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John Henry: The Steel Drivin’ Man

The C&O Line


The story of John Henry is part of the larger story of the growth of America and the expansion of the nation’s railroad system. After the Civil War there was renewed interest in pushing rail lines to the west.

In 1870 the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad Company began to build a new line across southern West Virginia, mostly following the Greenbrier, New, and Kanawha Rivers to reach the Ohio River at Huntington. The line was completed in January 1873, when the eastbound (pictured) and westbound construction crews met at Fayette Station on the New River.

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