Dec. 12, 1887. Single sheet of lined paper, 32 cm. An unsigned deed for a right of way, with shallow chipping along the right margin taking a letter or two in a few lines. A pencil note in the top right corner requests "Return this to Chas. Goldsboro[ugh]. Accompanied by a manuscript plat of the land in question, a single sheet, 16 x 32 cm., in black and red ink, showing the "Right of Way thro' S. Fansler," dated Decr. 12, 1887, and signed by Chas. Goldsborough, Asst. Engr. Old fold lines, else very good. Both documents encapsulated. S. Fansler is likely John S. Fansler, a farmer in Elkins, West Virginia. Item #68345
The West Virginia Central & Pittsburg Railway Company was founded by Henry Gassaway Davis in 1880, from an original 1866 charter granted to the Potomac & Piedmont Coal & Railroad Company. Davis, a U.S. Senator (1871-83) and industrialist, wanted to develop the coal and timber resources of West Virginia into a major market. According to a biography of Davis by Charles M. Pepper, the railroad line "unlocked the imprisoned resources in the heart of the state." [see: the article by L. Wayne Sheets in the West Virginia Encyclopedia on line, giving a short history of the railroad] The line was to run between Cumberland, Maryland and Elkins, West Virginia. Poor's Manual of the Railroads of the United States [H.V. & H.W. Poor: 1889, Vol. 22, pp. 646-7] notes that an extension of the line was "located during 1888, from Parsons to near Leadville (now called Elkins), in Randolph Co., W.Va., a distance of about 28 miles, of which about 12 miles of grading were completed. The road will be finished to Elkins by July 1, 1889."