Layout by Bob Hazard
Photos & website 
by Ken Spranza

Historical perspective is a short excerpt  from "West Virginia Logging Railroads" Walsworth Publishing Co.  Copyright 1997 TLC Publishing Inc. 
Lynchburg Va.

It is said that when the first Scotch-Irish settlers pushed across the Alleghany Mountains into what is now West Virginia, the land was so densely forested that a squirrel could travel from the crest of the Alleghanies to the Ohio River without once setting foot on the ground.  A bit of hyperbole? Perhaps, but reliable observers of the late-18th century reports seas of oak, hickory, tulip poplar, walnut and pine stretching to the horizon.  At higher elevations, where the local climate was not unlike that of southern New England, there were sugar maples, the highly-prized spruce-an estimated 220,000 acres in Pocahontas County alone-hemlock, and birches. And everywhere was the immensely useful and practically indestructible chestnut tree. The chestnut blight reached West Virginia around the end of World War I, however, and by 1923 there was scarcely a live chestnut left in the state.