Monday, June 04, 2018

Biking the New River Trail

So what do you do when you want to hike the back country but you also want to cover a lot of territory? You buy a bike! 

History Is All Around Us

This was my biking destination today. A hundred years ago there was a town here called Bertha, Virginia. It came into being in the late 1800's when the Caufee family found a sizeable zinc deposit on their farm. It soon became the Bertha Zinc Company with a huge mining operation on site.
This house sits on the bank of the New River in what was then Bertha and was, I think owned by one of the Caufees. It served as a home, and an inn for travelers, and as an office for the Caufee Ferry that operated here.
Ore was mined nearby and was brought in wagons to the river. From here it was floated down to Pulaski, Virginia where a huge smelter was set up.
The ore in Bertha played out by 1910. The operation ceased. The town was completely abandoned. Today there are a couple of cottages along the river and a handful of campers and … jungle.