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Glade, West Virginia

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Waders at bridge pier in New River at Glade, WV
1913 USGS map showing New River Gorge from Quinnimont to Glade

Glade was located on the main line of the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway (C&O) opposite the mouth of Glade Creek, in Fayette County. Glade was not a coal mining company town, but an settlement associated with lumber operations which included mills located in Hamlet, the settlement across the New River in Raleigh County. Glade's population in 1910 was 77, according to the West Virginia Geological Survey.[1]

Sometime about 1880, the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway (C&O) established a station named Paw Paw at the location that would later become known as Glade.[2] Some sources of the era spelled the location as "Papaw." According to a C&O records, 109 persons arrived at and 9 persons departed from Paw Paw Station during the company's fiscal year ending September 30, 1880. According to an article published in 1882 in The Virginias B. Tanner was operating a lumber mill at Papaw that had a daily capacity of 10,000 board feet. The mill reportedly cut 500,000 board feet of oak, popular, and pine during 1881.[3]

At some unknown date, Glade became the junction point for a U.S. Railway Mail Service route between the C&O Railway and the Glade Creek & Raleigh Railroad (GC&R). The GC&R transported the mail from Glade to the post offices at Whorely and from there to Beckley.[4] The mail must have been transported from Glade Station across the New River by boat to Hamlet, as the rail line of the GC&R did not cross New River.

A 1913 USGS topographical map shows the Krise post office as being located at Glade. The exact date the Krise post office was established is unknown, but it was not included on a 1917 list of post offices in West Virginia. However, a post office named "Hamlet" (the settlement located across the New River in Raleigh County) was included on the 1917 list, though its location was shown as Fayette County. Was this a clerical error, or was the actual physical location of the Hamlet P.O. at Glade?

Seven concrete piers in the New River near the mouth of Glade Creek are often mistaken as remnants of a bridge used by a narrow gauge railroad of the late 1800s, the Glade Creek & Raleigh Railroad. The piers were actually part of a standard-gauge railroad line operated by the Glade Creek Coal & Lumber Company from 1924 until 1929. That year, the Glade Creek Coal and Lumber Company sold its holding to the Babcock Coal & Timber Company, which continued operation of the line until about 1936. Completed in early 1923 by the American Bridge Company, the 750-foot railroad bridge was said to be "the longest of all those crossing New River" at that time.

When the Babcock company closed its operations during the Great Depression, most of the tracks were taken-up, and the rails were reclaimed. During World War II, the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway (C&O) received permission from the U.S. government to salvage the steel girder sections of the bridge. The superstructure of the bridge was removed by the railroad and eventually used on various branch lines. A sawmill began operation in Hamlet in about 1921 and continued operation until Sept. 1, 1938. That same day, the post office at Hamlet was closed.


Variant Names for Hamlet

Krise, Papaw, Paw Paw, Pawpaw

Visiting Hamlet

Rafter's Reference: The ruins of Glade, which include a cemetery, are located on river-right, upstream of Grassy Shoals Rapids. However, the piers that once carried a railway across the river are the most obvious remnants of the town.

Sources

[1] West Virginia Geological Survey: Fayette County (1919) via Google Books
[2] Annual Report of the Directors of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway (1880) via Google Books
[3] "Lumbering on the Chesapeake & Ohio Ry." in the January 1882 edition of The Virginias via Google Books
[4] I.C.S. Reference Library: Transportation ... U.S. Railway Mail Service via Google Books




Bathers wade New River above Glade Creek
Stone priers of railroad bridge that once crossed the New River near Glade
New River upstream of Glade, WV
Kayakers drift past piers near Glade, WV
Shallows in New River above mouth of Glade