The southern end of Cheat Mountain was a wilderness known only to hunters and fishermen until 1900. This book covers the next 60 years in a detailed study of the timber industry.
Wonderful photos are on every page. Lumbering and the steam era of railroads including locomotives, loaders, and tower skidders and their operation are documented.
The construction of the second largest logging railroad in West Virginia is explored.
Detailed maps of three eras of work on Snowshoe lands showing relations to the resort’s facilities, numerous photographs, lists of locomotives, and drawings throughout.
Deike is a leading authority on West Virginia logging history and a past president of Mountain State Railroad & Logging Historical Association. Mr. Deike visited West Virginia in 1950, convincing his father to take him to see the railroads the served the logging industry. He did not yet have a driver’s license. As a college student, he came to the state often. He taught geology in Illinois, but soon longed for the mountains and moved to the state. He taught in Elkins, WV and began serious research on the railroad logging industry.
Exploring courthouse records and old maps was informative, but the best was talking to old timers about their work. See an older man? Ask him, “Did you ever work in the woods?” Now, sadly there are very few left to talk to.
Eventually his wife, Mickey convinced him to write. It was no accident that they bought a farm near the Cass Scenic Railroad. The whole subject is vast and fascinating, so a narrow gauge story of the nearby Snowshoe property seemed possible. Logging South Cheat is the result.