Heading out to Spruce. Mower Lumber Company Shay #4 shoves a string of empty flats and log bunks up the shallow grade at Old Spruce, with a lone "woodhick" riding shotgun and keeping a lookout ahead. Old Spruce is the junction between the Mower logging spur up Cass Hill (track on the left), and what was historically the old main line that took trains like this one to the main camp at Spruce. Back in the first half of the 20th century, trains like this one regularly shuttled up and down the hill from Cass to Spruce to retrieve loads of logs destined for the massive saw mill operation down at Cass.
In 1960, logging operations out of Cass were shut down. Today, things have changed significantly. The old logging spur up Cass Hill to Bald Knob is now the main line used by the West Virginia Parks Department and the Cass Scenic Railroad for scenic excursions to West Virginia's 3rd highest peak. The former main line to Spruce that you see here is now a little used connecting track, allowing equipment at Cass to connect to the West Virginia Central Railroad....and vice versa. The old saw mill at Cass remained in place after logging operations were terminated. Eventually, fire consumed much of it, and the resulting ruins were left in place. They may be seen today by visitors to the Cass Scenic Railroad.