Deepwater in 1907 -- Taxes

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Sun May 18 16:16:30 EDT 2008

Attorney Knight Presents Interesting Report to the Board of Public Works
Attorney E. W. Knight, representing the Deepwater railroad, presented a report to the board of public works at Charleston Saturday, relative to the assessment of the company's property for taxation, and accompanied it with an interesting statement. This "road of mystery" is now operating about 54 miles of the finest railroad track ever constructed and work is in progress on some 50 miles more that are required to connect with the line of the Tidewater, or new Virginian company.
Last year when the board met to make assessments, the Deepwater had only 9 miles of the road in operation, from Page to the Chesapeake and Ohio line, but it was assessed for all the material on the ground. This year the company reports property to the value of about $1,000,000.
Attorney Knight explained the valuation and stated that while the main line was put in at only $3,000 a mile, some of it cost more than $250,000 per mile. Its value is all in the future and the company expects to pay increased taxes as the earnings justify. Attorney Knight stated that the money expended for construction is now unproductive and should be treated as though it had disappeared.
The company has spent nearly $1,000,000 for rolling stock although there is but one producing mine along its line. This was necessary because as yet the road has not been admitted to the railroad family. The equipment has been listed at about $800,000, which Attorney Knight says is its full market value.
Enemies of this new road, stated Attorney Knight, say that it begins nowhere and ends nowhere, that its construction is calculated to develop a rich mineral territory. The net earnings for the present are small because the development will not take place until the road is completed and transportation facilities assured.
The part of the line now being operated extends from Deepwater to Mullins a distance of 54 miles, and Friday will connect with the Norfolk and Western at Matoaka. A regular service is operated, but there are few stations and few sidings. The track is well laid with 85-pound rail and is well ballasted.
The road has been laid out from Mullins on through Wyoming and Mercer counties to a point on the East River, where it will connect with the Tidewater. These two roads are owned by the same company. Beyond Mullins the work is about 50 per cent completed, but it is not likely that a service can be maintained before June, 1908.

Bluefield Daily Telegraph
May 7, 1907

Gordon Hamilton
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