Rainelle: 'A Town Built To Carry On' - The West Virginian
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Rainelle: 'A Town Built To Carry On'



On October 13, 2014, Arcadia Publishing released a new volume in their “Images of America” series.

According to their website, “For over 20 years Arcadia Publishing has reconnected people to their community, their neighbors, and their past by offering a curbside view of hometown history and often forgotten aspects of American life. Composed in a unique pictorial format with over two hundred vintage images and accompanying captions, Arcadia books animate the cherished memories, people, places, and events that define a community.”

To date, there have been 8,258 titles released in the “Images of America” series. So what makes this particular book so special; a book which was released almost a month more than seven-years ago? Well, it is the book’s title, of course.


The book features hundreds of historic images depicting the people and places which have helped to grow Rainelle from the original vision of founder John Raine, into the “town built to carry on.”

As explained in the book’s description, “Most of the lumber camps that harvested 8.5 million acres of West Virginia’s virgin forest had faded into history when John Raine built Rainelle in the Meadow River Basin in 1909. By recruiting workers of high morale and character, many of them highly skilled, Rainelle became noted as “the best hardwood sawmill town in the country” and “a town built to carry on.” Through vintage photographs, Rainelle shares stories of the four generations who built and operated a prosperous Meadow River Lumber Company for 60 years, using the entire tree “from bark to bird’s nest,” and their descendants who continue building the town decades after the mill’s closing. Rainelle captures founders and lumber workers, preachers and physicians, war heroes and athletes, businesses and churches, schools and recreation, as well as that spice of West Virginia life, politics and government.”

The book was lovingly assembled and written by former Rainelle Town Mayor Andrea Pendleton, writer and historian Joan Browning, and The West Virginia Daily News’ own feature reporter Autumn Shelton. It is available through Amazon.com, as well as A New Chapter Bookstore in Lewisburg.

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