THURMOND, WV (LOOTPRESS) – Once the heart of the coal industry in the New River Gorge, Thurmond now sits quiet. Five residents still call this New River gem home, and countless others visit each year.
The town, situated along the New River, was historically known for its significance as a transportation hub for coal mining operations. The town was established in the late 1800s and was named after Confederate Captain W.D. Thurmond.
The town grew rapidly during the early 1900s due to the expansion of the coal industry in the region. At its peak, Thurmond was a bustling town with a population of around 500 people.
Thurmond became an important transportation hub due to its location along the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway, which ran through the town. Coal mined from the surrounding area was transported on the railway to other parts of the country. Thurmond also had a large train station, which served as a major stop for passenger trains.
The decline of the coal industry in the mid-20th century led to a decline in Thurmond’s population and economic activity. The town’s train station was eventually closed, and many of its buildings fell into disrepair.
Thurmond is a popular tourist destination due to its historic buildings as well as the town being part of the New River Gorge National Park & Preserve.
The town is home to the Thurmond Historic District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It includes several well-preserved buildings from the town’s heyday, including the train station, a bank, homes, coaling tower, and other commercial buildings.
The town also has several hiking trails nearby and is a popular spot for fishing and kayaking on the New River.