THURMOND, WV (LOOTPRESS) – The New River Gorge National Park & Preserve is full of both beauty and history. The Park is home to many abandoned coal mining and railroad towns that have been almost completely reclaimed by nature, but some have stood the test of time.
One town in the New River Gorge, called Thurmond, was essentially the heartbeat of the Gorge and still has many of the original structures standing thanks in part to the National Park Service and the citizens that still live there. Thurmond was a major railroad town along the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway and was used as an essential stop for steam engines to refuel.
Large amounts of coal and freight rolled through Thurmond from nearby mines and branch lines which resulted in the town having the highest amount of freight revenue along the C&O beating out cities such as Cincinnati and Richmond combined.
Eventually, demand for coal declined, machines replaced miners, and steam engines became obsolete. That all spelled the beginning of the end for Thurmond and year after year people left the town in search of a better life and work.
The town was once home to hundreds of residents and dozens of businesses. It was once the busiest place in the region and is now one of the quietest. Now, only five people call Thurmond home. Most of the town is owned by the National Park Service, but some land and homes are still privately owned.
Those wishing to stay in the all-but-abandoned ghost town are in luck as the Historic Thurmond Guest House is available to stay in for those wishing to go back in time, take in the view, or just get away for a while. The home was built in 1907 and sits up on the hillside of Thurmond.
You will not encounter the hustle and bustle that Thurmond once was, but you will certainly be blown away by the sight of the New River and the sound of trains echoing off the mountains.
One can catch the trains cruising along Main Street, explore Commercial Row, hike the nearby Southside Trail, or just sit on the porch and listen to that New River sound.
To read more about the Historic Thurmond Guest House, please click here.