There is in the NWHS archives, in the President Johnson correspondence files, a folder that has information about activity by the Virginian Railway to extend a line to the coal fields of eastern Kentucky. There is a memo that transmits a map showing the proposed route, and a newspaper clipping from the Bluefield Daily Telegraph that speculates about the extension.
Engineering Party at Wharncliffe Staking Line from
Shelby through Wharncliffe and up Ben Creek
December 14, 1915
Mr. L. E. Johnson,
In connection with my letter of December xx, I enclose herewith blueprint copy of Map No. 439 showing down through Wharncliffe and Delorme, and across Shelby on Levisa Fork -- all on the Government map.
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
Sunday, January 2, 1916.
DECIDES ON ROUTE
Engineering Corps Located on Peters Creek and Line Being Located From Princeton By Way of Falls Mills.
Reports are to the effect that the Virginian Railroad has decided upon a route into the Buchanan coal fields, which, after having made numerous surveys, its engineering force is now finally locating.
It was learned from Princeton members of the engineering corps spending the holidays at home with their families that the route as finally decided upon is out of Princeton by the way of Falls Mills and turning off at an angle a few miles eastwardly from Welch. Thence its route is along a water course for several miles directly tributary toward Buchanan county.
Parties of the engineering corps would not talk to newspaper men, and it was indirectly learned from them that the Virginian had finally decided upon a route, hence it is that the exact course the road will take is not known more in detail. if the Virginian has chosen a route, as is reported. However, it is said that a few miles distant from Welch, on what is known as Peters Creek, one camp of twenty of an engineering party is located, while a few miles farther on the way toward Buchanan another camp of eighteen men is located, while the engineers are quoted as saying that the extension would be made, as an assured fact, out of Princeton.
It is also said tbat these same parties have been in the employ of the Virginian for the past six months, constituting a payroll of approximately $2,000 a month during all this time.
Capt. A. J. Pearcy, one of the oldest engineers of the country, is in charge of the engineering and he is quoted as saying that after he completes this work with the Virginian it is his intention to retire for life.