Cass Scenic Railroad, is located at Cass West Virginia. Cass, in Pocahontas
County, was once known for it booming lumber industry. Today it is known as one of
West Virginia's great tourist attractions. It is a preserved lumber company town, which
is complete with an old company store and specialty shops. Cass was invented and
named as a State Park to preserve an old logging railroad. Once a symbol of the
economic power that drove this valley, the mill building has been victim of two major
fires in 1978 and 1982.
The town of Cass began with the beginning of the lumber companies. These
lumber companies, inhabitated the valley and operated the West Virginia Pulp and Paper
Factory. Only twisted steel and rusted machinery remain amid the cracking cement.
Trees and vines grow in a place where humans once toiled among the machines of
lumber and fine wood products production.
The adjoing planing mill was three stories
high, measuring 96 by 224 feet. Massive elevators carried up to 5,000 feet of lumber to
the separate floors and machines. Some of the flooring machines were so big that it took
15 men to operate them. There were two resaws here that could accommmodate boards
up to 35 feet long. The large surfacing machines finished all four sides of a board in
one operation. The mill operation was enormous during its heyday 1908 to 1922. It ran
two 11-hour shifts six days per week, cutting 125,000 board feet of lumber each shift, an
impressive 1.5 million feet of lumber per week. The Cass mill also had drying kilns using
11 miles of steam pipe to dry 360,000 board feet of lumber on each run.
Roy Clarkson, wrote a book called "Tumult on the Mountain". In his book he
estimated that in...