Re: Westvaco...the mysterious case of Westvaco

Allen Montgomery

I've chased trains over all of the branches serving the mines in western Wyoming. This was back in the 80's and 90's with my dad, who grew up in the area. I can assure you that there wasn't anything out there named Westvaco until the mine opened. If they wanted to name a road after the hint of civilization out there, they would have called it Sheep-dip Highway. Before 9/11 you never really had to pay attention to no trespassing signs. I could drive right up to the plant.  Who would be out there if they didn't have to be? Now railfans are suspected of being in bed with terrorists. I bet Otto Perry never had to put up with that kind of insult.
I suspect that the confusion about the name came from the fact that it was brand new at the time. They hadn't settled on an agreed spelling. The other possibility is that the problem is akin to what is found in the Freight Shippers Guide. It was up to the local agents to gather data of their area to submit. Either they did a good job or a lousy one. Can the publisher in Omaha really correct something he doesn't know to be false?
Speaking of UP Freight Shippers Guides, I am looking for more. So if anyone out there has an edition they want to part with, please, contact me off group.Thanks.
Allen Montgomery

On Tuesday, July 28, 2015 3:06 PM, "'Mike Brock' brockm@... [STMFC]" wrote:

Tony Thompson writes:

"I would like to make a couple of points that seemed to have slipped by
people in this thread. First of all, West Virginia Pulp and Paper
Corporation did not change its name to Wesvaco until 1969, therefore of
limited interest by that name to this group."

Good point. Still, it is curious as to why they selected that name. I mean,
why not Westvirco or even Paperco? Or even Laramieco? If you're going to use
someone else's name, choose something more well known. Why not Fordco? At
least they could get some use out of all those lawyers.

"Second, the location of the soda ash mining operation of the Westvaco Corp.
in Wyoming is located near a place called West Vaco, and the map shows a
West Vaco Road nearby."

More good points. Incidentally, I'm probably the only one in the group that
has actually been to the UP's Westvaco location [ but not to the mine ]. I
have to admit, though, that I wasn't aware of it since we were traveling at
90MPH trying to catch UP's 844/3985 when we went through although, again, I
only know this because the UP's Westvaco location is...or was...9 miles east
of Granger on the mainline.

Somewhat more curiously, UP either misspelled the name in 1953, or perhaps
became confused at the nearby West Vaco spelling because it reads Westvago
in the 1953 Official Guide. This was possibly corrected to Westvaco in the
'63 guide. OTOH, I know of 3 different UP spellings of Whasatch [ I try to
use a different one with every use ] so perhaps the next guide had a
different spelling. All of this shrinks, however, compared to SHPX's problem
when they addressed the problem of applying the company name to the covered
hoppers. I mean, West Vaco, Westvago or Westvaco?

Mike Brock

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