Footprints"