PRINCE, WV (LOOTPRESS) – Located along the banks of the New River on the border of Fayette and Raleigh County sits the historic town of Prince which has been an underrated destination for New River Gorge National Park visitors and tourists in general.
Although most towns in the New River Gorge were built around coal mining, Prince was a bit different. The town was founded in 1870 by brothers William and James Prince who moved to the area and purchased 300 acres of land along the New River from General Alfred Beckley.
Prince got its start before the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad was completed. The two brothers constructed and ran a small mercantile store and ran a ferry service along the New River before any bridges were built.
The completion of the C&O Railway brought even more success for the Prince brothers who served customers from the nearby mining towns of Royal, Quinnimont, Laurel Creek, Hemlock, Lawton, and Layland along with many more.
At one time, the town boasted 250 residents, an elementary and high school, two churches, a post office, a train depot, a hotel, and a tavern.
Now, the town is home to very few people but awaits those eager to explore its history and beauty.
The store that was owned by the Prince brothers still stands near the one-of-a-kind 1946 Prince Station. Along with the store remains the foundations of the once flourishing town and the famous “Stretcher’s Neck” tunnel still sees trains daily. Amtrak also makes a stop in the town three days a week, twice a day.
The beauty of the New River Gorge at Prince is an underrated gem in many cases and a walk across the river on the Prince bridge provides some of the best views in the New River Gorge National Park & Preserve.
Army Camp Campground, Grandview Sandbar, Glade Creek Campground & Trail, along with the McCreery boat launch are all located nearby.
After exploring Prince, the nearby ghost towns of Quinnimont and Royal are also full of historical remains.
In Quinnimont, one can find old churches and a monument built in the honor of Joseph L. Beury, the first man to ship coal on the C&O in the New River Gorge. Royal is home to multiple old foundations and a cemetery.
The town is located at Prince, West Virginia 25907.