The Poca Snake:
The Copperhead

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This stamp was issued by the Poca Post to honor the official snake of the Poca River Basin: the Copperhead.

The Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix) is a common, and venomous reptile found in West Virginia. It is often inhabits the moist land along the Poca River. Unlike the rattlesnakes of the area, the copperhead does not produce a warning when provoked. While they are shy, an unwary individual can easily step on one. Early settlers learned that the copperhead emits an aroma similar to cucumbers. This, then, was the signal that saved many a traveler from an unfortunate bite.

In August of 1903 Mr. Travis Puckelwartz, an itinerate Bible salesman, was working the territory between Eleanor and Pliny on the Poca. He passed a field that was redolent of cucumbers. Thinking that this was a major crop of the area, he returned to Charleston and borrowed enough money to return to the area and construct a large pickle factory. Needless to say, he had smelled a nest of copperheads, and Puckelwartz's Poca Pickle Products, Inc. quickly failed.

This stamp was issued in the denomination of 34 pu (Poca Units) in a pane containing 20 stamps.

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