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.
There are times when I revisit an old friend and discover something new, such as the case of the long-abandoned Jefferson School in Wheeling, West Virginia. I had not discovered much about the historic structure other than coming upon its demolition in 2013.
Ghost towns along the New River in West Virginia are aplenty but what makes these three unique is that they lay within the New River Gorge National River. Prior to the creation of the national park in the late 1970s, much of the land was used for the production of coal and coke. Small, company-owned towns were developed for the miners and their families, and when those mines closed out—so did the communities.