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The midland journal., September 11, 1936, The STATE FARMER SECTION, Page PAGE TEN, Image 18
The midland journal. (Rising Sun, Md.) 1885-1947
Image provided by: University of Maryland, College Park, MD
Newspaper Page Text
Scenery— An Undeveloped Source of Revenue for the Farmer By T. D. GRAY :Ext*n*ion Landscape Architect, West Virginia University With the develop meat of a system of ■ good roads, West Vir -1 ginia has become ac \ cessible to everyone who follows the “rub- ber-tire” trail. Hard surfaced roads stead ■B ily push the frontier I back and sections which were back woods, only a short time ago, are easily reached by automobile in a few hours today. The Midland Trail, North-South Highway, Seneca Trail, and the North western Turnpike are known far and wide and thousands of motorists follow them every day. Hard-surfaced roads lead to, and pass through in many instances, some of the most alluring, fascinating, rugged, and ever-changing scenery that can be found East of the Rocky Mountains. One could not hope to find a more fascinating view than that of the New River Gorge, as seen from the Midland Trail, U. S. Route 60, or a more rugged and pictur esque scene than this same gorge presents when viewed from the famous Hawk’s Nest just to the North. Through this beautiful gorge the New River flows boo feet below the crest along the high way, and 1,292 feet below Hawk’s Nest still farther up the mountainside. There is no more alluring spot to be found anywhere than that of the "Smoke Hole’’ in Pendleton county, mid way between 'Petersburg and Franklin, just off of U. S. Route 220. Leaving the main highway and entering this area, for three or four miles, one cannot help but be fascinated by the charm of rugged peaks, roaring cataracts of the South Branch of the Potomac, babbling brooks, wooded mountainsides, and solitude broken only by the wind singing through the trees and the restless water of the mountain streams making playful music. What a haven for those tired from worry and overwork! Exam pi* in Oth*r State* Search where you will, you will not find Nature grandeur more completely restful anywhere than in the scenery along the Seneca Trail, as it follows closely the backbone of the Alleghanies. To list all of the many and varied scenic attractions within the state of West Virginia would require pages of description, because most of it is clothed in natural beauty, when unspoiled and not mutilated by the sometimes careless hand of man. Thousands of tourists are visiting West Virginia each summer in ever-in- In Truck nnd car loin High Market Prices. Quick Sales. riuMhl np<MuiU>Utty mm Ml daily retan* ■nUBUNBEO M TEAM Oar Market qaetatioaa are Bet exaggerated to lad are ehlpmeate. Write or wire for them. |BBSBSSSBBSSBSBSSjjB| IKblb THE STATE FARMER SECTION creasing numbers. These tourists are a potential source of revenue to all parts of the state, and no one group has great er possibilities of gains from this source than the farmers of West Virginia. This fact is self-evident to any person who has visited Pennsylvania, New York and the New England states. Everywhere through the rural sections in these states, one sees farm homes with neat signs ad vertising "Chicken Dinners” or “Rooms for Tourists.” Roadside stands with vegetables and fruits in season from the farms are com mon on all thoroughfares throughout the Northeastern states. Some of the fanners . Kr -i A T £sft* "lllL naK^ ■i^HBMEKMPS : , .^hHB'^I^HHI Looking North toward tho mouth of Ben#ca and Roaring Plaint, Monongahola National Forest, W. Va. (Photo 'by U. S. Forest Service). in these states sell practically all of the surplus they produce in this manner. Some farmers in West Virginia have be gun to capitalize on this source of rev enue, but it is, as yet, virtually untapped. Many farms in West Virginia are too rough or too steep for economical farm ing operations. These rough farms, how ever, have good locations for small cab ins or cottages that can be rented to tourists at a good profit. The tourist is glad to find a place of this kind and is willing to pay a fair and just price for the use of the cabin and services he ob tains. Ramunarativ* Crop That the tourist crop is a remunera tive one to other states is shown in a study of reports from those states that are catering to and advertising for tour ists. Pennsylvania estimates the cash value of tourists at $185,000, OCX) per year, and yet no one thinks of Pennsyl vania particularly as a tourist state, as one does of California and Florida. New England and Canada report that the tourists’ trade is their largest single cash crop. It is reported that the Shenandoah Valley derives $15,000,000 annually from its tourist crop. Every other section or state catering to tourists reports large revenues from this source. For the fanner to derive his full re turn from scenery as a source of rev enue, it is necessary that he set his trap and lure with attractive bait. Neat signs should be displayed that advertise what he has to sell whether this be rooms for tourists, chicken dinners, fresh fruits and ■■ 1 Superb fishing offer* a real attraction to the tourist in the Hole,” Pendleton County, West Virginia, on the South branch of the Potomac. vegetables, or what not. Ugly untidy roadside markets are no more likely to attract trade than the ugly untidy coun try store. The certified Mountain State tourist homes supervised by the Agricultural Extension Service of West Virginia Uni versity, serve to help the farmers reap their just share of income from the tour ist crop, but they are not the only means that await the alert landowner to ob tain a return from his holdings. Farmers in some areas of the state have glimpsed the possibilities of tourist trade. The Wilson farm along the Midland Trail near Huntington is an example of a farm that has been turned into a tour ist camp. Small cottages here and there dot the edge of the woods. Running water and a place to cook is provided at each cottage. These cottages are in use continuously throughout the Sum mer months. Many persons and famil ies remain for weeks. In the South Branch Valley cottages and summer camps are springing up along the South .Branch of the Potomac river. These cottages and camps are own ed mostly by farmers and rented during the Summer months to the ever increas ing army of tourists. A group of farm ers have purchased acres near Sen eca Rocks, Pendelton county, and devel oped a tourist camp site for those who come to see that magnificent outcropping of white Medina sandstone that rises 900 feet perpendicularly from the water’s edge. These rocks are reached from State Route 5, leading off U. S. Route 220 just North of Franklin. Help to Make State Attractive Not only should the fanner expect a return from the tourist crop, but he should also assume a definite responsibil- Tourioto bring many thouaanda of dollar® into Wort Virginia ovary yoar, and I bring apond mom oncouragod to ity in making the state attractive by keeping his home neat and well-painted and the out-buildings pleasing in appear ance, through the use of paint or white wash. He will thus help to make a good impression and induce the traveler to return. i Few people of the state seem to know or appreciate the fact that two national forests, the Shenandoah National Forest and the Monongahela National Forest largely in West Virginia. In this state, the Monongahela Forest includes about 250,000 acres and the Shenandoah about 50,000 acres. These forest areas have real poten tial value to West Virginia farmers as ■ lures to the tourists. They are now be ing developed and advertised to the pub lic for recreational purposes. Some per sons seem to have the idea that because they are forest areas they are to be used for forestry purposes only. This is de cidedly not the case, because the Forest Service has a definite principle of de veloping its forest areas so that they will return the maximum benefits to the people. If areas in the forest are more val uable for recreation than for the produc tion of forest products, such areas are set aside principally for recreational pur poses. Foresters who have visited every national forest in the East, state that the Monongahela National Forest is the equal in scenic attractiveness of any for est East of the Rocky Mountains. Th development of these forests for recrea tion will attract thousands of tourist Indeed, no one who has not seen these aieas can appreciate the real charm ar ■ beauty that lie within their confines. J Good Yoarly Crop Aaaurod Scenery is one crop not restricted 1 ■ any form of production control prograi I and of which there is no danger of ha I ing an over-production, even though I good crop each year is virtually certaii. I Likewise, the demand is not affected T' I a bountiful supply, and those who av themselves of the opportunity to capil I ize on the beauty that is all around th are practically assured of a brisk dem and a ready market at good prices. • Every road leading into the Si brings new buyers who are eager to s I and enjoy West Virginia’s scenic attractions. The potential Sul of the state’s yearly offering of Natur beauties is not surpassed by that of a other agricultural enterprise, and alt I country folk will not only adjust tl activities so as to share in the retui afforded, but will make a construct.' I effort to further enhance this great iv I tural resource of the state.