|By Bob Weaver|
Fascination started many years ago with the Bear Fork Wilderness, at one time the single owner track was likely over 40,000 acres, owned for many years by the Bennett Family.
Personally, sometimes with help, I have joyfully wandered aimlessly in the woods, other times getting lost.
Over time we have written and published photographs about the "dark and scary woods," planning a book, but with little interest we gave up the idea.
Many of those stories are on the Hur Herald - "Tales of Bear Fork."
During the early 1900s it was opened up to timbering and the creation of barrel staves for a world wide market - hauled into Gassaway on a narrow gauge railway known as the Elk and Little Kanawha Railroad.
The tracks laid in a remote three county area - Braxton, Gilmer and Calhoun.
Some of the regions earliest families "squatted" in the wilderness, sometimes for multi-generations - McCumbers, Cottrells, Boone, Woods, among many others.
We gratefully acknowledge the late Ron Miller and Harlan Stump for their contributions, among many others.
Railroad fan Dan Robie has taken the history further with the publication of the railroads history on his web site WVNCRAILS.
"History has been a profound interest during my life and as it applies to the rail scene is no different, in fact, that pursuit is my favorite aspect of the hobby because it entails exploration and contrasting today with yesterday," Robie said.
"Those who research and document the steadily disappearing rail remnants from yesteryear are fewer in number. Fortunately, their efforts are preserving for generations to come a database of information that will be a priceless reference as the years pass."
Here is the latest on the Elk-Little Kanawha Railroad:
See Â HISTORY OF ELK-LITTLE KANAWHA RAILROAD
And Â DAN ROBIES RAILROAD SITE