The story of a forgotten America.

Abandoned Residences in West Virginia

This is a gallery of abandoned residences in West Virginia.

Adamson House

The Adamson House is an example of a circa 1880 Folk Victorian-style residence with a wood weatherboard exterior, a standing seam tin roof, an ashlar stone foundation, two offset ashlar chimneys, and a full-width front porch with scroll-sawn detail at the cornice and a scroll-sawn balustrade. It also has decorative scroll-sawn ornamentation in the peak, diamond wood shingle wall cladding, pedimented gable ends with decorative bargeboards in the peaks, and decorative paired cornice brackets.

Albert E. Cox House

The Albert E. Cox House is an abandoned house-turned-club near downtown Huntington, West Virginia. It was designed by J.B. Stewart in the Queen Anne architectural style 1 for local businessman Albert E. Cox in 1896. 2

In 1795, William T. Cox moved from Buckingham County, Virginia to Mason County and then to Cabell County where he opened a general store and built a wharf to serve steamboats along the Ohio River. 2 The area became known as Cox Landing.

Albert E. Cox was born in 1860 to William’s son John A. Cox and Adela Fuller. 2 Albert worked at his grandfather’s store and later became successful in buying and selling various businesses, including managing a grocery store in 1892, a harness manufacturer and dealer in 1895. 3 After relocating to Huntington, he hired Stewart to design an elaborate residence that contained a stone veranda around the front entrance and rusticated stone foundation. 2

In 1930, Albert and his wife, Cora Cox, moved with their oldest child to Latulle Avenue. 3 The house was then occupied by the Stevers family and other individuals before it was divided into apartments in the 1960s. 2 3 The 1896 Club, a nightclub, was established in the house in 1977. It contained a dance floor with a mirrored ceiling in the basement, a bar and stage on the first floor, and a pool table and other amenities on the second floor. The 1896 Club closed in 1997. 3

Miller House

The William C. Miller Home was built on the site of Fort Seybert in the 1890s. 4

After the defeat of Gen. Edward Braddock at the Battle of the Monongahela on July 9, 1755, the white settlers of the Allegheny Mountains were largely unprotected from a series of Shawnee and Delaware Indian raids. Col. George Washington, then a commander of the Virginia Regiment, had embarked on a campaign to protect the settlers of the upper South Branch region by building up and manning frontier forts. Washington had preferred larger, stronger, and better garrisoned forts. Still, he reluctantly agreed to a plan for a chain of 23 smaller forts in the frontier as proposed by the Virginia Assembly.

One of those smaller forts, Fort Seybert, was the site of a surprise attack by Shawnee and Delaware warriors on the foggy morning of April 28, 1758. Thirty white settlers, left practically defenseless as several men had left for business across the Shenandoah Mountains, were massacred.

The fort was originally the site of a mill owned by John Patton. Patton had owned the land since 1747 but sold it in 1755 to Jacob Seybert. Around 1800, the land was farmed by the Miller family, who constructed a two-story Folk Victorian residence in the 1890s on the site of Fort Seybert. 4 An addition was made to the front around the turn of the century, and vergeboard with delicate fan ornamentation with pendants was later added to the gable ends circa 1915. The farmstead was later owned by the Conrad family, with the house abandoned.

Simmons Farmstead

Situated on about 75 acres of rolling hills in the shadow of South Fork Mountain in West Virginia, the Simmons Farm was a historically self-sufficient farmstead consisting of several log and frame buildings constructed by hand and derived from local materials.

The primary two-story weatherboard-sided residence was constructed in 1908. Finished with mostly bare wood inside, its only embellishment hand stenciling on the ceiling in the living room was completed by its primary occupant, who was a local painter. Other structures on the traditional mountain farm complex include a woodworking shop, a combination corn crib and barn, the ruins of a spring house, and an outbuilding with chicken crates.

Smith House

Smith House is located in Raleigh County, West Virginia, and was the home to former governor Hulett C. Smith who died in January 2012 after years of failing health. 4 He was the second Beckley-area resident to be elected governor. During his four-year term that started in 1964, Smith used his office to push environmental reforms, start the construction of modern interstates and expressways, and abolish capital punishment.

Until relocating to an assisted living center in Scottsdale, Arizona in the fall of 2011, 4 Smith lived in a two-story Colonial Revival-style residence that was built in 1953. 5 The property was then acquired by Governor Jim Justice-owned Bellwood Corporation with the intent of redeveloping the parcel into a mix of commercial, retail, and professional spaces, single-family homes, multi-family apartment complexes, and senior living facilities, and a nine-hole golf course. 6 7 Bellwood requested $19.5 million in tax increment financing (TIF) for 30 years on the former Smith house, two parcels near the Tamarack, and the Brier Patch Golf Links, but the motion was denied as TIF grants could not be used for residential developments. 6

In October 2021, The city and county proposed working out an agreement to bring the properties into city limits in exchange for using some of the proceeds to pay a portion of a rising jail bill. 7