West Virginia Logging Railroads By William Warden Hard Cover 1993 108 pages
West Virginia Logging Railroads By William Warden Hard Cover 1993 108 pages
West Virginia Logging Railroads By William Warden Hard Cover 1993 108 pages
West Virginia Logging Railroads By William Warden Hard Cover 1993 108 pages
West Virginia Logging Railroads By William Warden Hard Cover 1993 108 pages

West Virginia Logging Railroads By William Warden Hard Cover 1993 108 pages

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West Virginia Logging Railroads By William Warden Hard Cover 1993 108 pages
 
West Virginia Logging Railroads By William Warden
Hard Cover
Copyright 1993 SECOND PRINTING 1995
108 pages

CONTENTS
Introduction   1
Chapter 1 - West Virginia Logging History Background3
Chapter 2 - The Loggers' Iron Horses 11
Chapter 3 - Mower Lumber Company- West Virginia Pulp & Paper Company (Cass, Pocahontas County)21
Chapter 4 - Elk River Coal & Lumber Company-W. M. Ritter Company- Georgia-Pacific (Swandale, Clay County)45
Chapter 5 - Meadow River Lumber Company (Rainelle, Greenbrier County)61
Chapter 6 - Cherry River Boom & Lumber Company (Richwood, Nicholas County75
Chapter 7 - Ely-Thomas Lumber Company (Fenwick, Nicholas County)87
Appendix 101
Pardee & Curtin Lumber Company
Moore-Keppel Company
Beech Mountain Railroad
Color Photo Section  105

This is the story about a strange, beautiful, harsh land, always in conflict with itself. and about one of its more important modes of transportation.
This is a story about a land of paradoxes and contradictions; a land that gave welcome to all and quarter to none; a land where vistas of natural grandeur, unrivaled on the planet, sat cheek-by-jowl with four generations of grinding poverty; a land that would give birth to the gentle writer Pearl Buck and where a man like the aptly-named "Devil Anse" Hatfield of feuding a fame could flourish; a land where men would shower the stranger with kindness and generosity while going out of their way to avoid the neighbor because of some slight, real or fancied, that had occurred 30 years ago; a land where John L. Lewis, Samuel Gompers, and Mother Jones did battle with guns, guile, and bombs to spread the gospel of unionism, and simple country preachers did battle with words and example to spread the Gospel of love and forgiveness.
This then is a book about West Virginia and its logging railroads.
Picture the scene
You, the trusting and unsuspecting train watcher, have suddenly been plopped down amid this jumble of green hills and narrow valleys, seemingly strewn about at random by The Creator. Pure West Virginia.
While you are trying to get your bearings and figure out which way is north, you hear the unmistakable wail of a steam locomotive whistle in the distance. But where's the track? A few moments' searching uncovers two spindly rails spiked to untreated ties placed in a rhodendron grove. Tie plates and ballasted roadbed are conspicuous by their absence.
Nothing more happens for four, maybe five, minutes. Then suddenly there emerges from around a bend a smoke plume of proportions befitting a Norfolk & Western 2-8-8-2 assaulting Blue Ridge Grade or a C&O 2-6-6-6 getting a coal drag out of Hinton. The plume moves with glacier-like rapidity in your direction. Surely this is a slow and heavy freight. But now you hear the rapid feathery exhaust typical of, say The Pocahontas or The Sportsman making fifty or sixty miles per hour.
While you are contemplating this seeming contradiction of audio and visual signals, from around the bend comes this lopsided locomotive with strange vertical cylinders all on one side, flailing rods, gears, and shafts, and drive wheels impossibly small. A brakeman takes his ease atop the engine's pilot beam. Following the engine comes a stubby tender and a dozen or so truss-rodded flat cars riding on arch bar trucks and bearing logs of impressive girth. You reckon that two very tall men would be hard pressed to lock hands around one of the logs. Finally, tied to the last flat comes this little four-wheel bobber of a wooden caboose. You have just seen a typical West Virginia logging train going flat out for the mill.

Forty or fifty years ago, with minor variations, you could have witnessed this operation two dozen or more times a day, five or six days a week, in various parts of The Mountain State. Today, you will see it nowhere, for those logging companies that haven't gone out of business have opted to transport the logs by motor truck. The purpose of this book is to look at how, where, and why these little dramas were played out by focusing on some of the many logging railroads that wound through West Virginia. These roads have been selected on the basis of their being among the biggest and last surviving ones, and hence, ones the average reader may have heard of.
We will also examine these unique locomotives so that we may understand why they were so essential to the lumbering industry. The highly technical aspects of locomotive design and operation have been covered in great detail by other authors; this examination is designed to provide a working knowledge of the intricacies of Heislers, Shays, and Climaxes for those who already have comparable knowledge of conventional rod locomotives. And because the business of operating a logging railroad was inextricably entwined with the business of running a logging operation, we will also offer a brief history of logging in West Virginia.
Then, when you have acquired a more than nodding acquaintance with West Virginia logging practices and have become an instant expert on logging locomotives, it will be time to examine some of the more significant loggers in detail. "Significant" can be interpreted in several ways; for purposes of this book, it denotes roads that in their lifetime moved large amounts of timber and also lasted into relative modern times.
One of the tenets of journalism that was hammered into this writer as a cub reporter in his misspent youth was that if you are writing a long story, you put the most important facts near the beginning and save the lesser ones for later. Applying this tenet to this book, the author has arranged the various chapters on the individual logging roads in what he considers their proper order of importance. Since this is a personal judgement, readers are free to disagree with the order. And if we left out your pet logger, we apologize but space limitations prohibit trying to cover in one book the history of the more than 100 logging railroads that ran at one time in The Mountain State.
So, settle back and enjoy the medley of the aroma of soft coal smoke mingled with that of fresh sawdust, and the cacaphony of shotgun exhausts vying with the whine of double-band mills.


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