Author Spotlight
Doug's Store
The Laurel Fork Railway of Carter County, Tennessee By Doug McGuinn
Paperback: $7.95
Prints in 3-5 business days
"To hell with the ET&WNC, we'll start our own railroad!" Those words were spoken in anger by Lewis Gasteinger, general manager of the newly formed Pittsburgh Lumber Company in Carter... More > County, Tennessee, to William Flinn, president of the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania construction firm of Booth & Flinn, which had recently, in 1909, purchased 12,00 acres of virgin-timber land in the Dennis Cove area of northeastern Tennessee. The lumber company needed a way to take the finished wood to market. They approached a local railroad called the East Tennessee and Western North Carolina (aka "Tweetsie"), seeking to build a spur from the firm's sawmill, located about one-half mile east of the Carter County village of Hampton. No satisfactory arrangement, however, could be agreed upon. So the Pittsburgh Lumber Company decided to build its own railroad. Incorporated in April 1910, the railroad ran from Elizabethton to Laban, Tennessee, a distance of 14.9 miles, the mainline mostly following the Laurel Fork of the Doe River.< Less
The Butterfly for Boomers By Doug McGuinn
Paperback: List Price: $17.95 $16.16 | You Save: 10%
Prints in 3-5 business days
Writing this book has helped me psychologically. It was, in part, written to help me deal with the death of my eldest son, Jamie, who was killed at the age of 23, on October 5, 2006, the day before... More > my 59th birthday. The seed for this book was planted in my head while I was practicing my kick with a kickboard at the swimming pool at the gym I go to. For some reason, I had this crazy idea of quitting teaching and becoming a lifeguard. The idea of sitting high up there in a lifeguard stand and thinking great thoughts between heroic rescues of saving people from drowning, really appealed to me. This book is sort of a reverse coming-of-age story; maybe a going-of-age story. In it are a series of essays about my growing up and my growing old, as well as an on-going novella based loosely on my swim clinics.< Less
There's Copper in Them Thar Hills!: Copper Mining in Watauga, Ashe and Alleghany Counties of North Carolina By Doug McGuinn
Paperback: List Price: $15.95 $14.36 | You Save: 10%
Prints in 3-5 business days
The Wilmington, North Carolina firm of Bannister, Cowan & Company, in its glowing report titled, just as glowingly, The Resources of North Carolina: Its Natural Wealth, Condition, and Advantages,... More > as Existing in 1869. Presented to the Capitalists and People of the Central and Northern States, wrote that “[t]he three most noted copper mines in the northwestern part of the State are the Elk Knob, Peach Bottom, and Ore Knob. … In the southeast corner of Ashe County is another mine of some note, known as Gap Creek [aka the Copper Knob Mine].” THERE'S COPPER IN THEM THAR HILLS! contains the histories of those four mines, which, as Bannister, Cowan & Company pointed out in its report, were all located in the mountains of northwest North Carolina: the Elk Knob Mine in Watauga County, the Copper Knob Mine and the Ore Knob Mine in Ashe County, and the Peach Bottom Mine in Alleghany County.< Less
The Last Train from Elkland By Doug McGuinn
eBook (PDF): $5.99
THE LAST TRAIN FROM ELKLAND is a brief history of Elkland (present-day Todd), North Carolina, and the surrounding northwestern North Carolina mountain communities, including Bowie (present-day... More > Fleetwood), West Riverside (present-day Brownwood), and Yuma (present-day Deep Gap). Not only is THE LAST TRAIN FROM ELKLAND a history of four northwestern North Carolina mountain communities, it is also about two railroads that operated in and around these communities: the Virginia-Carolina, also known as the “Virginia Creeper,” and the Deep Gap Tie and Lumber Company’s railroad, whose former Hassinger Lumber Company’s Shay logging locomotive operated alongside Gap Creek, from Deep Gap, in Watauga County, to the South Fork of the New River, near Fleetwood, in Ashe County, a distance of only about five miles.< Less
The Lopsided Three: A History of Railroading, Logging and Mining in the Holston, Doe and Watauga Valleys of Northeast Tennessee By Doug McGuinn
eBook (PDF): $5.99
THE LOPSIDED THREE contains the history of railroading, logging, and mining in three northeast Tennessee valleys: the Holston, the Doe, and the Watauga valleys. Included are four railroads that... More > operated in this area: the Virginia & Southwestern Railway, the Holston Valley Railway, the Laurel Railway, and the Beaver Dam Railroad, and their numer¬ous logging and mining operations. By the late 1920s most of the good timber had been cut – the stump-covered slopes left to erode; many of the mines – which rarely turned a profit – had been closed; and much of the railroad trackage had been abandoned. The Great Depression and the flood of 1940 drove the final nails into the coffin, ending what little logging and mining operations were left, and ending the few surviving railroads.< Less
The "Virginia Creeper": Remembering the Virginia-Carolina Railway By Doug McGuinn
eBook (PDF): $5.99
THE “VIRGINIA CREEPER”: REMEMBERING THE VIRGINIA–CAROLINA RAILWAY is a history of the “Virginia Creeper” train, whose route, in its heyday, ran from Abingdon, Virginia,... More > to Elkland (present-day Todd), North Carolina, a distance of 76.5 miles ( its route was officially known as the Abingdon Branch of the Norfolk & Western Railway). However, in 1933, the 20.5-mile section that stretched from Elkland to West Jefferson, North Carolina, was abandoned. One of the last steam trains in America, the “Virginia Creeper” wasn’t “dieselized” until 1957. Passenger and mail services were discontinued in 1962. The remainder of the route, from Abingdon to West Jefferson, was abandoned in 1977. Now, the Virginia section of the former Virginia–Carolina Railway’s roadbed is the Virginia Creeper Trail, a well-used (and very scenic) hiking/biking/horseback-riding trail.< Less
The Railroad to Nowhere: The Deep Gap Tie & Lumber Company Railroad and other Northwestern North Carolina Business Ventures By Doug McGuinn
eBook (PDF): $5.99
THE RAILROAD TO NOWHERE contains the stories of five northwestern North Carolina business ventures: the Copper Knob Mine (a.k.a. the Gap Creek Mine); Cowles’ Stand (the A. D. Cowles & Co.... More > Store); the Deep Gap Tie & Lumber Co. RR (the “Railroad to Nowhere”); the V. L. Moretz & Son Lumber Co. (formerly the Deep Gap Tie & Lumber Co.); and Appalachian Ski Mountain (formerly the Blowing Rock Ski Lodge). These businesses were all located in the North Carolina counties of either Watauga or Ashe (BOTH counties, in the case of the Deep Gap Tie & Lumber Co. Railroad). Like all business ventures, some were successful, some were, well, not so successful. (One of the businesses, Appalachian Ski Mountain, continues today, very much alive and healthy.) Even though these business were diverse in their activities – a copper mine, a general store, a railroad, a lumber company, a ski resort – they all can trace their roots back to one man: Calvin J. Cowles.< Less
Green Gold: The Story of the Hassinger Lumber Company of Konnarock, Virginia By Doug McGuinn
eBook (PDF): $5.99
In 1904, when the Hassinger brothers came from the Penn. county of Forest to the Va. county of Washington with the idea of continuing their father’s lumber business, they liked what they saw:... More > thousands of acres of virgin forest. Two years later, they built a sawmill and a town to support its workers, called Konnarock in Washington County. In less than ten years, the Hassinger Lumber Company was employing over 400 workers, had laid down over 75 miles of railroad track, had built 20 logging camps, and was sawing almost 60,000 board feet of lumber per day. Not only did the Hassinger Lumber Company cut timber in Washington County, Virginia, it also did extensive timbering in neighboring Ashe County, North Carolina, and also sawed timber cut in Watauga County, North Carolina, when the Deep Gap Tie and Lumber Company, located in the Watauga County village of Deep Gap, bought the Hassinger Lumber Company’s Shay locomotive No. 3, sending its logs to the Hassinger sawmill in Konnarock.< Less
The Lopsided Three: A History of Railroading, Logging and Mining in the Holston, Doe and Watauga Valleys of Northeast Tennessee By Doug McGuinn
Paperback: List Price: $18.50 $16.65 | You Save: 10%
Prints in 3-5 business days
THE LOPSIDED THREE contains the history of railroading, logging, and mining in three northeast Tennessee valleys: the Holston, the Doe, and the Watauga valleys. Included are four railroads that... More > operated in this area: the Virginia & Southwestern Railway, the Holston Valley Railway, the Laurel Railway, and the Beaver Dam Railroad, and their numer¬ous logging and mining operations. By the late 1920s most of the good timber had been cut – the stump-covered slopes left to erode; many of the mines – which rarely turned a profit – had been closed; and much of the railroad trackage had been abandoned. The Great Depression and the flood of 1940 drove the final nails into the coffin, ending what little logging and mining operations were left, and ending the few surviving railroads.< Less
The Railroad to Nowhere: The Deep Gap Tie & Lumber Company Railroad and other Northwestern North Carolina Business Ventures By Doug McGuinn
Paperback: List Price: $9.95 $8.96 | You Save: 10%
Prints in 3-5 business days
THE RAILROAD TO NOWHERE contains the stories of five northwestern North Carolina business ventures: the Copper Knob Mine (a.k.a. the Gap Creek Mine); Cowles’ Stand (the A. D. Cowles & Co.... More > Store); the Deep Gap Tie & Lumber Co. RR (the “Railroad to Nowhere”); the V. L. Moretz & Son Lumber Co. (formerly the Deep Gap Tie & Lumber Co.); and Appalachian Ski Mountain (formerly the Blowing Rock Ski Lodge). These businesses were all located in the North Carolina counties of either Watauga or Ashe (BOTH counties, in the case of the Deep Gap Tie & Lumber Co. Railroad). Like all business ventures, some were successful, some were, well, not so successful. (One of the businesses, Appalachian Ski Mountain, continues today, very much alive and healthy.) Even though these business were diverse in their activities – a copper mine, a general store, a railroad, a lumber company, a ski resort – they all can trace their roots back to one man: Calvin J. Cowles.< Less