N&W Connection in 1912--NRH&W RR

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Mon Dec 19 22:46:54 EST 2011

Bluefield Daily Telegraph
March 4, 1912

The New River, Holston and Western Railroad May Reach Burke's Garden, Va.
Estimates are being made for an extension of the New River, Holston and Western Railroad from its present terminus near Rocky Gap, about twenty-two miles westward to a point on Hunting Creek, on the southern side of the mountains which surround the prosperous little community of Burke's Garden, Va. It is impossible to learn what part of the road is to be built this year, but the road will undoubtedly make a considerable extension, judging from the activity with which work is being pushed along preliminary lines, such as the securing of right of way, etc. Grade stakes have been placed over the proposed line by engineers who have finished their work.
The New River, Holston and Western completed a long extension early last year. It is said the objective point of the line is Saltville, Va., which would connect the road with the Norfolk and Western at Narrows, on the Radford division of the Norfolk and Western, and the Saltville branch, which extends from the Bristol line.
The proposed extension will be of untold good to the people living in the community which the line proposes reaching. Farms which have no other prospects of being opened up within the next ten or fifteen years will be placed in direct communication with large cities and towns and given every other advantages a railroad can give, no matter how small it may be. With the proposed extension of twenty-two miles, the New River, Holston and Western will begin to take on proportions which will make it a road of value, as it will then be 47 miles in length, and will touch a territory rich in natural resources. The going of the New River line to the territory around Burke's Garden will bring that section even closer to the railroad than it is now, and will materially assist in improving the condition of the prosperous farmers who live on the southern expose of the mountains, which lie in the wealthy Burke's Garden community.
The New River, Holston and Western, according to reports, has an excellent grade and at times it has been reported that the line will eventually form a part of a new line from Pittsburg to the south, passing through West Virginia to Narrows, where the line which is now extending will be tapped, and from there reaching through a country vastly rich in resources to the iron fields of the south, and midway between Pittsburg and Birmingham.
F. E. Bastian, of Narrows, is general manager of the road, which was originally projected with the object of reaching the timber and tan bark in the mountains of southwest Virginia, but which in the meantime is reaching a coalfield, while it also taps the hematite iron fields of Bland county, as well as other wealth which has been waiting for the magnetic finger of a line of steel to awaken life.
[The attached Google Earth image shows how the really unique Burkes Garden community is completely surrounded by mountains, save for a gap north and slightly left of the red dot following the name "Burkes Garden." The N&W's Clinch Valley line runs in the next valley to the north of the valley where the community of Grafton is located. Consequently, the Burkes Garden station on the N&W was quite a distance from the community of Burkes Garden.]

Gordon Hamilton
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