The drive along Zenith Road to the unincorporated community of Zenith, West Virginia is a step back into time.
Quaint country churches share the space with simple log cabins, more elaborate clapboard-sided houses, and traditional family farms along the winding Dropping Lick Creek. Zenith, whose name is said to be biblical in origin, features a shuttered general store, closed volunteer fire station, and numerous disused dwellings.
Just around the corner in Zenith is the historic McClung’s Mill. Originally constructed in Craig County, Virginia, and the structure relocated to Zenith in the early 1900s. The gristmill operated through the late 1960s, powered by a flume that was fed from Dropping Lick Creek that flowed from a cave to turn the 26-foot overshot water wheel—the second largest in the state.
After its closure, McClung’s Mill fell into severe disrepair but it was gradually stabilized and restored over a period of years in the early 1970s by the Monroe County Historical Society.