Browsing Tag

West Virginia

Explorations On June 11, 2013

The (near) Ghost Town of Thurmond, West Virginia

Thurmond, West Virginia is a fascinating town along the New River in Fayette County. With just a population of five, Thurmond served as an important stop for the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad before the advent of the diesel locomotive era.

Explorations On June 7, 2013

Two West Virginia Rail Trails

West Virginia has many miles of fantastic rail-to-trails, or railroads that have been abandoned and converted into recreational corridors. Most of the trails are not paved, and many contain impressive bridges and tunnels that make any trip exciting. And quite a few of them have remnants of their coal mining past remaining, whether it is abandoned mine portals or discarded equipment.

Several years ago, I traveled to Hawks Nest State Park along the US 60, the Midland Trail, to hike along the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad (C&O) Hawks Nest Subdivision. The 3.4-mile line was originally as a narrow-gauge railroad alongside Mill Creek in Fayette County, connecting the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad (C&O) at Hawks Nest Station to Ansted and is today a rail-to-trail.

In Focus On December 6, 2012


The ruins of downtown Wheeling, West Virginia. Nearly an entire block of historic buildings – some of them very recently occupied, has been cleared for parking and grassy lots. Across the street, more historic building stock was cleared in the summer for more open space.

In Focus On June 12, 2012

Cottrill Opera House

The Cottrill Opera House in Thomas, West Virginia opened in 1902 and closed in the 1970s. It is being restored today after years of neglect.

News On February 7, 2012

Biggest Population Losses

After a recent drive through Cairo, Illinois (article forthcoming), and seeing the effects of decades of racial segregation and violence, and then economic decline and population loss, I wondered what other major and minor cities in the United States has experienced such steep and dramatic losses? Besides Cairo, Detroit and Wheeling, I asked my Facebook readers of other examples.

In Focus On November 28, 2011

American Car and Foundry Company

While spending a rainy day at a library, I managed to find some information on the now closed American Car and Foundry Company manufacturing company in Huntington, West Virginia, that dated back to November 1, 1872 when it was issued a charter as the Ensign Manufacturing Company. It is nearly as old as the city itself!

Explorations On August 30, 2011

A Travel to the Mill

In some respect, I should have been out backpacking in the highlands of West Virginia or riding my bike through the horse farms of central Kentucky. Pretty and beautiful sights and features.