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SharePrint Media File

Type: Video

Series Title West Virginia: A Film History

Filmmaker Mark Samels

Company West Virginia Humanities Council

Format DVD


A crew of six “woodhicks” as the lumberjacks were known, could cut two hundred trees in a day. Woodhicks hit the nearest town on Saturday night.

Those on top Cheat Mountain descended on Cass, a clean orderly village on the Greenbrier River. Directly across the river from downtown was Brooklyn, a raucous collection of saloons and cheap hotels, reachable only by a swinging bridge. Everyone called it the Brooklyn Bridge.

Despite a local prohibition of the sale of alcohol, woodhicks found plenty of beer and bootleg whiskey in Brooklyn saloons. Drunken brawls spilled out of doorways onto what was known as Dirty Street.

School teacher, Emma Bennett, made repeated efforts to clean up Brooklyn. She disguised herself as a man, bought booze in saloons, then returned with police deputies to raid the place. One raid seized ninety cases of whiskey. The bootlegger turned out to be the town’s deputy sheriff.

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