In 1862, James Pickens, Jr. was able to acquire 3,000 acres of land along the Right Fork Buckhannon River in Randolph County from his heirs when his father died. 1 He was able to lure a steam sawmill into the area in 1873 and assisted Senator J.N. Camden in forming the Pickens Lumber Company and extending the Pickens & Hacker Valley Railroad (P&HV) into town in 1892. 2
Pickens grew to include a diverse town center, numerous hotels, several hotels, Presbyterian, Baptist, and Catholic churches, and a sawmill. The town began to decline with the exhaustion of virgin timber in the region, and by the 1980s, most of the underground and strip coal mines along the P&HV were depleted. In 1992, the P&HV was dismantled between Pickens and Alexander. 4
Pickens today is home to 66 residents and is home to the annual Maple Syrup Festival that welcomes thousands to the community.
- “History.” Pickens, West Virginia. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 May 2014. Article.
- “James & Mary Pickens.” Pickens, West Virginia. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 May 2014. Article.
- Reger, David B., and D. D. Teets, Jr. “Historical and Industrial Development: Transportation.” Barbour and Upshur Counties and Western Portion of Randolph County. Vol. 1. Wheeling: Wheeling News Litho, 1918. 3-4. Print.
- Clarke, Alan R. “The Baltimore and Ohio to the Appalachian and Ohio.” The West Virginia and Pittsburgh Railroad. Charleston: Quarrier, 2008. 214. Print.