Friday, June 25, 2010
C&O SIgn for Pearch, Virginia
Pearch was located on the James River subdivision of the C&O Ry at milepost 161.3, 13 miles west of Lynchburg, Virginia. In the mid 1970's a C&O coal train derailed at PEARCH, dislodging this sign. The railroad cleanup crew discarded it, and gave it to me. It sits atop its original 6/6 wood post just a few yards from the C&O signal.
Pearch was originally called Pedlar's but it was changed to Pearch in the early years of the 20th century. The original name probably came from the fact of the confluence of the James and Pedlar rivers being just to the east. In its hey-day, apples and timber were shipped as well as grain mill products. In addition to the mill there was also a combination store, agent's office and telegraph office, all in one structure. In addition to the C&O railroad, Pearch was connected to the outside world by a gravel road to the east to Holmcomb Rock, running close beside the C&O right of way. From the late 1800's into the early 1900's, a cable ferry crossed the James River to Amherst County. The lumber probably was produced on the Bedford County side of the river and the grain and apples came from across the river in Amherst County.