Idleness of the Great Gauley Train Bridge
Abandoned train truss bridge over the beautiful Gauley River. This Construction of railroads and the stations brought thousands of people to the coal-rich region of Appalachia. Three railroads opened the vast coalfields of Southern West Virginia to mining. The Chesapeake & Ohio Railway along the New and Kanawha rivers. African Americans made up the majority of workers whose sweat, muscle, and blood carved the C&O Railway, its branch lines, and other railroads through the mountainous landscapes. They were often known as “gandy dancers” these men used songs and rhythm as a choreographed team. They aligned the track with precision, placing heavy wooden ties and steel rails, and driving in spikes. Constructed between 1869 and 1873, it employed thousands of black laborers and provided their families with homes.
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