Chilhowie, VA

nw-mailing-list at nw-mailing-list at
Tue Aug 31 12:27:18 EDT 2004

In response to a question posted on the list a couple months ago by Andre Jackson about the industries and rail needs of Chilhowie, Virginia, I have done some research and found the following:
Chilhowie was served my three major local businesses.  One of the largest for its day was the Bonham Apple Orchard, which had thousands of acres of apple trees.  It was quite an event at harvest time, and the N&W shipped out tons of them every year.  I don't know what kind of car would have been used though.  Another business was operated by Fount Berry (predecessor to Berry Iron & Metal and Berry Home Center), and his business was dealing with herbs, fur, and rabbits.  Its my understanding that rabbits were shipped to the big cities by the thousands during the depression as a source of food.  Mr. Berry's herb business was also partnered by a man name of Greer (or Greear) in Marion, and together they had one of the largest herb businesses in the U.S.  The last major one I have found record of is the Rouse fuel and feed company (name may not be correct).  Mr. Rouse had the grain silos at his business, and operated a feed supply for the area.  All this feed was delivered by rail.  The
 feed would be mixed and delivered to the customers.  He also dealt in grain, which also was received by rail and stored in one of the silos.  This grain was hauled to the Riverside Mill and Wilkinson's Mill on the South Fork of the Holston river, as well as others I'm sure.  He also dealt in coal and fuel oil, and eventually petroleum products as coal went out.
I have also found a Chilhowie Lumber Company, and it headed toward Saltville.  More to come on this later...
Ben Blevins

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