Situated in the panhandle of Western Maryland, Garrett County has a historic connection to the logging and lumber Industry. During the mid to late 19th century, the county was rich with old growth forests. The region was virtually untouched by mankind, and stands of trees such as Giant Oaks, Chestnuts, and Evergreens were numerous, bountiful and plentiful.
As early as the Civil War, Garrett County proved itself as a strategic resource for lumber and forestry products. The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, an important supply line for the Union Army, was in a state of constant attack by Confederate forces. A victim of numerous acts of sabotage and destruction, the survival of the B&O can literally be traced to one Henry G. Davis, an early Garrett County industrialist. Davis, a lumber company operator, supplied the Union with the ever-needed replacement timbers and cross-ties needed to keep the railroad functional, operational, and running.
After the war, Garrett County’s logging industries continued to grow. Meadow Mountain Lumber positioned itself in the north-central part of the county. The Savage River valley supported multiple enterprises. And in the southern part of the county, the Kendall Lumber Company established itself.
Sawmills sprouted and abounded as a result of the county’s lumber resources. Multiple mills and small towns arose. In 1889 the Confluence and Oakland Railroad was expanded beyond Friendsville MD, up the Youghiogheny River for an two additional miles, and terminated at the site of a new saw mill.
Soon after the construction of the mill and laying of the railroad line, houses, a school, and a church were erected. As the saw mill expanded its business, so too did the population. The company town, as it had become, was thus born, and named Yough Manor.
In 1891, the A. Knabb Company established a stave mill near the town. Soon thereafter, the town was renamed Krug, in honor of Henry Krug, a Knabb-company official. Ten years or so later, during the 1900’s, the Kendall Lumber Company extended its presence into the area, and took control of the town’s saw mill operations. For a third time, the town was given a new name: Kendall.
For twenty or so more years the town continued under the name of Kendall.
By the 1920’s most of the towns buildings and houses had disappeared. In the mid-1920’s a new company took over operations. But the town never quite regained the foothold it had in the decades prior.
David Schenkman attributes the Kendall Lumber Company to Crellin, Maryland. In his token book, he reports that Terry Trantow’s 1979 Catalogue of Lumber Company Store Tokens states the Kendall Lumber Company operated from 1924 to 1938. While researching additional details about the town and its tokens, I’ve determined that reasonable doubt exists as to the validity of those dates.
Reported in the ‘West Virginia Geological Survey of 1914’, the Kendall Lumber Company was stated to possess its own railroad, operating from Hutton MD to Schafer WV — with a branch extending to Crellin. Based on this finding, the Kendall Lumber Company must have existed prior to 1924. (The purpose of this railroad was to transport coal from its captive coal mines, in order to provide fuel for the mainstay of the company’s activities: lumbering.)
Schenkman also associates the Kendall Lumber Company with Kingwood, WV. Additional research also has uncovered that the Kendall Lumber Company probably had a presence in South Carolina too, pursuant to an article in the ‘The New York Lumber Trade Journal,’ May 15th 1921.
Pursuant to NSCA’s dating criteria of 1973, the token is an ORCO-1, and struck sometime between 1914-1930.
Below is Kendall Lumber Company token. Cataloged as Schenkman K5-10, it is 21mm in diameter and was struck on nickel-plated brass.
Based on the sharpness of its diamond, it possesses an obverse-cut-out. I estimate its grade at Extra Fine. Schenkman does not assign a rarity to the token, nor a date.
Notes and Sources
Garrett County History, John A. Grant
American Environmental Photographs Collection, Department of Special Collections, University of Chicago Library
Maryland Merchant Tokens, David E. Schenkman, TAMS, ©1986
Catalogue of Lumber Company Store Tokens, Terry N Trantow, ©1978
Scrip, Stuart E. Brown JR, Virginia Book Co., ©1978, pgs. 50-52