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March 26, 2020 / Joanne Yeck

1901: Letter From Glenmore, Part IV

Buckingham County Postal Map, 1896.

 

Need to catch up? Click here: 1901: Letter From Glenmore, Part I

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In 1901, the Glenmore section of Buckingham County still contained large forested areas. In his first letter to the Appomattox and Buckingham Times, “Observer” noted that merchants in the neighborhood faced difficulty shipping railroad ties to Richmond:

The large timber trade of this section has been of immense benefit to our merchants, and now that Spanish oak railroad ties are being used the trade is likely to increase. And in this connection, I will state that there is a just and proper complaint of the timber owners and the men who cut the ties, of the excessive freight charged by the railroad company on railroad ties. It can only be characterized as a cruel and onerous and unjust monopoly absolutely incapable of being justified by any principle of law, morality or justice. It has enriched many people at the cost of others. To show its baneful effect I will state that prior to the existence of the railroad about 650,000 railroad ties were carried from Buckingham County alone to Richmond and an average cost of eight cents a tie. The cost to now is and has been for many years about double this amount and in many instances the railroad refused to ship the ties at any price.

How much better and wiser on the subject are the laws of Massachusetts. Our people are by no means unfriendly to the railroad company or railroads, for the Buckingham branch of the Chesapeake & Ohio, it is admitted, has been of immense value to the county; all we want is a fair living freight charge, and this we can never obtain until the waterworks dam is taken out above Richmond and the way opened for a free navigation of James river by small steamers. The New York Central & Hudson River railroad with its four parallel tracks does not do away with the necessity for the Erie Canal. . . .

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For more about railroads in Buckingham County, especially the Buckingham Branch, search the archives at Slate River Ramblings and enjoy the results!

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