[N&W] Re: Vardo Yard Track Plans

nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Wed May 12 23:00:59 EDT 2004

You might also check the Sanborn (Sanbourn? Sanborne?) Insurance maps to see
if the plan is there.  If the track was there as early as the 1930's or 40's
they might have them.  I have found several maps (including the
Winston-Salem N&W, Southern and W-S Southbound yards) which also include
buildings, streets, outhouses, etc. on them.  They include the town, not
just railroads, so search by the city or town name.  Our local library has
microfilm of most cities/towns in NC (such as Aberdeen, as in Aberdeen and
Rockfish RR) and some others, so you might want to check with a library
first about where to find them.  They were maps compiled for the insurance
industry so it is possible that a very old insurance company in the area
might also have the large bound book in which they were originally published
and updated (our local library had one of the books which was donated to it
by Smithdeal Insurance, which oddly enough, my grandfather used to work
for!).   I, for example found the city map for Salem and Winston NC for as
far back as 1898. THAT map was pretty rudimentary since there was not much
rail in W-S then except for the Trolley line (a demonstration line for the
US laid out by Frank Sprague -- I also grew up on Sprague Street!)  Don't
assume, however, that everything in them is the gospel truth -- my great
grandfather's planing mill and furniture factory was listed as "Al Hoover's
Mill" when his name was A. L. Hoover.  I also found a number of little
errors in some of the early updates (c. 1910 or so) but nothing that was
very significant.

Nevertheless, if you are attempting to model an older period precisely,
these can be a wonderful resource.  They show the relative shape and
location of buildings, give the number of floors, porches, etc.  Hence, this
resource is good for lots of things......Good luck!

Richard Barnes
red-ford at att.net

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