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Donald R. Gaudineer

Forester Donald R. Gaudineer was district ranger of the Greenbrier Ranger District of the Monongahela National Forest at Bartow from 1926 to 1934, and ranger of the Cheat Ranger District at Parsons from 1934 until his untimely death. Gaudineer was well-liked, and his six-foot, seven-inch frame commanded much respect. He was a native of New York City and a 1922 graduate of the New York State Ranger College. He had served the U.S. Forest Service in Maine and New Hampshire before coming to West Virginia. His accomplishments at the Monongahela National Forest included new roads and trails, reforestation, and the construction of the original Middle Mountain Cabin, which stood until 2002.

Gaudineer met tragedy on April 28, 1936, when he lost his life attempting to rescue his children from their burning home. Ranger Gaudineer’s wife was the only survivor. On July 5, 1937, a new fire tower on the Randolph-Pocahontas county line on Cheat Mountain was dedicated in his memory. The tower was abandoned in the early 1970s, but Gaudineer Knob and Gaudineer Scenic Area still bear his name. Gaudineer Scenic Area, established by the U.S. Forest Service on October 1, 1964, is dedicated to the preservation of a virgin red spruce stand, one of the last remnants of the Mountain State’s original forest.

Written by Robert Beanblossom