Monday, October 26, 2015

Thurmond, West Virginia

Carole and I took a short day-trip from Camp Creek to see the ghost town of Thurmond, West Virginia. Thurmond is technically a ghost town. These days there are only six inhabitants remaining in the town, down from a high of almost 800 back in its heyday as a coal center and banking powerhouse. At one time, the richest bank in the state of West Virginia was located there.

A portion of the business district still stands, and the whole remaining town is now part of the National Park Service which runs a visitors center in the restored train depot from Memorial Day through the end of October. For history buffs, I highly recommend a trip to see this place. While there are some downtown buildings renovated and preserved, a lot of the business district burned at various points between the late 40s with the last major fire being in 1963. It's unfortunate that so many of the structures were lost to fire and vandalism.

The area is also a good one for hiking and kayaking. There is even a primitive campground upstream from Thurmond (tents only).

It had been a very long time since we had been down into the Gorge to visit the abandoned town, so it was nice to head down there and shoot some new photos and videos. As I say, if you like American history and the story of the rise and fall of boom towns, then this should be high on your list of places to see and visit.

A gorgeous waterfall on the road down to Thurmond.
The one-lane bridge leading across the New River to Thurmond.

The stinking Post Office.

The best part of the old business district, including the Thurmond National Bank which was once the richest bank in the state of West Virginia.

A good place to hide the bodies.

A stroll down the main street.

Concrete tower.

The Thurmond Depot and visitors center.

Part of the existing residential area above the business district.

Toward the far end of the town.

The beautiful New River Gorge.
Old maintenance building in downtown Thurmond.

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