In 1903, Lees and McVitty of Salem, Virginia sought to build a tannery along the New River in Narrows, where tanbark from virgin stands of white oak and hemlock would be used to tan leather. 4 To source the timber, the pair constructed the first three miles of the New River, Holston & Western Railroad (NH&W) up Wolf Creek from Narrows. It was partially financed by W.E. Mingea, Jr. of Abingdon, a major county landowner who was involved in the lumber and bark industry. 1 4
The NH&W was extended to Rocky Gap in 1912 and to Suiter in 1914, a distance of 43 miles, 4 and featured 12 stations at Talmash, Penvir, Bridge No. 2, First Ford, Chappel, Nidey, Round Bottom, Rocky Gap, Novis (South Gap), Hicksville, Bastian, and Suiter. 1 2 4
The NH&W was sold to the Norfolk & Western Railway (N&W) in 1919. 1 Timber began to be exhausted along the line by the 1930s and the railroad was dismantled in 1946. 1 2 Portions of the NH&W were converted into Virginia Route 61.
- United States. Dept. of the Interior. Wolf Creek Bridge. Comp. Michael J. Pulice. Washington: National Park Service, Feb. 1972. Web. 23 Oct. 2012. Article.
- Fisher, Terri L. “Transportation.” Pearisburg and Giles County. Charleston, SC: Arcadia, 2008. 83. Print.
- “Outlet for Bland’s Iron and Timber.” Bluefield Daily Telegraph 18 June 1909: n. pag. Print.
- Hamilton, Stephanie. “The Wolf Creek Railroad.” Bland County History Archives 2000 Web. 23 Oct. 2012. Article.