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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Grafton in Taylor County, West Virginia — The American South (Appalachia)
 

Latrobe Street

 
 
Latrobe Street Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bradley Owen, July 6, 2021
1. Latrobe Street Marker
Inscription.  
In the early days of Grafton, Latrobe Street was one of the main business thoroughfares. It first developed in the 1850s with the coming of the railroad and was, appropriately, named for Benjamin Latrobe the Baltimore & Ohio engineer who plotted the railroad's path across the Allegheny Mountains.

Most of the original Latrobe Street buildings were destroyed by the fire of July 4 and 5, 1887 which started in Mrs. Margaret Martin's ice cream parlor and confectionary. The initial fire was quickly put out but reignited in the middle of the night, eventually destroying thirty-three buildings. Only the Courthouse, Brinkman Building and old Powell Tavern survived the blaze.

Among those consumed was the Central Hotel in which Granville Jarvis had previously operated a general store. The Jarvis family, including Mother's Day founder Anna Jarvis, occupied the upper stories and it was there that Anna spent much of her girlhood. There were no casualties but the fire was so large that the flames from the five story Robert Shaw building could be seen in Fairmont. After the fire, a measure to install a water system, which had been
Latrobe Street Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bradley Owen, July 6, 2021
2. Latrobe Street Marker
View is looking west with the marker located on the left.
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voted down three years before, was approved.

During the peak days of the railroad, Latrobe Street was lined with saloons causing the ladies of Grafton to shun the street. Despite this fact it was the busiest street in town and property values soared. Support for Prohibition ultimately held sway, however, and on March 18, 1913 saloon licenses were revoked resulting in the closure of all Grafton bars. Property values on Latrobe Street plummeted.
 
Erected by West Virginia Humanities Council and Taylor County Historical and Genealogical Society.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: DisastersIndustry & CommerceRailroads & StreetcarsRoads & Vehicles. In addition, it is included in the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O) 🚂 series list. A significant historical date for this entry is July 4, 1887.
 
Location. 39° 20.455′ N, 80° 1.467′ W. Marker is in Grafton, West Virginia, in Taylor County. Marker is on Latrobe Street just east of Beech Street (U.S. 119), on the right when traveling east. The marker stands on the south side of the Grafton Post Office. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 260 W Main St, Grafton WV 26354, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Grafton Post Office (within shouting distance of this marker); B&O Freight Station (within shouting
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distance of this marker); Forcella Buildings (within shouting distance of this marker); Bonafede Building (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Taylor County Courthouse (about 500 feet away); Welcome To Historic Grafton West Virginia (about 700 feet away); Grafton (about 700 feet away); Colerider Block (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Grafton.
 
More about this marker. Latrobe Street is a one-way street that goes exclusively east.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 18, 2021. It was originally submitted on July 16, 2021, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia. This page has been viewed 53 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 16, 2021, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.

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Dec. 8, 2021