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Trim: 8.5 x 11
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-1-891852-98-5
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West Virginia and Pittsburgh Railroad: The B&O’s Road To the Hardwoods

Alan Clarke

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.

Pages: 223