Highway to History - A Midland Trail Scrapbook
This is a very interesting book about a highway that should be of interest to C&O fans. It centers on the old Midland Trail, the James River & Kanawha Turnpike, which became US Rt. 60.
It was over this route that the original canal connecting the James and the Ohio rivers was to have been built, however when the canal had progressed only slowly a turnpike road was carved out along an old Indian trail. It was along roughly this same route that the C&O was later built. When US highways were created in the early decades of the 20th Century, the road became Route 60, with the nickname of “Midland Trail.”
The book uses primarily old “tinted” postcards as well as supplemental photos and data to describe the locales along the historic highway mainly in the era 1910-1950. C&O towns such as White Sulphur Springs, Ronceverte, Rupert, Rainelle, Gauley Bridge, Montgomery, Charleston, St. Albans, and many more get their place in the book.
It is lavishly printed on heavy coated paper and is wonderfully presented. Author Jim Casto is well known to C&OHS members from his “in character” portrayal of Collis P. Huntington, and has been featured at several Society Conferences over the years.
Some photos of trains and stations, C&O, NYC, Meadow River Lumber Shays, etc., appear, but if you want a book with lots of railroad subjects, this is not it.
I highly recommend the book as a background piece for anyone interested in the C&O mainline through West Virginia. It’s interesting, informative, and looks great!
By James E. Casto
Softbound, 8-1/2x11 trim, 112 pages, color throughout.