N&W station master houses still standing

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Wed Jan 4 10:40:19 EST 2017

Thanks. The Cold Spring station was relocated and was in use as a residence recently, as was/is the Lyndhurst station. Those were among several Shenandoah RR standard combination stations along the line.

Jeff Cornelius

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From: NW Mailing List <nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org>
To: NW Mailing List <nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org>
Sent: Tue, Jan 3, 2017 2:12 pm
Subject: Re: N&W station master houses still standing


Just to show you how extensive some places were, I transcribed the part of the sheet that includes Stuarts Draft:



You'd hardly guess that today, I'm sure.

The measurements are not decimal, just the simple way I've entered it on the spread sheet, so, 5.3 is five foot, three inches, not 5 foot, four inches.

In addition, the section foreman's house was split, one story with a second story over half. Most motorcar sheds were noted as tool sheds, very rarely did it mention motor cars.


On Jan 3, 2017, at 11:20 AM, NW Mailing List wrote:

The daughter of the resident once told me that there was a house for section foreman in Stuarts Draft. The complex there once also included a two-car handcar shed and water tower, both now gone, although foundations remained recently.

Jeff Cornelius

-----Original Message-----

From: NW Mailing List <nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org>

To: NW Mailing List <nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org>

Sent: Tue, Jan 3, 2017 9:48 am

Subject: Re: N&W station master houses still standing


I have to question exactly what structure you are speaking of. To the best of my knowledge, the N&W never had a "Station master's house" anywhere on the railroad, I've never seen the first mention of such in any documentation. The closest thing to that existing, to my limited knowledge, is a house in Salem, that was (and still is) located just to the east of the original N&W/AM&O depot that stood at the Union Street Crossing. The original purpose of the building, short of being a house, is unknown, but it was on the railroad property maps for many years and finally sold or given to the family living there now. It easily dates to the 1880-90s. I only suspect that it might have been some form of home for an official like an agent. However, interestingly enough, it does NOT show in the 1919 building lists, but is shown on valuation maps that date many years afterward.

Generally speaking, to accommodate a station agent in remote territory on the N&W, they constructed a two story depot with agent (and family) quarters on the second floor. Those that come to mind in Virginia are Pepper, Waiteville and Paint Bank as well as a number in West Virginia, including War, Panther, Cooper, Maybeury and more that I cannot recall at the moment. 

There was, however, a fairly common structure called a "standard house for section foremen" that were built to standard plans No. L-32, sheets 1-4. The first variation on these houses was, I assume, a simple one story structure. I am also assuming they were changed to a two story version with the revised plans issued in 1937, which is what I have on hand.

The 1919 building list shows a one story section foreman house at Island Ford measuring 31 x 42.5 feet as structure H-1182-A with a tin roof at MP 118. Just a bit further on down the road, another one story frame section foreman's house, measuring 31 x 37 was at Port Republic, MP 127.
Further south, at MP 147 stood a two story frame section foreman's house, measuring 32.4 x 37.2 at Lyndhurst. At MP 153, a 16 x 32 section foreman's house.

Anyway, that gives you an idea of the variety of structures and their commonality.

Now, to you actual question, how many exist today? To the best of my knowledge, there is no definitive list of such. It may be harder to recognize them today, as many have been modified with siding, or new windows, etc. etc. I can say with fair authority (having not been to a few of these places that recently), there is one in Salem right next to the track that has the distinctive porch trim in place, but has been added on to. There is one at Vicker that has been resided, there is one at Dublin, Elliston and Richlands. I am certain there are more. 

Personally, I'd love to see a section foreman's house preserved as such, with no modifications, but once they were sold off to private owners, modifications were and are still common.

Ken Miller

On Jan 2, 2017, at 9:55 PM, NW Mailing List wrote:

My name is        Alan Mende, and in 1992 I wrote a two-part article in Railroad            Model Craftsman on the station master's house        at Island Ford, VA.  The house is on the property of the Coors        Brewing Company in Elkton, VA, and I have been led to believe        that the company plans to demolish the building.  At least one        individual in the company believes this is a mistake and is        trying to generate interest in its preservation.  Can you tell        me how many other station master houses might still remain,        especially in their original location?      

Kindest regards,

Alan Mende

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