In 2002, PAWV added the Cass Historic District to one of its first ever West Virginia Endangered Properties List. When it was listed in 2002, it had been sitting unused and the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources had just taken ownership.
PAWV recently caught up with the Superintendent of the Cass Scenic Railroad State Park to learn about the successes going on within the Cass Historic District, which is incorporated into the State Park. Watch this video to learn about the preservation, restoration, and recreation at the park over the last 20 years.
Cass, Pocahontas County
Now owned by the WV Department of Natural Resources, Cass was established in 1900 by the WV Pulp & Paper Company (WESTVACO) and is a rare surviving example of an early 20th century logging industry company town. Listed on the National Register, the town of Cass is running out of time. Long, harsh winters and humid summers take a heavy toll on wooden buildings open to the environment, causing many of the houses, the company hospital, and the huge Cass School to lose structural integrity. Vandalism, looting, and arson have also heavily impacted many of the irreplaceable resources. In 2001, the all-volunteer Mountain State Railroad and Logging Historical Association (MSRLHA) and the Foundation for the Cass Scenic Railroad State Park began preservation efforts on the Company Doctor’s House at Cass. In 2003, the Cass Preservation Committee began reviewing and updating the Cass Master Plan with renewed emphasis on preserving historic cultural resources with recommendations for future work. A subcommittee is working on a more detailed review of status and needs, and an engineer’s overview of Cass School is done. In addition, the architectural report for the Doctor’s House is complete and fundraising efforts are underway.
Endangered Properties List
If you are interested in assisting with any of these preservation projects, contact the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia at firstname.lastname@example.org.