Timber Industry

Ashe County was once home to massive stands of virgin timber, including chestnuts, oaks, and maples.

Around the turn of the 20th century, these vast stands of timber drew the attention of northern timber barons who were looking for new timber to harvest for the northern industrial machine.

The problem these business men had to solve, however, was how to get the giant logs out of remote Ashe County.  Their answer…bring the railroad to the trees. Ashe County’s mighty forests were thus the impetus for the train coming into the county.

The new railroad and timber industry created a short lived economic boom in the county from about 1910-1930. So much timber was cut during this time that it is said that local streams were damned up with sawdust.

Once the old growth timber was cut, however, the timber industry quickly started to wane.

This exhibit remembers those early days of the timber industry.