Parkersburg Branch Railroad Company

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In 1851, the year before the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad's mainline reached Wheeling, West Virginia, the B&O;'s owners sponsored the chartering of a new railroad that was planned to be a vital link between the B&O;'s mainline and the Gateway of the West, St. Louis, Missouri. Construction of this new line, chartered as the Northwestern Virginia Railroad, began in 1852 and lasted over five years, with an estimated construction cost of more than $5,000,000. When the Northern Virginia RR was opened on May 1st, 1857, the 103 mile line extended west from the B&O; at Grafton to the Ohio River at Parkersburg, WV, where trains crossed the river via barges and connected with the Marietta and Cincinnati Railroad at Belpre, Ohio. Eventually absorbed by the B&O;, the Northwestern Virginia Railroad, later the Parkersburg Branch as it would come to be known, became a busy section of the B&O; St. Louis mainline following the Civil War. This high volume of traffic continued well into the next century. The line eventually became part of the Chessie System, before being shut down.

In 1868, the company was rocked by a scandal when the company Secretary, John L. Crawford, was charged with fraud. Crawford issued over $1,300,000 worth of company shares to unsuspecting investors, using stock certificates and a company seal he had stolen from the company archives.


We are currently offering the following pieces from the Parkersburg Branch Railroad Company:





All certificates are sold only as collectible pieces, as they are either canceled or obsolete. Certificates carry no value on any of today's financial indexes and no transfer of ownership is implied. Unless otherwise indicated, images are representative of the piece(s) you will receive.