The boom at Shenandoah Junction, or, as it is to be known in the future, Antietam City, is a go. A representative of the REGISTER visited that place on Tuesday, and from Col. Chas. T. Hood, the manager, gained the information hereinafter set forth.
As is well known, Shenandoah Junction is near the centre of Jefferson county, West Virginia, where the Shenandoah Valley Railroad, a through line North and South, crosses the main line of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, the great trunk line East and West. It is really an ideal location for a manufacturing town. Jefferson county is full of iron ore, the celebrated Virginia Ore Bank being only about six miles distant by rail from Shenandoah Junction, and the great coal fields of Maryland and West Virginia lying within a hundred miles, to say nothing of the other resources that such splendid railroad facilities make near neighbors.
The Antietam Manufacturing and Land Improvement Company is at the head of the movement. This corporation has been chartered by our State authorities, the following officers being named: B. R. Hutchcraft, Knoxville, Tenn., president; W. F. M. McCarty, Hagerstown, Md., vice-president; Edward M. Mealey, Hagerstown, Md., treasurer; Coleman Rogers, secretary. The capital stock is $1,000.00, divided into 10,000 shares of $100 each. This stock is now on the market. When $50 has been paid on a share the holder will receive a paid-up certificate for $100. The first payment per share is $20, and each sixty days thereafter $10 until the $50 is paid.
A few months ago, Col. Hood appeared at Shenandoah Junction and started the work of securing options. He was successful in a marked degree, for he has obtained over a thousand acres of land, in form almost a perfect square, at prices ranging from $100 to $250 per acre, as follows: From R. W. Morrow (the old Neill farm), 150 acres; James W. McGarry, 67 acres; Joseph Engle, about 75 acres; John D. McGarry, 33 acres; Jacob Snyder, about 80 acres; J. W. Barringer, 44 acres; Charles Aglioby, 270 acres; Jacob S. Melvin, 220 acres; Olin Beall, 110 acres; George Harris, 1 acre; John Hill, 6 1/2 acres; John Link, 9 acres. This great tract of land extends along the B. & O. and S. V. Railroads for nearly a mile and a-half each way and on both sides of both roads. The engineers are now making the surveys– a pretty big piece of work, by the way.
Now as to what sort of a town is proposed: The Antietam Company has issued its prospectus, in which it says that it will build up “a solid, compact town, with first-class modern conveniences.” The streets are to be wide avenues well macadamized and paved, with a fine sewe[?]age. Gas and electric light plants will be provided for illuminating purposes. Waterworks are to be constructed upon the Holly system. The supply will be taken from the Potomac river and conducted to the new city by a pipe line about five miles in length. It is probable that the pumping apparatus, standpipe, etc., will be located at Shepherdstown, if present plans are carried out. This place offers many advantages, as it is on an air-line from river to city, and the dam below town makes a natural reservoir that would always be available. The company will spend $60,000 on this work.
The Antietam Company says it will put up a mammoth steel plant with a capacity of three hundred tons of merchantable steel per day, the value of which per diem at the mills will be $12,000. It is designed to employ 2,500 laborers, most of them skilled workmen, with a daily pay roll of $5,000. A second plant will be associated industry for working up a part of the steel output– say a hundred and fifty tons a day– into a new product called Russian sheet steel, an article designed to take the place of tin in many of the domestic and business uses, and to which it is said to be superior. It is expected this enterprise will employ at the start 1,000 men. The third industry will be a plant for processing, by lining or covering, or both, all sorts of iron pipe, plates, etc. About 500 men will be required for this work. In addition to the above industries, a number of lesser ones have been already secured, it is claimed, to say nothing of the inevitable influx of minor establishments that follows such a movement. A hotel to cost $35,000 is to be built at once.
The Antietam Company will utilize 840 acres of the land for town purposes. Of this a hundred acres will be given for sites of manufactories. Forty acres now in timber will be reserved as a park. The remaining 700 acres will be cut up into lots–400 acres in eighteen thousand business lots and 300 acres into eighteen hundred residence lots. The company also owns a thousand acres of mineral lands in addition to the above described property, and a hundred acres of marble and cement lands.
The above are the facts concerning Antietam City as they have been given to us. Considering all the advantages of the place– its great rail, road facilities, its splendid location at the entrance of the Shenandoah Valley, its salubrious climate, its elevated and well-drained land, its nearness to raw materials and markets for manufactured goods— we leave it to our readers whether or not the company’s claim that they will in the near future have a thriving town of 20,000 inhabitants is well founded.
Even at this early stage there are indications that Shenandoah Junction is wakening up, as the following notes will show.
The Norfolk and Western Railroad has bought two lots at the northwest angle of the Shenandoah Valley and Baltimore & Ohio Railroads, and as it is just the place for a new station the presumption is that that’s what it was bought for. Perhaps it will be a union station for the use of both roads jointly.
Mr. Alex L. Osbourn has just built himself a very handsome Gothic cottage on a lot adjoining the above, just west of the S. V. railroad, facing the county road.
The steam planing mill and blacksmith shop of Blackford Bros. are in full operation at this place now. The firm is composed of the four brothers, J. W., J. Y., J. H., and O. J. Blackford, Mr. J. Yancey Blackford is general manager. This firm manufactures dressed lumber of all kinds, builds wagons, carts, wheelbarrows, etc., and does a general repair business. Its shops are fitted up with everything needful, including lathes, drillpress, etc. The firm is now filling a contract for the lumber for a new colored Methodist church at Kearneysville, and will furnish 15,000 pins for the use of the surveyors now at work in the vicinity.
A branch of the Southern Building and Loan Association has been established, with the following officers: J. C. Tabler, President; A. C. Drawbaugh, secretary and treasurer; T. C. Grove, vice president; the directors, besides the officers, are N. S. J. Strider, J. D. Derr, and Lewis Hawling.
Mr. A. C. Drawbaugh, who is also a notary public, is the first man to go into the real estate brokerage business.
Mr. I. W. Williams keeps a large general merchandise store at the Junction, and Mr. J. T. Hagley sells groceries, etc. Mr. L. S. Williams has a monopoly of the grain and coal business. Mr. W. M. Morrison runs the hotel of the place, while Pleasant Johnson, the colored caterer, keeps one eye open toward Richmond while he watches his restaurant with the other.
The boom hasn’t quite reached Brown’s Crossing, but nevertheless this village is improving, too. Comfortable new dwelling-houses have just been erected by Messrs. Joseph and Ellis Bell, and the saw and grist mills of Mr. J. H. Thompson still grinds on in its old fashioned honest way. Mr. Geo. W. Boyer may also be found ready for business in his wagon-maker’s shop, while his son, Mr. John G. Boyer, looks after the blacksmith department. Mr. Geo. W. Boyer is one of the John Brown jurymen, and despite the predictions of the early deaths of all on that famous jury, he is still hale and hearty and more vigorous than many a younger man. He carries on the huckstering business regularly, in addition to his wagonmaker’s shop, and bids fair to live many busy years yet.
To Col. Hood, manager of the Antietam Company, and Mr. William Butler, and to other citizens of that section, the REGISTER man is deeply obligated for favors shown.
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