W.M. Ritter & Ritter Lumber Company

Accession:   MSS 88-3
Inclusive dates:  1920-1983
Size of collection:  2.75 linear ft.

William McClellan Ritter (1864-1952) organized the W.M. Ritter Lumber Company in 1901.  From its original core of operations in West Virginia and Virginia, the company expanded operations into other southern states.  The company also diversified beyond the hardwood lumber industry into such areas as coal, gas, and rail lines.

The collection contains seven volumes of The Hardwood Bark, a monthly publication issued during the 1920s "for the employees of the W.M. Ritter Lumber Company and subsidiary companies."  In addition to articles on the Ritter company and timber industry, The Hardwood Bark had a news column featuring human interest stories.  Included in these columns were the Hazel Creek and Nantahala communities in North Carolina; Maben, Fitzpatrick, Beaver, and Barrett in West Virginia; Fremont and McClure in Virginia; and Colleton in South Carolina.  The Hardwood Bark also devoted space to the Red Jacket Consolidation Coal and Coke Company located in Red Jacket, West Virginia, which the W.M. Ritter Lumber Company acquired in 1923.

The W.M. Ritter Lumber Company operated on Hazel Creek (Swain County, N.C.) from 1903 to 1926, an area described by Horace Kephart in his writings about life in western North Carolina.


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