Thursday, July 27, 1972
Early Sunday morning the town of Cass and the Cass Scenic Railroad received a severe jolt with the destruction of the railroad shop building by fire. At about ten minutes of three, the engine hostler reported hearing a loud noise and then seeing the shop engulfed in flames.
Cass employees and firemen and equipment from Cass, Durbin and the Observatory responded to the call.
As it was obvious from the beginning that the rapid advance of the flames gave no chance to save the shop, all efforts went toward moving the engines and cars out of the danger zone. By hard work and a certain amount of risk, all equipment outside the shop was moved to safety with only two cars damaged.
Two engines were inside the shop. One, Shay No. 3, was in operating condition and the other, Climax No. 9, was awaiting repairs. Shay Three was pulled from the burning shop and both engines received only relatively minor damage.
The shop was built in 1921-22 by the West Virginia Pulp and Paper Company to replace a shop located nearer to the mill. Though the loss of the building is bad enough for the railroad, the major loss was of the many specialized tools used for work on the Cass Engines and the inventory of rare and valuable Shay parts.
From a historical point of view the loss is also great as the Cass shop was one of the last and probably the largest steam locomotive repair facility in use in this country today…
About 185 4-Hers are at Camp Pocahontas this week, with 15 leaders. The tribal chiefs and their sagamores are:
Seneca – Annie Price, Chief; Wendy Wooddell, Sagamore.
Cherokee – Mike Beverage, Chief; Melissa Rittenhouse, Sagamore.
Mingo – Jeff Bowling, Chief; Ginny Mitchell, Sagamore.
Delaware– Shirley Wilfong, Chief; Tommy Corbett, Sagamore.
Big Feet – Robert Keller, Chief; Kathy Porter, Sagamore.
A Dream Comes True
John Hilleary – 1972 Farm Family of the Year
John Louia Hilleary was born March 15, 1944, to Mr. and Mrs. George Louia Hilleary, the first son and second child. Mrs. Hilleary is the former Mary Lydia McNeel, of Hillsboro. John’s parents lived in Ronceverte, but soon moved to Hillsboro.
John’s grandfather, Moffett McNeel, Sr., owned a large farm near Hillsboro, and John soon decided that city life was not for him. The farm animals were quickly adopted as John’s playmates. His aunt, Elma McNeel, recalls that John was riding a tractor almost before he began to walk.
His first grade teacher, Miss Alice Waugh, fondly remembers that the first thing each morning, starting with Monday, a red-haired, freckled-face little boy would ask “Miss Waugh, is today Friday?”
Fridays to John were very special because he knew that when school was out, his grandfather would be waiting to take him to the farm…
Mr. and Mrs. Claude Phillips, of Marlinton, are announcing the engagement of their daughter, Barbara Ann, to Fred Gene Goldizen, son of Mr. and Mrs. Sampson Goldizen, of Marlinton.
Melvin P. Vandevender, 90, of Mace, farmer, stockman and livestock dealer; born at Monterville, a son of the late William and Mary Conrad Vandevender. Burial in the Stalnaker Cemetery at Monterville.
Lee Franklin Sharp, 62, of Slatyfork, a retired employee of the Western Maryland Railroad. Burial in Mountain View Cemetery.
Claude H. Scott, 70, of Frankford; born at Droop Mountain, a son of the late Zed and Betty Foe Scott. Burial in the Henning Church of God Cemetery at Vago.