Search the
Browse Newspapers
by Date
Articles Indexed
by Topic
About the
Valley of the Shadow

Valley Virginian: February 10, 1870

Go To Page : 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |

-Page 01-

-Page 02-

Our Section of Virginia. Our Resources and Prospects
(Column 01)
Summary: In response to a letter from a Minnesota man requesting information on business interests in the area, the author of this article describes the various mineral resources available to those interested in a secure investment. Specifically, mineral deposits for the manufacture of pottery and brick are discussed at length. Further, in response to the disposition of southerners toward northern immigrants, the author assures his audience that all northerners who behave like gentlemen (i.e. not carpetbaggers) will be treated accordingly.
Full Text of Article:

We take the liberty of publishing some extracts from a private letter, which we received a day or two ago, from a gentleman of Rochester, Minnesota. Our object in laying this letter before our readers is, in the first place, to let them know that the attention of persons in distant States has been turned to this part of Virginia, as possessing attractions to settlers, and secondly, to invite all persons in the country near us, who possess undeveloped mineral lands, to inform us of the kind of minerals found on their lands, the size of the tracts, and the location of each, with relation to the Railroad and to Staunton. We shall be glad, at all times, to be the medium of communication between those who desire to sell such property and those who wish to buy. We are friends of improvement and like to keep things moving.
Rochester, Minnesota,
January 17th, 1870.

Editor Valley Virginian,

Dear Sir: --Having noticed an article in the Iron Age of New York, in the Jan. 6th No. which was taken from your paper, in reference to the present and prospective advantage of your locality as an iron producing region, and being desirous of gaining additional information on the subject, I herewith enclose $1.60 with the request that you make a memorandum of any name and address, and that you, from time to time send me a copy of your paper, of such issues as may contain any information which will bear upon its iron interests, or with regard to the size, growth, business, and surroundings of your town. Should you have any extra copies of any back numbers which contain any description of your town, or of any of its manufacturing interests, aside from the article referred to, they will be thankfully received, and pursued with interest. Begging pardon for this intrusion,
I am,
Yours Truly,

P.S. I should be glad to get information with regard to the prices of business property in the more desirable locations. Also of the undeveloped mineral lands favorably located; and in regard to the popular feeling existing toward persons from the North who go to your portion of the State with a view of making for themselves a business and a home.

In answer, generally, to the enquiries of our correspondent, we will say, that our town of Staunton is situated in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley, near the centre of Augusta county. The town contains a population of five or six thousand, and is rapidly improving. The country around us is fertile, and as salubrious as any part of the Continent.

We have good schools--and a steady, industrious, frugal, religious, and enterprising population.

The Chesapeake & Ohio R.R. already completed from Richmond to the White Sulphur Springs, (a distance of 227 miles) and about to be finished within two years, from the White Sulphur to the Ohio river, where it will connect with the system of Northwestern, Western, and Southwestern Railroad, passes through our town, and affords a convenient outlet Eastward and Westward.

The railroad from Harper's Ferry to Harrisonburg (25 miles North of us) is also nearly completed, and we presume it will not be long before it will be extended to Staunton, and thence, Southwardly to Salem, on to the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad.

The country Southeast, South, West, and Northwest of us, abounds in iron ore of the best quality, and in inexhaustible quantities. A number of iron works are springing up along the railway west of us, and there are still many desirable iron properties unimproved, and in market. The losses which our people generally suffered by the war, have so cramped them, that they cannot raise the money necessary to develop them, and hence they are willing to sell what they are unable to utilize themselves.

But iron is not the only valuable mineral that is found in this portion of Virginia--Manganese, Barytes, Umber, Orchre and Kaolin or porcelain clay are found in large quantities. The impression also prevails that there are deposits of lead and silver ores, in the Blue Ridge, Southeast of Greenville.

It has often been a matter of surprise to us, that some persons of capital and enterprise have not taken hold of the Porcelain works, on the South River, about 11 miles South of Staunton, and six miles Southwest of Waynesborough.

Many years ago, a gentleman who lived on the South-side of the South Branch of the Shenandoah River, had occasion to dig a well on a portion of his land. After digging through a stratum of surface earth, to the depth of four or five feet he encountered an earth or clay, which was as white as the purest lime and entirely free from grit and all extraneous substances. Being unable to determine the qualities of this new substance, he caused a specimen of it to be submitted to Prof. Wm. B. Rogers of the University of Virginia, who, after applying the proper tests, pronounced it kaolin, or porcelain clay, of very pure quality. No use was made of it for a number of years, except that persons in the neighborhood, from time to time, used it for white-washing, instead of lime.

During the war, when there was a great demand for crockery ware of all kinds, and also for fire-brick, a company of gentlemen bought 120 acres of land on which the deposit was situated, with a view to erect works for the manufacture of ware and fire-brick.

Before purchasing, they made careful exploration, to ascertain the superficial extent, and thickness of the deposit. This exploration was made by boring a number of points, in the basin, in which it was originally formed. The result proved, that the deposit lay from three to five feet below the surface--that it extended throughout the basin of about 40 acres, and that it was about 42 feet or 43 feet thick.

Having ascertained these facts, the gentlemen purchased the whole Basin, and about 80 acres of timber land, adjacent, and proceeded to erect a large pottery, kilns, boarding house, store-room, engine house, stabling &c., and they also purchased steam engines, clay mills, patterns, moulds, turn tables, &c. They commenced the manufacture of various kinds of ware and of fire brick, and had every reason to expect that their enterprise would prove successful. But very soon after they commenced operations, the rigid conscription of able bodied men, to recruit the depleted ranks of the Confederate army, deprived them of the force necessary to carry on their operations, and the works were suspended.

A sufficient experiment was made, however, to prove that the clay was well adapted to the manufacture of Rockingham ware and yellow ware, of the very best quality, and also of fire brick of great durability. No effort was made to manufacture the finer qualities of white ware at these works, but a specimen of the clay was sent to one of the potteries in Trenton, where it was manufactured into C.C. ware of beautiful appearance and quality.

After the war a feeble attempt was made to renew operations, but from want of capital and acquaintance with the business, it was abandoned, and the works are now idle.

All the necessary buildings and apparatus to turn out $1,000 of ware per week are now on the land, and there is a body of 80 acres of fine pine and oak timber in the tract, and thousands of acres of similar timber adjoining, which could be had for a minimal price. The condition of the works is such that they could be put into operation in a few weeks, and thus the proprietors could render the capital invested, immediately productive.

We are persuaded that there is no property in Virginia, which presents stronger inducements to men of capital and enterprise to make an investment, than these works.

The local demand for the wares would be large, and the rapid development of the iron interest in this section, will cause a large and permanent demand from fire brick, for the furnaces, which are now in process of construction.

The works are situated within a few hundred yards of the South Branch of the Shenandoah, about six miles from Fishersville and Waynesborough depots, on the Chesapeake & Ohio R.R. Should the Pennsylvania Central R.R. construct the Page Valley R.R. which is now in contemplation, it would probably pass through this property, as it is generally supposed that the Road will follow the Valley of the River.

We understand the gentlemen who own this property, and have a charter of incorporation, are willing to sell it and their franchises, for what land and the improvements cost them.

We should be very much gratified if we can be the means of attracting the attention of capitalists and experienced potters to this valuable property. We regret to see such a mine of wealth left dormant. Unless we are greatly mistaken, many years will not elapse before there is a considerable village at this point and a large number of operatives at work.

In regard to enquiry of our correspondent as to how Northern men coming to settle among us will be received, we answer, unhesitatingly, that any man who comes to reside among us and who conducts himself with propriety, will be received with kindness and cordiality. "Carpet baggers" who intrude themselves here, with the purpose of getting office, by seeking to array class against class and race against race, are certainly not welcome. But the man who comes here for legitimate business purposes, especially if it be his purpose to cast his lot with us, will be welcomed. Our people judge of strangers by their conduct and not by the place of their nativity. If a man acts like a gentleman he is sure to be treated as a gentleman. As an evidence of the truth of this statement we will say that a gentleman from Minnesota, has since the war taken up his abode among us, and by his gentlemanly conduct has secured the respect and good will of the whole community and is now one of our most flourishing merchants.

Other northern men have also become citizens of Staunton, and have succeeded in establishing themselves, not only in profitable business, but in the confidence and favorable regard of our people. We invite our correspondent to come on. We will ensure him kind treatment.

For the Valley Virginian
(Column 04)
Summary: In an effort to secure a railway for the area, despite the acts of short-sighted citizens against it, the author announces the meeting of interested citizens, to take place in a little over a week, to petition the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad company for a competent corps of engineers to go immediately to work. The author speaks with extreme urgency for liberal subscription for the construction of the new railway.
Full Text of Article:

Mr. Editor,

Nothing venture, nothing have, is an old saw and as true in regard to the securing a public improvement, as an individual enterprise. With a short-sighted policy as events have proved, our people have refused to tax themselves to secure the extension of the Valley Railroad. Had they acted otherwise, I have no hesitation in saying we might now have had this road under contract. The Chesapeake & Ohio is now a fixed fact, and it is only the more important we should bestir ourselves to get the Valley Railroad under way. Rockbridge is assuming a restless air, and must have a road. If we do anything that will make her believe we are in earnest in trying to secure this road, it will re assure her, and induce her to await our action.--What do we propose to do? To call a meeting of all those interested in the extension of the road, on the North side, by way of Dayton, Bridgewater, &c., to assemble at Moscow as a central and convenient point on Saturday, the 19th inst., at 11 a.m. What for? To petition the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad to put a competent corps of Engineers immediately at work, from Harrisonburg, along this Northside route, so we may at least stand on an equal footing with the South side. Again, that will let Baltimore, as also the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company know we are willing to put your own shoulders to the wheel, in binding ourselves to relinquish damages, and in subscribing as liberally as we can to the stock of the road.

-Page 03-

[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: The paper reports that one company has shipped 1500 African Americans from Virginia to work on the Chattanooga Railroad.
[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: The paper reports that the protracted meeting being held at the M. E. Church has been unusually successful. The church is crowded every night, and five persons officially joined this past Sunday.
[No Title]
(Column 01)
Summary: In this article, the Staunton and Florida Emigration Society announces its departure on the 16th. Before it "pulls up stakes," the society will entertain the staff of the Spectator with a serenade.
Full Text of Article:

Quite a number of the good citizens of Staunton have joined the "Staunton and Florida Emigration Society," which we learn has been successful in its efforts to obtain transportation for its members over the several roads at reduced rates. The "Society" proposes to "pull up stakes" on the 16th of the present month, and quietly embark to Jacksonville, where it is supposed the "woodbine twineth."

Before leaving, however, the Society will treat the Spectator office with a serenade, beginning and ending with its favorite song, "Shoo fly!"

(Column 01)
Summary: The Rev. G. W. Samson, President of Columbia College, will deliver a lecture at the Baptist Church. He will speak about Jerusalem and is highly recommended. Proceeds will go to the church. Admission if 25 cents; 10 cents for Sunday School students and children under 12.
(Column 02)
Summary: John Palmer and Miss Mary Eago were married on February 6th by the Rev. Mr. Engle.
(Names in announcement: John Palmer, Mary Eago, Rev. Engle)
(Column 02)
Summary: George A. Hutcheson and Miss Maggie J. Robertson were married on January 25th by the Rev. Mr. Wilson.
(Names in announcement: George A. Hutcheson, Maggie J. Robertson, Rev. Wilson)
(Column 02)
Summary: Mrs. Mary H. Cochrane, wife of B. F. Cochrane, died on January 31st. She was 28 years old.
(Names in announcement: Mary H. Cochrane, B. F. Cochrane)
(Column 02)
Summary: Mrs. Sephronia Ann Trainum, wife of David C. Trainum, died on January 21st. She was 54 years old.
(Names in announcement: Sephronia Ann Trainum, David C. Trainum)

-Page 04-