Matewan Question

nw-mailing-list at nw-mailing-list at
Sun Jul 31 14:15:49 EDT 2005

You don't indicate whether you saw the oxbow track on the east or west.
Certainly there has been a line on the west side for many years, but the
east side would appear to be much less sure.

SPV Steam Atlas shows a line from the west wrapping around the loop but
stopping before the east tunnel. USAMaps, which gets its photos from
TerraServer, shows the same line currently. Check historical.maptech, WV
Quads: Matewan, 1909 - 1928, and the same configuration shows. Additionally,
the quad and the photo show the same old east-side road, which probably is
not an 'original' RR ROW, while the photo shows a newer road which certainly
could look like a former ROW but isn't.

I like these sorts of puzzles but can't get to the areas to see them. If you
saw tracks on the east side, the puzzle remains unanswered; but if you saw
them on the west, it would seem that it has always been just a spur. Of
course, these references are 20 years removed from the arrival of the N&W in
1890, so there may have been changes before 1909.

Craig Close
Balimer, Merlan
OK: Far West Catonsville
ALL RIGHT: Greater Oella


From: nw-mailing-list-bounces at
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Sent: Thursday, July 28, 2005 9:14 AM
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Subject: RE: Matewan Question

I'll take a shot at this. On the way home from said convention, I was
tagging along with Gordon Hamilton and Ron Davis. There was a place that
looked like this where the tunnel was put through later. The oxbow was the
original. The location we looked at still had the 'oxbow' track (the
original main) in as a spur to a mine. We saw so many places and I was
enthralled by all of it. It's kinda running all together!
Charlie Long

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Sent: Wednesday, July 27, 2005 8:40 AM
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Subject: Matewan Question

A question left over from the Williamson Convention: I was given both
answers at the time and trying to get to the 'right' one. Did the original
N & W main line west of Matewan go around the oxbow by way of Lobata, or was
the tunnel across the neck of the oxbow part of the original construction ?

>From the USGS map, there is only a one mile gap from the end of the present

mine spur to the east portals of the tunnel.

Jerome Crosson
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