Not long after Donald Mills, Jr.'s title, The Kanawha and Michigan Railroad, "Bridgeline To The Lakes" went on sale I was asked by the publisher, Mid-Atlantic Highlands/Publishers Place, Inc. to review the book and give my thoughts concerning it. Being a native of West Virginia I was very excited at the chance to further study the history of railroading in my home state. Overall I must say that I was thoroughly impressed with Mr. Mills' book and I think I can safely say that his title covers the K&M in more detail than any other. If you have an interest in West Virginia rail history or would like to learn more about one of the state's least understood railroads you should certainly pick up a copy of The Kanawha and Michigan Railroad, "Bridgeline To The Lakes".
Mr. Mills' book centers on the Kanawha and Michigan Railroad during its "heyday" of operations between the late 1880s and early 1920s, prior to the railroad becoming an official part of the large New York Central System. The book is broken down into several different chapters with the first dozen or so highlighting the K&M's operations by county from southeastern Ohio through southwestern/central West Virginia, as well as covering the K&M bridge over the Ohio River and its construction. With each county the railroad operated through being given its own chapter Mills does a superb job of providing an unbelievable amount of information and historical footnotes (i.e., in the form of newspaper articles) about each region. For myself, the most interesting aspects of the book was the areas of West Virginia the K&M operated through. I came into the book understanding not only very little about the Kanawha and Michigan Railroad but also how and when the company was constructed. After finishing Mr. Mills' title I now have a fairly good understanding of the K&M, its history, and how it affected the communities in which it operated through.