On April 9, 1999 Dean Carroll wrote..."We were driving around Southwest Virginia the other day and happened upon a
suspicious looking building in Paint Bank, Va. There was no sign of a RR anywhere, nor any obvious place where one could have been. Since my trusty
digital camera was handy, I took this photo."
Dean continued..."you will notice the overhang on the first floor and the bay window betray the building as a depot. Fortunately, the lady in the
general store across the street confirmed that it was indeed a RR station and that the road had replaced the railroad sometime in the 1930's. She also
claimed that there is a turntable pit nearby but it was on private property and being law-abiding, i.e., chicken, we didn't look.
I would be interested in knowing what line the station (and it's twin in
Waitsville WVA below, some 10 miles West across the WV border) were built for. Paint Bank is about 30
miles due north of the Roanoke/Salem area, way up in the mountains.
Ed Weber sent me an excerpt from Norfolk and Western Railway
Pochahontas Coal Carrier, by Richard E. Prince (Privately published.
Millard, NE: 1980.) It reads as follows.
"Big Stony Railway was organized about 1892 and by 1896 had
completed its line of 101/2 miles from a connection with the N&W
Railway at Big Stony (Potts Valley) Junction, Va., across the New River
and up to Interior, Va. The road was constructed primarily to haul
lumber for the Interior Lumber Company and iron ore for the Big Stony
Mining Company. In 1898 the Big Stony Railway was reported to own
one locomotive and during the early 1900's the entire railroad was
leased to the Porterfield Lumber Company."
"In 1905 the N&W Rwy. acquired the Big Stony Railway and
between 1907 and 1910 extended the road 28 miles, passing through a
section of West Virginia and then back into Virginia over to Paint
Bank. This line, which ran in the valley west of Potts Mountain,
soon became known as the 38 1/2 mile Potts Valley Branch of the N&W
Rwy that extended from Potts Valley Junction (about one mile west of
Ripplemead, Va.), up in the area north of New River as far as Paint
Bank. In 1932 that 34 miles of track above Oehl, Va., to Paint
Bank was abandoned, leaving a branch of about 5 miles in length that
included the New River bridge and terminated at Kerns, Va."