Steve Bodkins History Books - Giving the Past a Future

Forgotten Towns: Beginning in the late 1800's and the early 1900's, a transformation of a vast section of wilderness and virgin forest in Pocahontas and Randolph Counties took place.  Between the farmers and stockmen clearing land in the region and timber barons cutting every harvestable tree, thousands of acres of virgin forest was removed and in most cases, the land was left barren. 

     When the West Virginia Central and Pittsburgh Railroad was extended to Elkins in 1889, it provided a means to transport these vast reserves of virgin timber from the area to the eastern markets.   Shortly after this railroad was built, branch railroads were constructed from this mainline railroad into the virgin stands of timber.  The Dryfork Railroad and the Coal & Iron were the two primary railroads that affected these counties.  The Dryfork serviced the towns of Evenwood, Jenningston, Osceola, Sinks of Gandy, Laurel Fork River and the Spruce Knob area.  The Coal & Iron opened up the towns of Wheeler, Beulah, Oxley, Wildell, May, Gertrude, Burner, Braucher and Olive. 

     This book explores the development of this region before and after the C&I was built and up to the present day.  The primary focus of this book is to capture the history of these towns and preserve it for future generations.  It contains 22 chapters with 228 pages and 412 historic and vintage photographs.  It has a full size map in the back.

Bemis & Glady:The original landscape was one of a pristine virgin forest.  Then, the Coal & Iron Railroad was built through the region to provide a means of transporting the bountiful virgin timber.  During the railroad construction, at least 22 murders were committed, the railroad was built by 1903.  The timber harvests impact on the environment and people was tremendous.  Lumber boom towns sprang up in every hollow and transient workers moved in from all over the United States to work on the mills, on the railroads and to cut timber, many of the workers were foreign born.

 The timber harvest reached its peak about 1910 and, by 1928, the last of the virgin timber was removed. Then, extensive smokeless coal reserves were discovered  and mining coal flourished and was as significant as the timbering boom. By 1950, most of the significant coal mines had closed. 

 During the 1960's, the area became a popular area for fishing, hunting and other recreational activities.  Countless sportsman visit these mountain towns each year to experience what many call " Gods Country." 

 This book has 27 chapters to include Bemis, Glady, Flint, Montes, Morribell, Woodrow & more,  339 vintage and historic photographs & 40 pages of biographies,.etc.