December 2009

Rails to Schuyler - Sorting Yard

The abandoned grade of the Nelson & Albemarle Railroad crossed under the overhead crane.



Looking north from under the overhead crane, the abandoned railroad grade is to the right, and the offices/depot for Virginia Alberene Soapstone are to the extreme right. The overhead crane has been used to dump scrap cutoffs and broken pieces of soapstone on the abandoned grade.

It is also apparent in this view that the mill is built practically on top of Ivy Creek, which passes under the exposed I-beams in the foreground. Lumber for building shipping crates is stacked near the end of a push cart track that leads into the carpentry shop.



At the extreme west end of the overhead crane was the point where cut stone from the gangsaws actually entered the mill. The overhead crane placed the slabs on a cart that rode rails in a trough that dropped the floor level of the cart even with the floor level of the sorting yard.



It was apparent from the structure above this portion of the sorting yard that this area had once been under roof. It became obvious as I looked around that this part of the mill had burned. Since there are charred beams laying around in the photo above, my visit must have been not too long after the fire occurred. The upper portion of all the structural steel was black, and the walls of the buildings in the background appear to be blackened and charred as well.