The Railroad Was the Town
New River Gorge National River
— National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior —
The rails that you see here symbolize Thurmond’s essence—the railroad. These rails were truly Thurmond’s main street. Coal was king, but was worthless if it couldn’t get to market. Workers in Thurmond’s engine house kept the C&O Railway’s coal trains rolling, and the tons of coal shipped from Thurmond’s rail yards produced immense revenue for the C&O.
Every aspect of Thurmond centered on the railroad. It provided jobs and brought materials, merchandise, and paying passengers. People up and down the line flocked to Thurmond. At one time 20 passenger trains stopped daily. Thurmond was steam, smoke, cinders, noise, and the people who depended on the railroad.
"You really couldn’t keep (anything) clean though, because of the coal trains and soot and all that stuff. It was very hard to keep house in Thurmond…you could go out on the porch and sweep it at noon, and by four o’clock it was covered up with cinders again."
Mrs. Jane Graham Lawson.
Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
Topics. This historical marker is listed
Location. 37° 57.534′ N, 81° 4.824′ W. Marker is in Thurmond, West Virginia, in Fayette County. Marker is on Thurmond Road. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Thurmond WV 25936, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Heart of Town (here, next to this marker); Thurmond’s Decline (here, next to this marker); Changing Town (within shouting distance of this marker); A Town Built on Top of Itself (within shouting distance of this marker); Fueling Up Trains (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); A Railroad Town (about 700 feet away); Thurmond, West Virginia (about 700 feet away); a different marker also named Thurmond, West Virginia (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Thurmond.
Credits. This page was last revised on January 14, 2021. It was originally submitted on November 27, 2016, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 179 times since then and 15 times this year. Last updated on January 14, 2021, by TeamOHE of Wauseon, Ohio. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on November 27, 2016, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.