Lumber Ledgers, 1883-1890

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Descriptive Summary


Repository: Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University

Title: Lumber Ledgers, 1883-1890

Collection No.: SC 0110
Creator: Unknown

Extent: 1 folder; .08 cubic feet

Language: English

Abstract: Two ledgers likely documenting a sawmill or lumber operation in western Virginia or Pendleton County, West Virginia. The surnames present in the ledgers also indicate a potential connection to Pennsylvania.


Administrative Information

Access Restrictions: Collection is open for research. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection. Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the James Madison University Special Collections Library to use this collection.

Use Restrictions: The copyright interests in this collection have been transferred to the James Madison University Special Collection Library. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library Reference Desk (

Preferred Citation: [Identification of Item], [box #, folder #], Lumber Ledgers, SC 0110, Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Va.

Acquisition Information: Purchased at the Green Valley Auction Barn in November 1998.
Provenance: The ledgers originated from the estate of Jim and Pam Kiser in Woodstock, Virginia.
Processing Information: In order to streamline the process of applying collection numbers, Special Collections staff completed a large-scale renumbering campaign in the spring of 2017. This collection was previously cataloged as SC 2090.

Bio/Historical Note:

Scope and Content:

The ledgers, dated 1883-1890, likely document a sawmill operation. The exact provenance of the ledgers is unknown, but according to the previous owners the location of the business operation was most likely Shenandoah or Rockingham counties in Virginia or Pendleton County, West Virginia. However, the surnames present in the ledgers, including Royer, Biddle, Schumaker, Detwiler, Brenneman, Solenberger, etc., also indicate a probable connection to Pennsylvania.

The majority of entries, made under individual names, are payments for chopping, hauling, and sawing logs or making boards or planks; some refer to other lumber products such as switch and first and second class ties (presumably for a railroad). Many of the entries document the 1890 tanbark peeling season, beginning on April 28 with notations for "making road," then on April 29 into mid-June for peeling, hauling, sledding, ranking, carrying out, and loading bark in car (again, presumably railroad). Other commodities are also occasionally mentioned, including cabbage, apple butter, potatoes, buckwheat, wheat, tobacco, beef, pork, articles of clothing, and blankets.

Among others, names repeated throughout the ledgers include Andrew Solenberger, Franklin Breniman/Brenneman, George Sailer, Jacob Snively, John Detwiler, Orville Snively, Jacob Fry, Jacob Schumaker, Samuel Fouse, and Andrew Biddle.


The ledgers are housed in one folder.


Folder Title
Box : Folder
Lumber Ledgers, 1883-1890

Compiled by: Chris Bolgiano, December 1998; Tiffany Cole, July 2017