A train trip through the region in 1873
Nearly 135 years ago, a magazine writer rode the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad from Baltimore through Maryland and West Virginia, all the way to Cincinnati. He wrote about his excursion in an article called "From The Potomac To The Ohio," which was published in the October 1873 issue of Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature & Science. The author did not identify himself, but may have been John Foster Kirk, the magazine's editor and a prolific writer.
In the wordy prose of the time, the lengthy article detailed what railroad travel was like and described interesting places. Among the more vivid incidents was a stop at Sir Johns Run, with memories of James Rumsey, followed by a trip over the mountain to Berkeley Springs.
Here's a condensed version of what the traveler said about his trip from Martinsburg to Cumberland, only eight years after the Civil War.
"FROM THE POTOMAC TO THE OHIO"
Poor Martinsburg!...The passenger sees it as a mere foreground of big restaurant and platform, with a conglomeration of village houses in the rear, featureless as sheep added to a painting for no reason. One incident, however, stands out. An old man, with positive voice and manners — a curious specimen in looks, gait and outfit — comes through the train with apples and groundnuts. He is pointed out as one of the men of importance in Martinsburg, owning a row of flourishing houses. We purchase an apple from this capitalist, choosing a knotty and unsalable specimen