N&W in 1912--History book

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Fri Dec 30 21:32:37 EST 2011

The book "History of Roanoke County" by E. B. Jacobs and George S. Jack,
copyright 1912, is available in the public domain at the Google Books web
site (search using the title).

Eric Shelton


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Subject: N&W in 1912--History book

Bluefield Daily Telegraph
March 9, 1912



History of Roanoke County, City and Norfolk and Western

The Daily Telegraph has received from E. B. Jacobs and George S. Jack,
of Roanoke, a copy of a publication, just off the press, which gives an
interesting history of Roanoke county, Roanoke city and the Norfolk and
Western Railway Company. The three histories are entirely separate so that
the reader may devote his time at leisure to the study of any of them, and
it may be said in passing that the histories, while lacking in many of the
details which make history romantic, are extremely satisfactory from the
standpoint of a busy business man who wants to get at the facts quickly. In
addition to the histories, which cover important events up to the present
day, the book contains a number of biographies of prominent men of Roanoke
county and the city itself. Regarding the Pocahontas coal shipments during
1883 a little story is told of the first car of coal shipped, which was
robbed of a large lump at Roanoke. This lump was afterwards divided, half
of it being presented to President Kimball, whose servant at Radnor, near
Philadelphia, sometime later burned it up, not recognizing the associations
connected with it. The other half of the lump was afterwards presented to
the railroad through President L. E. Johnson and now occupies a place of
honor in a glass case in the museum at Richmond, Va. When the car reached
Norfolk it was decorated with flags and bunting, switched to the street car
tracks and hauled about the city, drawn by six horses, while ahead of it
went a brass band. The coal was afterwards by order of President Kimball,
distributed among the poor of Norfolk, who received the benefit of the first
car of Pocahontas coal ever hauled to tidewater.


[This description fits that of a book in the NWHS Archives. Regarding the
ceremonial lump of coal, I wonder whether it is still in some Richmond
museum. Regarding the first car of coal from Pocahontas to reach Norfolk,
the story goes that it was actually the second car loaded, the first load
having been used for locomotive fuel. So, I can imagine the reaction in the
executive offices when they got the message: "They did WHAT with that first
car of coal?"]

Gordon Hamilton

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