Cheat Mountain

Cheat Mountain (HM14BG)

Location: Huttonsville, WV 26273 Randolph County
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 35.91', W 79° 50.928'

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Dramatic Barrier

At the heart of what was then the large state of Virginia, the Allegheny Mountains posed a formidable barrier to settlement and development. Turnpike engineer Claudius Crozet faced the daunting task of designing and building a road over these mountains, and no mountain was more of a challenge than Cheat. At Cheat Mountain, the Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike lifted from 2700 feet on the valley floor near Durbin up to 3700 feet in less than 5 road miles.

Even apart from the challenging terrain, the top of Cheat Mountain was its own landscape in the sky, with its own local climate and conditions. Mountaintop weather was harsher than most travelers were accustomed to, often making Cheat a challenge of one's willpower and endurance. Its high elevation meant colder temperatures year round, and winters were especially harsh. Snows were recorded as early as August. The dense virgin spruce forests also kept the mountaintops cool and damp, so snowfall sometimes lasted into early summer.

The mountain caught large amounts of precipitation. Just a few miles away, Travellers Repose received almost 30 inches less water a year. Summer travelers could enjoy the cool Canada-like climate and the boreal-like beauty of the red spruce forests on top of the mountain, but road conditions suffered from so much water. In some years, months might pass before a traveler could cross Cheat.

The Trotter brothers, charged with delivering the mail from Staunton to Parkersburg from 1855 to 1858 replied to a reprimand from the Postmaster General for their late delivery of the mail in the winter of 1855.
"Mr. Postmaster General Washington, D.C.
Dear Sir:
If you knock the gable end of Hell out and back it op against Cheat Mountain and rain fire and brimstone for 40 days and 40 nights, it won't melt the snow enough to get your damned mail through on time."
HM NumberHM14BG
Placed ByStaunton-Parkersburg Turnpike
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, October 2nd, 2014 at 11:50pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 600246 N 4272851
Decimal Degrees38.59850000, -79.84880000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 35.91', W 79° 50.928'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 35' 54.60" N, 79° 50' 55.68" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)304
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 20 Forest Rd 27, Huttonsville WV 26273, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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