With another couple we spent two nights (6/18-19/2013) in one of the former company owned houses in Cass. Took the 2 hour train ride.
First, the accommodations. They are fairly basic. House #224 had 3 bedrooms (plus 2 foldaways), one bath, kitchen, living room, dining room.
Kitchen was decently equipped for four people but could be a problem for a larger group. Microwave, 4-burner electric stove/oven, full size refrigerator/freezer. Dining room table was large, probably comfortably accommodating 6. Living room had 2 sofas, chair, dish TV. Bedrooms (2 w/double beds, 1 with twins) were adequate. Bathroom had a small shower, sink, toilet and separate electric wall heater.
Fortunately, window screens were found in a closet. Windows must be propped open (except screens can be inserted. No A/C but they did have a fan that could be mounted in a window. Night we stayed were cool, no need for a fan. These homes were originally built prior to the 20's (I think indoor baths were added on the 20's) and their age is definitely showing. Lots of wood rot on the sills and outside. Sorely need painting. But, we all agreed that the experience was worth every minute we stayed. Fortunately, we had brought a couple of board games and cards: The ain't nuthin' to do in or around Cass in the evenings!
There is a "motel" across the river over the "66 Restaurant". We think you're better off in one of the houses. Matter of opinion.
Food was a problem. There is a restaurant in the Company Store building: "The Last Run Restaurant". They close PROMPTLY at 5pm! Breakfast is served ONLY between 9:30 and 10:30am. Otherwise it's overpriced and scanty sandwiches and a few burger and chicken baskets. Also pizza which we refused to consider.
The other option is across the river and the "66 Restaurant". Our unanimous opinion: Avoid At All Costs. Probably the worst steak sandwich ever made and the worst "Philly" cheesesteak sandwich ever conceived. The Reuben was awful. The grilled ham and cheese was absolutely tasteless.
During the summer, there are NO decent restaurants open. We know; we drove to Snowshoe hoping to find something. Ended at a Subway that was awful.
If you stay at Cass, bring your own food! The nearest food market is some 10 miles away.
Cass was a lumbering town. The film is a must-see and the diorama is also a must (in the same room). Take the guided tour of the town. In addition, take the self-guided walking tour of the town.
The train ride is excellent. We took the short ride (2 hours). However, we talked to several who had taken the 4 hour trip and were very enthusiastic. Be sure to take the guided your of the lumbering camp when you ride the railroad. The description of the lumbering operation at the camp was really interesting.
The entire Cass experience was interesting and we're glad we did it. But, we feel that Cass needs a decent restaurant that is open more than just 9:30am to 5pm offering more than a mediocre menu. If not that, the alternative would be having a decently equipped food market perhaps with a deli case and offering groceries. The "66 Restaurant" is open more hours and serves breakfast at 8am. One couple had breakfast at the Last Run Restaurant (Company Store). 2 eggs with 1-1/2 pcs. of sausage (described as "chewy"), orange juice, I cup of coffee, sm. bacon biscuit, I chocolate milk: Cost: $14.00. Even though "real butter" was asked for, the server gave us a vegetable oil spread and, when asked about butter again, she said "that's what we have".
There is no cell phone service in the entire area. The company houses have no land lines. There is a pay phone outside the office and at the Company Store. There is no internet service but, we understand that WiFi is available (wasn't offered so we can't comment further).
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