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The West Virginia Pittsburgh Railroad: The B&O's Road to the Hardwoods

Alan R. Clarke

Published by Quarrier Press, 2008
ISBN 10: 1891852582 / ISBN 13: 9781891852589
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Title: The West Virginia Pittsburgh Railroad: The B...

Publisher: Quarrier Press

Publication Date: 2008

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition: Like New

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Like new hardback! No jacket, as issued. Binding is tight and square. Text is clean, unmarked. (Shelf location: BG) All items carefully packed to avoid damage from moisture and rough handling. Tracking included. Bookseller Inventory # 052392

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Synopsis: This book documents the construction of railroads in West Virginia, largely to access the untouched stands of timber in such counties as Upshur, Webster, Nicholas, and Randolph. Johnson Newlon Camden and Henry Gassaway Davis were the two men that were the driving forces behind these railroads. They were industrialists and politicians as well as friends and rivals. Camden built the Clarksburg, Weston and Glenville Railroad connecting Clarksburg and Weston in north central West Virginia. Completed in 1879, it was extended to Buckhannon in the fall of 1883. The West Virginia and Pittsburgh Railroad soon built extensions from Weston to the Gauley River and south from Buckhannon. Davis started construction of the West Virginia Central and Pittsburgh Railway in 1880, which followed the North Branch of the Potomac River south into Tucker and Randolph Counties. Sawmills and towns sprang up all along the railroads as vast quantities of lumber were harvested from the forests of West Virginia. As the forests were denuded, mines opened, more towns were built, and coal replaced lumber as the principal freight. While sections of the W. Va. & Pittsburgh have been abandoned, the present day successor to the B. & O. still hauls coal along these rail lines to the voracious power plants of the eastern United States. Author and railroad scholar Alan Clarke has once again offered an in-depth look at the building of railroads in West Virginia in the late nineteenth century. Much of the technical and historical information in the book will be of special interest to railroad buffs. However, Clarke s grasp of the state at that time in history, as well as the book s vintage photographs, maps, and illustrations, cause this book to appeal to anyone interested in the history of the Mountain State.

About the Author: Alan R. Clarke was born in Wolverhampton, England on July 14, 1938. His father had started his career as an apprentice on the London, Midland and Scottish Railway but lost his job during the Depression of the 1930 s. However, a love for railroads and steam engines remained with the family. Clarke attended the Royal Technical College, Salford, and the University of Sheffield, both in England, before coming to the U. S. in 1966. Because of an airline strike at the time, his first exposure to American railroads was traveling from New York to Washington on the Pennsylvania Railroad and then on to Grafton, West Virginia, on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. Clarke taught chemistry at Salem College from 1966 to 1978. During this time he developed an interest in the photography of bridges, which later became focused on stone bridges. This led to the discovery of the Coal and Coke Railway in West Virginia and a fascination with the railroad, which ultimately led to a book on its history. Clarke moved to Northern Virginia Community College in 1978 but continued his interest in West Virginia s railroads, particularly the West Virginia Central and Pittsburg Railway. This had been built by Henry Gassaway Davis before he built the Coal and Coke. The West Virginia Central became part of the Western Maryland Railroad in 1905. While working on a book on the West Virginia Central, Clarke became interested in the photographs of G. H. Broadwater, who photographed the Western Maryland Railway in West Virginia from about 1905 to 1912. Broadwater took over 2.000 photographs of the W. Md., showing the mines, mills, logging railroads, and towns along its path. Broadwater also photographed portions of the B. & O. in West Virginia and adjacent areas of Maryland. Broadwater s photographs were sold as post cards at the time and now have become valuable collectors items. It is a fraction of this remarkable body of work that Clarke has brought together in his latest book, The Western Maryland Railway in West Virginia-A Photographer s Odyssey. The Photographs of G. H. Broadwater. --

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