A Guide to the Lumber Ledgers, 1883-1890: SC 0110

A Guide to the Lumber Ledgers, 1883-1890

A Collection in
Special Collections
Collection Number SC 0110


Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University

Special Collections
Carrier Library
James Madison University
Harrisonburg, Virginia 22807
Phone: (540) 568-3612
Fax: (540) 568-3405
Email: library-special@jmu.edu
URL: http://www.lib.jmu.edu/special

© 2017 By JMU Libraries. All rights reserved.

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

Special Collections, James Madison University
Collection Number
SC 0110
Lumber Ledgers, 1883-1890
.08 cubic feet; 1 folder
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 (library-special@jmu.edu).

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.

Custodial History

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.

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.

Index Terms


  • Account books -- Sources
  • Bark -- Transportation -- Costs
  • Bark -- Utilization -- Costs
  • Bark peeling -- Economic aspects
  • Business records -- Sources
  • Farm supply industries -- Costs
  • Forest products industry -- Allegheny Mountains
  • Forests and forestry -- Economic aspects
  • Forests and forestry -- Economic aspects
  • Industries -- Shenandoah River Valley (Va. and W. Va.) -- Sources
  • Log transportation
  • Logging -- Allegheny Mountains
  • Lumber -- Prices
  • Lumber -- Transportation -- Prices
  • Lumber trade -- Economic aspects -- Allegheny Mountains
  • Lumber trade -- History -- 19th century
  • Lumber trade -- Marketing -- 19th century
  • Lumber trade -- Virginia
  • Lumber trade -- West Virginia
  • Lumbering -- Allegheny Mountains
  • Pendleton County (W. Va.) -- History -- Sources
  • Railroad ties
  • Rockingham County (Va.) -- History -- Sources
  • Sawmills -- Accounting -- Sources
  • Sawmills -- Economic aspects -- Allegheny Mountains
  • Sawmills -- Virginia
  • Sawmills -- West Virginia
  • Shenandoah County (Va.) -- History -- Sources

Container List

Folder 1
Lumber Ledgers, 1883-1890