From the Presidentís desk
This year's train ride is
history and boy was it a HOT one, on Saturday the temperature
broke 100 in Elkins, and this is rare for Elkins being up in the
mountains. I had hoped for a nice sunny day without any rain. We
sure got the sunny day and could have used a little rain to cool
it off. But, I'm getting ahead of myself.
The weekend started Friday
night with a great show at the American Mountain Theater, for
the AMT as they call it is a complete live 2 hour show featuring
a mix of musical styles including Country, Southern Gospel, Blue
Grass, Pop and Patriotic music blending with popular comedic
impersonations, and who can forget Denny's yearnal (journal) and
the Deep Thinkers Society with line like "If you throw a cat out
of a car window - Does it become kitty litter?" or "When you
choke a Smurf - What color does it turn?" my favorite "If
someone with multiple personalities threaten to kill themselves
--Is it considered a hostage situation?" and last "Are
grandchildren God's reward for not killing your own children?"
The American Mountain
Theater is a must see if you are in Elkins and if youíre just
looking for something a little different to do it well worth the
trip to Elkins just for the show. If you are go make your
reservation before you make the trip the show often sale out.
Saturday, and the main
reason we came - for our train ride on the
Cheat Mountain Salamander.
It is an all day train trip from Elkins to Spruce, WV. Once the
highest and coldest incorporated town east of the Mississippi
River. Spruce at 3,853 feet was one of the highest towns in the
eastern United States. At this height it was normal to have
frost in the warmest months of the year. Spruce had a hotel with
40 rooms, a complete store which was a branch of the Pocahontas
Supply Company store in Cass, 35 houses, a post office and one
school. There was no road to Spruce. All necessities and
materials were brought in by train. Spruce had no cemeteries,
bodies of the deceased were carried out by train because the
ground remained frozen most of the year. Spruce had so much snow
that children would go to school by climbing out of second floor
windows. The mill at Spruce was operational from about 1905 to
1925. Spruce became incorporated in 1909.
There are no signs of life
at Spruce. No houses standing. All that is left are concrete
foundations of the mills, shops and houses to help the visitor
visualize the old town.
Our ticket included two meals lunch and dinner served buffet
style. The lunch was a cold cut buffet where you made your own
sandwich, For dinner we had our choice of hot entrees either
roast beef or chicken. I heard that there were some who had
both. I'm not telling who, you know who you are. The train ride
was great, it had many interesting features like the "high fall
of the Cheat". I will be the first to say it was one hot!!!!
Sunday was free time to do whatever you wanted. I made my way
down to the Durbin Rocket, an excursion train powered by old #3,
one of only three operating Climax geared logging locomotives on
earth. This 55-ton antique was built in 1910 for the
Moore-Keppel Lumber Co. in nearby Randolph County. The ride
covered 10,5 miles along the free flowing Greenbrier River.
Before returning home, I stopped in historic Beverly, WV. It
was Heritage Days and all the activities were free. Beverly is a
Civil War battlefield, and they were featuring a reenactment
skirmish There was a concert by the Blue and Gray Choir, along
with the historic buildings,open homes of the frontier periods,
crafts, antiques and demonstrations it was a fun experience.
Beverly is just what small town life was all about. You saw
history coming alive before your eyes.
Our next meeting will be the Annual Picnic Saturday August
21, 2pm at Paul & Alycefaye Stewart in Greensburg. I hope to see
you all there and all the photos of the Elkins weekend.