Skip to main content

Lumber Ledgers

Identifier: SC 0110
  • Not requestable

  • Staff Only

Scope and Content

The ledgers, dated 1883-1890, likely document a sawmill operation. The exact provenance of the ledgers is unknown, but according to the previous owners the location of the business operation was most likely Shenandoah or Rockingham counties in Virginia or Pendleton County, West Virginia. However, the surnames present in the ledgers, including Royer, Biddle, Schumaker, Detwiler, Brenneman, Solenberger, etc., also indicate a probable connection to Pennsylvania.

The majority of entries, made under individual names, are payments for chopping, hauling, and sawing logs or making boards or planks; some refer to other lumber products such as switch and first and second class ties (presumably for a railroad). Many of the entries document the 1890 tanbark peeling season, beginning on April 28 with notations for "making road," then on April 29 into mid-June for peeling, hauling, sledding, ranking, carrying out, and loading bark in car (again, presumably railroad). Other commodities are also occasionally mentioned, including cabbage, apple butter, potatoes, buckwheat, wheat, tobacco, beef, pork, articles of clothing, and blankets.

Among others, names repeated throughout the ledgers include Andrew Solenberger, Franklin Breniman/Brenneman, George Sailer, Jacob Snively, John Detwiler, Orville Snively, Jacob Fry, Jacob Schumaker, Samuel Fouse, and Andrew Biddle.


  • Creation: 1883-1890

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection. Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the James Madison University Special Collections Library to use this collection.

Use Restrictions

The copyright interests in this collection have been transferred to the James Madison University Special Collection Library. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library Reference Desk (


0.08 cubic feet (1 folder)

Language of Materials



Two ledgers likely documenting a sawmill or lumber operation in western Virginia or Pendleton County, West Virginia. The surnames present in the ledgers also indicate a potential connection to Pennsylvania.


The ledgers are housed in one folder.

Custodial History

The ledgers originated from the estate of Jim and Pam Kiser in Woodstock, Virginia.

Acquisition Information

Purchased at the Green Valley Auction Barn in November 1998.

Processing Information

In order to streamline the process of applying collection numbers, Special Collections staff completed a large-scale renumbering campaign in the spring of 2017. This collection was previously cataloged as SC 2090.


A Guide to the Lumber Ledgers, 1883-1890
Chris Bolgiano, Tiffany Cole
December 1998, July 2017
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the James Madison University Libraries Special Collections Repository

820 Madison Drive
MSC 1706
Harrisonburg Virginia 22807
(540) 568-3612