This reproduction panoramic map of Cairo, West Virginia was drawn by Thaddeus Mortimer Fowler and published by T. M. Fowler & James B. Moyer in 1899. The 1858 completion of the Northwestern and Virginia Railroad gave rise to the town of Cairo. Cairo was incorporated along the banks of the North Fork of the Hughes River four years before this map’s publishing. At the time the community was a booming oil town prospering with the discovery of oil-rich fields throughout the area. West Virginia ranked highly in the production of quality oil and gas, and Ritchie County was one of the leading oil producing regions in the state. The beginnings of the area’s oil industry date back to the “Wildcat Wells” of the 1860s when a well near Cairo, “Big Run”, showed great promise. After a devastating conflagration and decline at the popular nearby oil field, “Volcano Fields”, the industry concentrated on Cairo. Much development occurred in Cairo at the time as reports of abundant oil fields circulated.
The map from 1899 includes Cairo streets, buildings, bridges, oil wells and railroad lines. It features inset illustrations of the following:
Res. of J. Newman.
Res. of J. E. Hines.
Res. of Mrs. M. McGregor.
Res. of T. L. Cross.
Res. of B. F. Hill.
Res. of C. E. Haddox.
Hotel Omega. M. F. Tetrick. Main Building.
Hotel Omega. M. F. Tetrick.
W. T. Greer & Son Hardware House. Room A, 25x85. Room B, 25x44. Room C, 80x60.
The Dunlap. S. D. Williams, Owner. J. E. Evans, Manager.
Bank of Cairo.
Off Fellows Hall.
McGregor & Hill General Store.
Features numbered references to the following locations:
1. Public School.
2. Odd Fellows Hall.
3. Presbyterian Church.
4. Methodist E. Church.
5. The Dunlap. J. E. Evans, Manager.
6. Hotel Omega. M. F. Tetrick, Prop.
7. Alpha House. E. B. Merchant, Prop.
8. The Cairo Tool Works.
9. Tank Shop. Fleming Bros., Props.
10. B. & O. R. R. Station.
12. C. & K. V. R. R. Station.