New River Gorge National River
— National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior —
The Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) Railway built this depot in 1904 to manage passengers and freight—mostly coal. This building replaced an earlier depot that burned the year before. The railroad was the only practical way in and out of New River Gorge. By 1906 there 36 rail stops in just 53 miles through the gorge. Thurmond was the busiest.
During its heyday the entire depot bustled. At one time 20 passenger trains stopped here each day. An estimated three million people passed through this building between 1910 and 1950. The C&O closed Thurmond offices in 1984. The National Park Service restored the depot and opened it as a visitor center in 1995.
A postcard view (above) from the early 1900s illustrates the crowds that once greeted trains here. In 1910 alone Thurmond’s depot served 76,000 passengers.
The depot was long and narrow due to limited space between the mainline tracks and the riverbank. The downstairs served passengers; the upstairs housed offices.
Mr. William Bennett, track supervisor, was photographed in his depot office in 1906.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Railroads & Streetcars.
Location. 37° 57.426′ N, 81° 4.734′ W. Marker is in Thurmond, West Virginia, in Fayette County. Marker is on Thurmond Road. The Thurmond Depot Visitor Center is located in the depot and administrated by the New River Gorge National River staff of the National Park Service. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 254 Hwy 25 & Hwy 2, 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. Where It All Started (a few steps from this marker); New River Gorge National River (a few steps from this marker); Thurmond, West Virginia (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Thurmond, West Virginia (within shouting distance of this marker); A Railroad Town (within shouting distance of this marker); The Heart of Town (about 800 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Railroad Was the Town (about 800 feet away); Thurmond’s Decline (about 800 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 229 times since then and 16 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.