My husband and I traveled to the beautiful state of West Virginia earlier this summer. I had heard about train rides in Cass that took visitors back to logging days from family members who returned on multiple vacations. Hoping to experience an earlier era, we drove along state routes to the small town of Cass.
What a fun day!
We chose to take a 4 ½ hour train to Bald Knob and made reservations a few days ahead. It was a great decision.
During the peak of the milling operation in 1908 to 1922, 2,500 – 3,000 people worked for the company. Twelve logging camps in the mountains received as many as ten carloads of food and supplies weekly.
The business was sold in 1943 and operated until July 1, 1960. Employees discovered the closing on June 30th; they feared the town would die.
Russel Baum, a railroad fan living in Pennsylvania, believed that the Shay engines running over old logging tracks would draw tourists and convinced local businessmen. Cass Scenic Railroad State Park is the result of their vision and planning.
Stop for a sandwich or enjoy one of the daily specials at Last Run Restaurant. Visit friendly folks at the Company Store for a variety of local goods and souvenirs. Enjoy an ice cream at the ice cream counter. Talk to Bud Cassell, a 50-year employee of the Cass Scenic Railroad, at the museum.
Most of all, ride the logging train, pulled by century-old Shay engines, to old logging camps.
Go back in time for a day.
-Sandra Merville Hart
“The Town of Cass,” Cass Scenic Railroad State Park, 2016/08/01 http://www.cassrailroad.com/history.html.