Cass Scenic Railroad State Park: Frozen Alive
In 1901 the West Virginia Pulp and Paper Company built the town of Cass due to a massive lumber demand across the country. At the time, WVP&P owned and operated the worlds largest double-band sawmill. To keep up with demand, the WVP&P in 1902 built the town of Spruce, at the time known as the “Highest and coldest town east of the Mississippi.”
Winters on Cheat Mountain are cold, unforgiving, and unpredictable. One evening while logging Red Spruce from Bald Knob a snowstorm approached. A team of workers grabbed the last two trains heading down to Whittaker Station, a logging camp above Cass. The last part of the team to leave was missing one person, but figuring he must have caught the first train off the mountain, they didn’t look for him. Once arriving at camp, they realized they made a terrible mistake.
Darkness has set in, and feet of snow has dumped onto Cheat Mountain. Their only hope for him was that he made it down to the town of Spruce. The mountain crossing was covered for weeks before they could return to harvest the timber. While climbing the rails, they found his frozen body at the junction of Cass and Spruce. There they dug into the frozen earth and buried his remains. A single cross now marks his grave.
Taking a Cass excursion to Bald Knob will take you directly by the gravesite. Many passengers, hikers, and campers have reported seeing a man walking the rails between Bald Knob and the Cass Spruce junction. Is this the worker trying to find his way off the mountain? Others have reported seeing a man standing at Bald Knob as the train departs its excursion. Is this the ghost of the worker missing the last train?
During your next excursion, investigate Cass. What ghostly tales may you uncover? You too may come across the apparition of the frozen worker.