Spruce, WV
Posted by: Groundspeak Charter Member macdaddymd
N 38° 27.417 W 079° 57.402
17S E 591028 N 4257032
Abandoned logging town near Cass Scenic Railway and Snowshoe Resort
Waymark Code: WM54P
Location: West Virginia, United States
Date Posted: 12/21/2005
Published By:Groundspeak Regular Member LAEOL
Views: 129

The old logging town of Spruce, on the banks of the Shaver's Fork of the Cheat River...
Cass, WV was the center of logging for red spruce, among the best in the word, and used by the Wright Brothers in building their flying machines. Train lines ran from Cass up into the rugged mountains to bring the logs out from camps set up at key intersections of tracks and streams. Around 1904, 1-1/4 miles of track were laid from Old Spruce to Spruce, a new town on the Shavers Fork on the Cheat River. At 3,853 feet, Spruce became the highest town in the eastern United States. At this height it was normal to have frost in the warmest months of the year.
Through the week the camps were occupied by workers. On Saturday they rode the log train to Cass. By Sunday afternoon they returned to camp on another train. This arrangement wasn't working well for workers with families. A proposal for the company to house the workers and their families arose. The company agreed to build houses. The location for these houses would be near the "low place" where the railroad crossed over the mountain. With the construction of houses a town was soon formed. This town became Spruce.
The new town of Spruce had a hotel with 40 rooms, complete with a store which was a branch of the Pocahontas Supply Company Store in Cass, thirty five houses, and one school. The past office was moved from Old Spruce to Spruce.
There was no road into Spruce. All necessities and materials were brought in by train. Spruce had no cemeteries. Bodies of the deceased were carried out by train.

The mill at Spruce was operational from about 1905 to 1925.
In 1906 the population boosted . This year hosted many events for Spruce. The company hired a doctor in 1906. Dr. Uriah Hevener Hannah. He remained in Spruce until 1914 when he moved to Cass. He was replaced by Dr. H.W. Neal.
Spruce became incorporated in 1909.
In 1920 Spruce built a two room School. The population was now up to 350.
In 1925 the mill at Spruce closed. The town was becoming smaller and smaller. Many of the workers moved to Cass or Slatyfork. They still continued working for the company.
On August 31, 1925 the post office closed. Several families still remained.
By March 3, 1927, Cheat and Elk river railroad were sold to Western Maryland Railroad Company. The West Virginia Pulp and Paper Company paid a set rate for the right to use the tracks. Spruce was now basically used for assembling trains to Cass.
In 1939 Spruce had a boarding house, an engine house, and nineteen houses. All of this was operated by the Western Maryland Railroad Company. At this time Spruce housed eight Western Maryland Locomotives.
In 1950 the school was closed at Spruce.

There are no signs of life now at Spruce. No houses are standing. All that is left are concrete foundations of the mills, shops, and houses.

It is accessible via the Cass Scenic Railroad and is near trails in the Snowshoe Resort property.
Reason for Abandonment: Economic

Date Abandoned: 06/01/1950

Related Web Page: Not listed

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