The above chart has estimated distances (and a low quality scan to save space), but is an attempt to show the incredible profile of the 40-some mile Preston Railroad. Opposite of the usual situation, the logs were hauled uphill to Crellin from the deep Cheat River basin. The mountaintop character of the railroad also meant a lot of snow and cold weather to deal with from October to May. The major lumber operations at Crellin spanned the period from 1892 to 1925, a comparatively long life. The first rail line is shown by the dashed line that went up Laurel Run towards Aurora, West Virginia. At the same time, logs were being cut and floated down the Yough from its source near Breedlove West Virgina-site of the major splashdam now called Silver Lake. After cutting progressed away from the river, it made sense to build a rail line along the gentle grades of the upper Yough. At this time, the Preston Railroad was incorporated, but not chartered. Charters were obtained in 1906, the year that the Kendall's took control. Apparently the timber rights in the Horseshoe Run valley had been obtained by this time and the Preston's route was set, as industry observers were questioning whether the Preston would form a bridge route between the West Virginia Central and Pittsburg Railroad at Parsons West Virginia and the B&O at Hutton Switch. When the area along the Yough was logged, the railroad crossed over the divide to the Cheat River drainage and major logging commenced, complete with Shays, log loaders and huge timber. White Ridge, shown on this profile is an example of the vertical height the logging railroad climbed out of the Horseshoe Run valley up every available creek. All of this logging activity was in the immediate vicinity of the major lumber mill competitors of Parsons and Davis, West Virginia leading to the conclusion that the Crellin operators had tied up timber rights early on. In a diary of a tourist fisherman in the 1880's, it was reported that land in this area could be had by simply producing a survey, having the deed recorded at the St. George courthouse and paying the taxes.
Some Preston Railroad/Crellin Miscellany
-The fine interchange yard with the B&O was actually the original B&O mainline. A 1911 improvement project built a new, higher fill from Hutton Switch to west of Corinth, leaving the old mainline for use as overflow yard and a much larger interchange with the Preston RR.
-About 10 years ago, the Preston Railroad right of way (whatever that would be) was for sale.
-According to Jim Ashby, Crellin residents would haul wagonloads of ashes for domestic use right after midnight on Sunday. Sunday was the only day the sawmill was not operating, but residents would not break the Sabbath. Jim adds "the mill burnt the slabs, etc during the week and
then the residents
got the ashes to spread on the fields as fertilizer".
-After coal mining ceased and the town was sold to the residents, the dam on the Yough was dynamited. Residents felt this was done in an arbitrary manner. Chestnut logs that had sank many decades earlier were salvaged and sawed into quality lumber.
One can still find evidence of the boom chain in the river.
-Crellin has three churches and no bars.
-The company store no longer operates as a store, but can be visited as the location of Tom Henline's frequent estate auctions.
$1.00 Scrip-Kendall Lumber Co.
Dave Cathell collection
KENDALL, Samuel Austin, a Representative from Pennsylvania; born in Greenville Township, Somerset County, Pa., November 1, 1859; attended the public schools and was a student for some time at Valparaiso, Ind., and at Mount Union College, Alliance, Ohio; taught school from 1876 to 1890 and served five years as superintendent of the public schools of Jefferson, Iowa; returned to Somerset County, Pa., in 1890 and engaged in the lumber business and the mining of coal; vice president of the Kendall Lumber Co. of Pittsburgh and president of the Preston Railroad Co.; member of the State house of representatives 1899-1903; elected as a Republican to the Sixty-sixth and to the six succeeding Congresses and served from March 4, 1919, until his death; had been unsuccessful for reelection in 1932 to the Seventy-third Congress; died in the House Office Building, Washington, D.C., January 8, 1933; interment in Hochstetler Cemetery, Greenville Township, Somerset County, Pa.
From Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress http://bioguide.congress.gov
CHARLES WALTER REAM, 56, prominent in business and fraternal circles in this county, died about 8:30 o'clock Monday evening at his home in Crellin, following an extended illness of several years. For the past several months MR REAM was confined to bed during which period he suffered several heart attacks which weakened him and was the ultimate result of his demise.
MR REAM was born in Mt Lake Park on September 13, 1882, a son of RICHARD and the late CATHERINE WEISS REAM. For a number of years he was engaged in the lumber business, being associated as superintendent for the Kendall Lumber Company whose operations years ago, and later became engaged in developing and mining coal properties near Crellin and in W.VA.
He was well known throughout Maryland and W.VA in coal mining circles and at the time of his death he was a member of the Bituminous Coal Commission of W.VA district No. 3 first vice president of the Preston County Mining Institute and president of the Stanley Coal Company, which he actively directed until stricken a few months ago.
MR REAM was married twice, first to MISS IDA M LEE who died in 1925 and to MISS ROSALIE CLICK, principal of the Oakland Elementary School, who survives as also do four children by his first marriage, HAROLD, ERVAL and ALVIN, all of Crellin and MRS HARVEY MUSSARD, of Oakland. In addition, he is survived by his father, RICHARD REAM, of Mt Lake Park and GEORGE of Indiana, PA MRS ALBERT BIGGS, Mt Lake Park, MRS FRANK GORTNER of Mason ILL.
Funeral services will be held Friday afternoon at 2 o'clock from the Union Church in Crellin with the REV ROY SHAFFER, Clarksburg W.VA., officiating, assisted by the REV E.A. CRITES, pastor of the United Brethren Church of which faith he was a member since early childhood. Interment will be in the Oakland cemetery with the Knights of Pythias Lodge in charge.
Active pallbearers will be business associates and honorary members of the Oakland Rotary Club, DOUGLAS GORMAN, JOHN J RUTLEDGE, WALTER N KIRKMAN, DR W.W. WILLIAMS, DR W.A.GRACIE, DR A.H.HAWKINS, DR JOHN E LEGGE, P.J.CROGAN, JUDGE A.G.HUGHES and directors of the Garrett National Bank. Ag
"The Preston Railroad", George A. Fizer, Oakland, Maryland, The Glade Star, Volume 3, June, September and December,1968.(Apparently Kline used this historian's narrative in his book).
"History of Crellin, Maryland, Story of a Double Boom Town", Robert C. Shaffer, Oakland, MD ( a Crellin native), self published by the author, 1976.
"Garrett County 125th Anniversary Photo Album", Garrett County Historical Society, McClain Printing Co, Parson WV, 1997.
"The Preston Railroad, A Longtime B&O Shipper", Wade H. Rice, The Sentinel, Volume 22 Number 4, Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Historical Society, www.borhs.org , Fourth Quarter 2000.
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(1)COAL RESERVES IN MARYLAND
Coal in Maryland occurs in five elongate structural basins or snyclines, in Garrett and Western Allegany Counties of Maryland. These basins are The Georges Creek Basin, named for the stream that flows southwestward through the basin to the North Branch of the Potomac River; The Upper Potomac Basin along the North Branch of the Potomac River; The Casselman Basin, named for the Casselman River which flows northward through the basin into Pennsylvania; The Lower Youghiogheney and Upper Youghiogheny Basins, named for the Youghiogheney River which flows northward toward Pennsylvania.
The Georges Creek Basinlies between Big Savage Mountain on the west and Dans Mountain on the east and is about 21 miles long by five miles wide. The northern boundary is the Pennsylvania being called the Wellersburg Basin. The Savage River forms the boundary line between the Georges Creek Basin and the Upper Potomac Basin which lies to the south along the same synclinal trend. The Allegany Garrett County boundary passes diagonally across the basin, with about three fourths of the basin lying in Allegany County. Most of the post coal mining production in Maryland took place in this basin.
The Upper Potomac Basin is 30 miles long, averages three miles in width and extends in a northeast direction from the southern tip of Garrett County to the Savage River. The basin is transacted between Maryland and West Virginia by the North Branch of the Potomac River. The coal strata remaining in this basin represents a thinner geologic section than exists in the Georges Creek Basin but contains the largest contiguous reserve of coal in Maryland.
The Lower Youghiogheny Basin lies in the extreme northwest corner of Garrett County and extends across the Pennsylvania Maryland West Virginia state lines northward into Pennsylvania and westward into West Virginia. Sang Run geographically separates the basin from the adjacent Upper Youghiogheny Basin. The basin in Maryland is triangular in shape and is approximately twelve miles long by a maximum of six miles wide. Mining activity in this basin has been minimal in the past, but is increasing
The Upper Youghiogheny Basin is located along the western side of Garrett County and lies immediately south of the Lower Youghiogheny Basin. Sang Run forms the northern geographic boundary where a structural saddle separates the two basins. The West Virginia Maryland state line forms the western border of the Upper Youghiogheny Basin in Maryland and separates it from the Mt. Carmel Basin in West Virginia. The basin is approximately ten miles long by five miles wide. It contains the thinnest sequence of coal measures in Maryland. To date mining activity has been minimal.
The Casselman Basin lies in central Garrett County and is the southern end of the Somerset or Berlin Basin of Pennsylvania. The basin is 18 miles long by about five miles wide and extends from Deep Creek Lake at Cherry Creek northeast to the State line. The most important coal seams in this basin from the standpoint of known recoverable reserves and quality are: Lower Bakerstown, Upper Feeport, and Upper Kittanning.
COAL RESERVES BY TONS
The Georges Creek Basin contains the most recoverable reserves in the State, 354.1 million tons or 41%. The Potomac Basin contains 223.5 million tons or 26%, The Casselman Basin contains 116 million tons or 13.6, the Lower Youghiogheny Basin contains 107 million tons or 12.4%, and the Upper Youghiogheny Basin contains 54.3 million tons or 6.9% of the recoverable coal reserves.