"British extraction" & the Shenandoah Division

nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Tue Feb 15 14:45:11 EST 2005

Frank and N&W group,

    I do not have the Shenandoah Valley material in front of me as this was 
donated to the N&W archives upon completion of the book. But as best as I 
can recall the station location grew out of a dispute between the property 
owners, some of whom you mention, but included others and the railroad. 
These folks were not natives, but had moved in following the Civil War 
snapping up these estates at bargain basement prices. (Other readers of the 
N&W Mailing List may not be aware but these estates are, or resemble, 
colonial plantations). In any event these estate owners were continually
moving expensive horseflesh in and out of the area.

    The original SVRR station for what was first called "Boyceville" was a 
small structure located on the west side of the track, alongside a passing 
siding. When time came to replace the station the railroad intended to also 
locate the replacement there. The landowners however feared the highly 
valued horses might encounter danger crossing the tracks and lobbied for a 
location on the east side. A dispute arose with the end result being that 
the station was built on the right hand side and these landowners provided 
the difference between what the N&W had intended to pay and the additional 
cost of providing the station in a location desired by these patrons.

    Although some members of the Gilpin family still live in the area, they 
were not the sole providers of the $17,600  necessary to construct the 
station. Others included the Carter family (of Carter Hall) and the Busch 
family. The Gilpins in those times were reported to
be combative and confrontational in their dealings, quite different than the 
family today.
As for the station itself, it is a varitaion of a standard N&W design and 
was constructed by John Pettyjohn & Company of Lynchburg VA, who constructed 
a number of N&W stations. As for the station size, there is some 
spectulation this was picked by the railroad in order to get the last laugh 
by making these individuals pay far more than necessary in order to get 
there way.

    To answer your specific questions, my notes are in the archives, but 
probably do not
exist in a form that can be easily located. The very effecient archives 
volunteers by this date would have long ago gone through this material and 
filed the photographs with the photos already extant, and placed the other 
material with appropriate collections in the archives. It is possible the 
volunteers may not have shared  a similar interest in Boyce. I interviewed a 
number of people concerning Boyce. As I recall, my primary source for this 
was Mr. Kibler, who is now longer alive. He family ran the express truck 
business that operated out of Boyce station, and later his wife was the 
postmaster of Boyce and worked again in the station. I believe the 
information they gave me to be truthful and fairly balanced.

    Boyce station was not given back to the Gilpin Family, but was put up 
for sale. To futher confirm this, I will point out that the railroad still 
owns the land of which the station sits. If the facility was owned by the 
Gilpin family, then why does N&W still own the land?   Boyce station was 
purchased in 1955 by the Gilpins not because of any special  relationship, 
but because in was a bargain. The Post Office moved there after a fire 
destroyed the old facility. In addition a used clothing store operated here. 
The Gilpins did not sell the station to Rodway. It passed through a series 
of owners, one of which used it as a part of  a tax  shelter scheme. The 
station was again on the real estate market when Ian Rodway purchased it in 
October 1985.  Ian, was a member of the N&W Historical Society at that time, 
and had just married a local (Clarke County) women. His
restaurant did not fail, I believe the day-to-day operation, tied to a 
sewage problem
wore him down.

    I want to thank you for the work you have done to Boyce station. I was 
involved with a group that owned the station briefly. I later discussed the 
situation there with a firend who had a similar experience with an airplane. 
We fed both of these "toys" for a while then passed along ownership to 
somebody else.

Mason Cooper 

More information about the NW-Mailing-List mailing list