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St. Lawrence Boom and Lumber Co.










St Lawrence Boom and Lumber Company, Ronceverte, WV


The St. Lawrence Boom and Manufacturing Company opened the largest softwood manufacturing plant in the United States in Ronceverte in 1802.  The company’s president was Col. Cecil C. Clay, a US Army Brigadier General who hailed from Philadelphia.   Col. Clay brought the first log drive down the river from Pocahontas County.  The tallest, finest trees from this drive supplied the timbers to build the “Big Mill” at Ronceverte.


The Greenbrier River was harnessed at Ronceverte with dams, cribs, booms, pockets and equipment to receive and store the endless millions of logs cut from the mountains of upper Greenbrier and Pocahontas sections and floated down to feed the ravenous and unending whirling buzzing saws.  They had a capacity of 110,000 board feet per day.


It was at 4:30 one morning in September 1908, that the “whistle that shook the earth” sounded for the last time. The last log in the millpond was cut, the “Big Mill” shut down, and the softwood lumber business of the St. Lawrence Boom and Lumber Company passed into history.




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