“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
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Historical Markers and War Memorials in Raleigh County, West Virginia

Clickable Map of Raleigh County, West Virginia and Immediately Adjacent Jurisdictions image/svg+xml 2019-10-06 U.S. Census Bureau, Abe.suleiman; Lokal_Profil;; J.J.Prats/dc:title> Raleigh County, WV (65) Boone County, WV (18) Fayette County, WV (115) Kanawha County, WV (165) Mercer County, WV (35) Summers County, WV (45) Wyoming County, WV (32)  RaleighCounty(65) Raleigh County (65)  BooneCounty(18) Boone County (18)  FayetteCounty(115) Fayette County (115)  KanawhaCounty(165) Kanawha County (165)  MercerCounty(35) Mercer County (35)  SummersCounty(45) Summers County (45)  WyomingCounty(32) Wyoming County (32)
Beckley is the county seat for Raleigh County
Adjacent to Raleigh County, West Virginia
      Boone County (18)  
      Fayette County (115)  
      Kanawha County (165)  
      Mercer County (35)  
      Summers County (45)  
      Wyoming County (32)  
Touch name on this list to highlight map location.
Touch blue arrow, or on map, to go there.
1 West Virginia, Raleigh County, Amigo — Byrd Prillerman High School — Coal Heritage Trail —
Byrd Prillerman High School was established here in 1927 for the Afro American students in this coal mining area. Named in honor of a former slave who was an eminent state educator and President of West Virginia State College. The two story frame . . . Map (db m138167) HM
2 West Virginia, Raleigh County, Beaver — Big Beaver Creek Ancient Fortification
The ancient fortification in a bend of Beaver Creek was first surveyed by Alfred Beckley in 1837. Isaac Craig mapped it a year later and estimated then~fallen stone walls were 7 feet thick and 6 feet high. The walls of large enclosure, with design . . . Map (db m109188) HM
3 West Virginia, Raleigh County, Beckley — Mortality
This bronze, titled "Mortality," is the work of West Virginia sculptor Bill Hopen. His study of a dying tunnel worker eulogizes the many men lying in unmarked graves near Hawk's Tunnel about 30 miles from here. There was no memorial for nearly a . . . Map (db m75073) HM
4 West Virginia, Raleigh County, Beckley — Aerial Gateway to Beckley
The airfield once located here was the first major aviation facility in southern West Virginia. Known variously as Skelton Field (for the town of Skelton), Scott Field (for S.A. Scott, President of the New River Coal Company) and most commonly as . . . Map (db m212839) HM
5 West Virginia, Raleigh County, Beckley — Alfred Beckley1802-1888
Founder of Raleigh County and the City of Beckley. Born in Washington, D.C., he was a West Point graduate, class of 1823, U.S. Artillery officer, and a brigadier general in the Virginia militia 1849-1861. He came to Fayette County (now Raleigh) in . . . Map (db m165062) HM
6 West Virginia, Raleigh County, Beckley — Alfred Beckley / Wildwood
Alfred Beckley. Born May 26, 1802. Beckley was a graduate of West Point and served in the army 13 years before moving to present-day Raleigh County in 1836. He pushed formation of the county and named its seat after his father. Made . . . Map (db m138150) HM
7 West Virginia, Raleigh County, Beckley — Bachelor’s Shanty
Room for one. From the coal camp in Helen, WV, this one room dwelling dates back to the early 1920s. It was built for and occupied by a single miner or a married miner living away from home while working in the coal mines during a work week. The . . . Map (db m86376) HM
8 West Virginia, Raleigh County, Beckley — Beckley
Created Apr. 4, 1838. Named for John Beckley, clerk of the House of Representatives in terms of Washington, Adams, and Jefferson. General Alfred Beckley, his son, had home, "Park Place", later known as "Wildwood", built here in 1835.Map (db m60987) HM
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9 West Virginia, Raleigh County, Beckley — Beckley
Created Apr. 4, 1838. Named for John Beckley, clerk of the House of Representatives in the terms of Washington, Adams, and Jefferson. General Alfred Beckley, his son, had home, “Park Place,” later known as “Wildwood,” built . . . Map (db m138131) HM
10 West Virginia, Raleigh County, Beckley — Beckley Mill
Alfred Beckley built a mill along Piney Creek (1838-1840) to spur economic growth on his wilderness landholdings. Union Commander and future U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes visited site in 1862. It was destroyed in the 1878 flood . . . Map (db m138152) HM
11 West Virginia, Raleigh County, Beckley — Beckley's Flying Circuses
Even before the construction of the airport here in the late 1930s, Raleigh County hosted a variety of air shows and “flying circuses.” Air shows were extremely popular for local coal miners who might never have seen an airplane before. . . . Map (db m212842) HM
12 West Virginia, Raleigh County, Beckley — Bill Withers
Born July 4, 1938, in Slab Fork, Withers grew up in Beckley. After nine years of service in the US Navy, he began a successful career in the music industry, recording hit songs “Ain’t No Sunshine” and “Lean on Me.” In his lifetime, he won three . . . Map (db m176833) HM
13 West Virginia, Raleigh County, Beckley — Citizens Hall Of FameCity Of Beckley — May 11, 1985 —
General Alfred Beckley Founder of our city John H. McCulloch Mayor of Beckley 1970-1983 Fireman Steven Horwath Killed in the line of duty Nov. 24, 1960 Capt. Jon A McBride, U.S.N. Astronaut-Space shuttle pilot Oct. 5, 1984 Police . . . Map (db m165072) HM
14 West Virginia, Raleigh County, Beckley — Civil War Site
On April 5, 1862, Company A of the 23rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry camped here during the occupation of the Raleigh Court House.Map (db m60293) HM
15 West Virginia, Raleigh County, Beckley — Civil War Site
This was a staging area for Confederate troops under the command of Gen. John B. Floyd in the fall of 1861. The 23rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry set camp here on April 18, 1862.Map (db m161224) HM
16 West Virginia, Raleigh County, Beckley — Clarence W. Meadows
Born February 11, 1904, in Beckley. Meadows, a lawyer, entered public service in 1930. He served as state delegate, county prosecutor and WV Attorney General before becoming a judge of the 10th Circuit in 1942. As governor (1945-49) he oversaw . . . Map (db m176834) HM
17 West Virginia, Raleigh County, Beckley — Cleared for Takeoff
Aviation had a long history in Raleigh County before the Beckley-Mount Hope Airport broke ground in 1933. Col. Paul Peck of Hinton is thought to be the first person to land an airplane in Raleigh County, in a field sometime before 1912 – only a . . . Map (db m212837) HM
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18 West Virginia, Raleigh County, Beckley — Dedicated
. . . Map (db m165078) WM
19 West Virginia, Raleigh County, Beckley — Dinky Locomotive
On May 12, 1962, Beckley Street Commissioner D. E. Warden, initially in charge of setting up the City's new Exhibition Coal Mine, announced the donation of a dinky locomotive to the project. Dinkies were small locomotives used on short line . . . Map (db m161230) HM
20 West Virginia, Raleigh County, Beckley — Eccles Mine Explosions
Five miles west at Eccles, on April 28, 1914, a gas explosion in No. 5 Mine in the Beckley seam killed 174 miners; another nine died in No. 6 Mine above from blackdamp. On March 8, 1926, 19 died in No. 5. In 1891, Royal Mine on New River was first . . . Map (db m60204) HM
21 West Virginia, Raleigh County, Beckley — 81 — Ferguson Rock — Legends & Lore —
In 1814 an injured young man thrown and abandoned by his horse on Piney Creek purportedly carved his own tombstone awaiting death.Map (db m177144) HM
22 West Virginia, Raleigh County, Beckley — Flame Of Freedom
Dedicated to veterans of all wars Raleigh County American Legion Posts 32, 70, & 169 American Legion Auxiliary units 32 & 70 March 1969Map (db m165075) WM
23 West Virginia, Raleigh County, Beckley — From Agriculture to Mining
Shortly after European explorers arrived, permanent settlers began to use the "Indian Path" to enter southern West Virginia. The first permanent settlers arrived at Paint Creek in the early 19th century. Agriculture was the dominant way of life for . . . Map (db m75144) HM
24 West Virginia, Raleigh County, Beckley — Gen. Alfred Beckley
. . . Map (db m161231) HM WM
25 West Virginia, Raleigh County, Beckley — Green Beret Birthplace
West Virginia Army National Guard Special Forces (Green Berets) were initially headquartered in Beckley in 1959. Detachments were home stationed here 1959-1963 and 1976-1979.Map (db m183908) HM
26 West Virginia, Raleigh County, Beckley — James Bird Cole (1813-1880)
On this spot in 1842, James Bird Cole built the first residence in Alfred Beckley's 30-acre "paper town." Cole was born in Floyd County, Virginia, circa 1813. A blacksmith, he also established the first business in Beckley. He built his forge and . . . Map (db m177088) HM
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27 West Virginia, Raleigh County, Beckley — King’s Daughters / Raleigh General Hospital
Founded by the charitable Beckley Circle of King's Daughters, which in 1922 opened a temporary hospital downtown while a new facility was built on Park Knoll. It filled a growing need for health care in the county and also provided a nursing . . . Map (db m221034) HM
28 West Virginia, Raleigh County, Beckley — Pinecrest Sanitarium
Established in 1927 by act of the Legislature to provide additional facilities for sufferers from tuberculosis. Opened to the public in 1930. Capacity increased, 1938. Early treatment of the disease is emphasized. Altitude 2350 feet.Map (db m109187) HM
29 West Virginia, Raleigh County, Beckley — Raleigh County
Formed, 1850, from Fayette. Named for Sir Walter Raleigh, who planted the first English colony in America. Beckley, the county seat, was founded by Alfred Beckley, and named for his father, John, first clerk of the House of Representatives.Map (db m138154) HM
30 West Virginia, Raleigh County, Beckley — Raleigh County Coal Mines
The county's first mine opened at Royal on the New River in 1891. The Beckley Exhibition Mine, once an actual operating mine, and the dozens of others throughout Raleigh County produced 792,055,155 tons of bituminous coal in the first century of the . . . Map (db m161229) HM
31 West Virginia, Raleigh County, Beckley — Raleigh County World War II Memorial
In grateful tribute toward the living and the dead who through their valiant efforts and bitter sacrifice have made America great, is this shrine dedicated by the Senior Girl Scouts of Raleigh County. Let us hold in honored memory those . . . Map (db m165069) WM
32 West Virginia, Raleigh County, Beckley — Salvation Wall
A stone wall located here impeded advance of the Great Fire of April 14, 1912, saving Main Street businesses and offices.Map (db m179838) HM
33 West Virginia, Raleigh County, Beckley — Samuel Haas Bridge (23 Jan. 1884 - 27 Mar. 1965)
Worked as a mining engineer before moving to Beckley 1921 and pursuing architecture beginning in 1930. Major projects: Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Building, Post Office and Federal Building, Pinecrest Sanitarium, Stratton High School, Mountainair . . . Map (db m192494) HM
34 West Virginia, Raleigh County, Beckley — Site of First State Police HeadquartersWillis Hotel February 1920
In 1922, State Police Colonel Arnold announced Raleigh County roads were the "chief gateway into the state for the bootlegging fraternity."Map (db m203035) HM
35 West Virginia, Raleigh County, Beckley — Spanish Influenza Hospital
During the deadly Spanish influenza pandemic of 1918-19, a special flu hospital operated on this site in the basement of the First Baptist Church. Volunteers, risking their own lives, tended to the plague victims brought in from throughout Raleigh . . . Map (db m159733) HM
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36 West Virginia, Raleigh County, Beckley — State Police Radio Station And Barracks
On October 7, 1939, station WBSP went live, part of a new shortwave communication system throughout the state. Within nine months, in late-June 1940, Company D occupied new, state-owned "barracks here. Partially funded by WPA grants, . . . Map (db m165070) HM
37 West Virginia, Raleigh County, Beckley — Stratton High SchoolAfrican American Heritage Tour
Gone are the days of the early 1800s in which African Americans were mainly provided education by missionaries and charitable organizations. The WV legislature passed a bill in 1866 that provided public schools for black students, but revised it in . . . Map (db m161232) HM
38 West Virginia, Raleigh County, Beckley — Superintendent's House
A reflection of Status Constructed in 1906 in Skelton, WV, the “super’s home” was just that, a three story structure for the mine superintendent to make his home. However, all indications are that Samuel Dixon the mine . . . Map (db m86432) HM
39 West Virginia, Raleigh County, Beckley — The Attar CenterDedicated to Economic Development of — Beckley and Southern West Virginia —
General Alfred Beckley, founder of the city of Beckley, shows this corner location as land lot 29 on his 1838 map. Reverend Matthew Ellison, founder of the First Baptist Church of Beckley, built his home here in 1850, and his heirs held title to the . . . Map (db m60262) HM
40 West Virginia, Raleigh County, Beckley — The Indian Path
Known as the "War Road", the "Hunter's Road", or simply the "Indian Path" by the time European explorers arrived in the 18th century, Paint Creek had long been a route of travel for Native Americans. Delawares, Mingoes, Ottawas, Senecas, . . . Map (db m75165) HM
41 West Virginia, Raleigh County, Beckley — The Mysterious Ferguson Rock
There are many tales surrounding Ferguson rock, the oldest known landmark in Beckley, Raleigh County. One popular story holds “S. Ferguson” to have been an “old pioneer” who came to grief in 1814 while traveling from Virginia to the Kanawha . . . Map (db m177086) HM
42 West Virginia, Raleigh County, Beckley — The Raleigh County BankLandmarks of West Virginia
This city block, laid out by General Alfred Beckley, was the headquarters of Union troops during the Civil War Among these troops were two future presidents of the United States: Rutherford B. Hayes 19th Pres. 1877-1881 William . . . Map (db m165079) HM
43 West Virginia, Raleigh County, Beckley — Upper Big Branch Mine Explosion
An explosion underground at Montcoal in western Raleigh County on April 5th, 2010 took the lives of 29 miners listed below: Deceased Miners Carl C Acord, 52, Roof Bolter Operator Jason M. Atkins, 25, Roof Bolter Operator Christopher . . . Map (db m138161) HM
44 West Virginia, Raleigh County, Beckley — RA 1 — Wildwood
Built by John Lilly, Sr. in 1835-36, it was the home of Alfred Beckley (1802-88) and Amelia Neville Craig. Son of John Beckley, first clerk of the House of Representatives, he founded the town of Beckley and wrote the bill proposing formation of . . . Map (db m76957) HM
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45 West Virginia, Raleigh County, Beckley — William S. Dunbar
Born in 1823, he moved to Raleigh County in the 1850s where he was a carpenter. A staunch Unionist during the Civil War, he served in the 7th WV Cavalry until discharged due to ill health. Elected to the House of Delegates in 1863, Dunbar also . . . Map (db m186661) HM
46 West Virginia, Raleigh County, Bolt — James Cecil “Little Jimmy” Dickens
Born December 19, 1920 in Bolt, Dickens was a country music star known as “Little Jimmy” due to his short stature of 4 feet, 11 inches. He began his musical career in the 1930s and by 1948 was a member of the Grand Old Opry. He enjoyed a successful . . . Map (db m190012) HM
47 West Virginia, Raleigh County, Daniels — Grandview Park
Grandview Park (11 miles N.), 878 acres, derives name from an overhanging cliff 1300 ft. high. In basal Pennsylvanian rocks. New River in this area has cut a steep-walled gorge through Mauch Chunk strata of late Mississippian Age.Map (db m42174) HM
48 West Virginia, Raleigh County, Fairdale — Logan, Raleigh and Monroe Turnpike
Construction of the Logan Turnpike was authorized by the VA General Assembly on March 17, 1849. The road was an important entryway into he relatively remote region of present-day southern West Virginia. Starting on the Big Sandy in Logan, it roughly . . . Map (db m176831) HM
49 West Virginia, Raleigh County, Glen Daniel — First Church in Raleigh County
Coal Marsh Missionary Baptist Church was built in 1829 of rough logs. Guyandotte Church moved in July 1836 to petition the Greenbrier Convention for a new church at Coal River Marshes, then Fayette County. Upon approval, all members living east of . . . Map (db m221285) HM
50 West Virginia, Raleigh County, Grandview — Boom, Bust & Rebirth
Before the timber boom in the New River area, the Glade Creek and Piney Creek valleys contained about 50,000 acres of virgin pine and substantial stands of yellow poplar and oak. This seemingly endless old-growth deciduous forest was a siren song . . . Map (db m197519) HM
51 West Virginia, Raleigh County, Grandview — Glade Creek Timber
As logging in the New River Gorge expanded, timber operations gradually became more efficient. Local timber company J. R. Beaty and Company created the first railroad in Raleigh County, the Glade Creek and Raleigh (GC&R) Railroad, in 1895. The . . . Map (db m197516) HM
52 West Virginia, Raleigh County, Grandview — Skidders and Boomboats
While early explorers knew about the rich timber and coal resources in this region, it took the completion of the Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) Railroad through the New River Gorge in 1873 to open the area up to major logging and mining operations. . . . Map (db m197514) HM
53 West Virginia, Raleigh County, Helen — Baseball
In the early 1920s baseball was becoming America's game, and the small towns of West Virginia were no exception. Little boys throughout the area dreamed of being the next Babe Ruth or Lou Gehrig while playing with baseballs made from paper and . . . Map (db m186955) HM
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54 West Virginia, Raleigh County, Helen — Camp Lightfoot
Children in coal towns like Helen were sure to find many activities that kept them entertained throughout the year. Of course there was a theatre in town where the children watched the latest movie or serial. In the spring time, many could be found . . . Map (db m186958) HM
55 West Virginia, Raleigh County, Helen — Helen
As the railroad began to push west through southern West Virginia, mining of the vast coal reserves brought new opportunities, growth, and in many instances, new towns. That was the case with Helen. Helen was established around 1919, and named after . . . Map (db m186953) HM
56 West Virginia, Raleigh County, Helen — Helen Coal Miners Memorial
Map (db m186947)
57 West Virginia, Raleigh County, Helen — Helen, WVAfrican American Heritage Tour
In the 1910s, the East Gulf Coal Company opened what came to be known as the Helen Mine and Coal Camp. Realizing their need to attract a more reliable and family-oriented workforce, the coal operators began constructing "model towns.” Here in the . . . Map (db m186950) HM
58 West Virginia, Raleigh County, Helen — Miners Memorial
At the peak of the coal boom in the Winding Gulf region, thousands of miners worked in the four mines of the Eastern Associated Coal Company in Helen. These miners came from various races and nationalities, and their hard, often dangerous work . . . Map (db m186951) HM
59 West Virginia, Raleigh County, Lester — The Big Tunnel Fight
In 1902, competing railroads raced to reach the coal fields of southern West Virginia. The Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) and Deepwater-Tidewater Railway (known as the Virginian after 1907) both wanted to be the first to reach the rich coal deposits . . . Map (db m204806) HM
60 West Virginia, Raleigh County, Maple Fork — 1 — Fay-Ral AirportFay-Ral Airport
Est. 1930 to serve Beckley and Mount Hope areas. Early aviator Herb Sessler trained pilots, tested aircraft here. Airfield closed ca. 1935.Map (db m180724) HM
61 West Virginia, Raleigh County, McAlpin — Site of Mark Twain High School
From 1921-65 school served students from coal towns Hot Coal, Big Stick Woodbay, McAlpin, Stotesbury, Tams, Ury, Helen, Amigo, Sophia and Slab Fork. Robert C. Byrd, valedictorian, Mark Twain High School class of 1934, served in West Virginia . . . Map (db m138164) HM
62 West Virginia, Raleigh County, Shady Spring — Shady Spring
Situated along a road originally cut by frontiersman Francis Farley during the late 18th century, the community was named for the nearby spring that served area residents and passersby with a continuous water source. Business activity in the area . . . Map (db m143110) HM
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63 West Virginia, Raleigh County, Sophia — Korean War MemorialThe Forgotten War — Freedom is Not Free —
I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. This monument was designed and erected by Chapter #156 of the Korean . . . Map (db m179215) WM
64 West Virginia, Raleigh County, Terry — Camp Prince Army Station
In 1950, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers established a training and testing facility near McCreery. Chosen for its unique directional flows and proximity to Bluestone Dam, this section of the New River also allowed testing of floating bridge . . . Map (db m176827) HM
65 West Virginia, Raleigh County, White Oak — Glade Creek Reservoir
A severe drought that began in 1939 caused a prolonged water crisis for the City of Beckley. After a frozen water main burst and water usage was restricted, officials ordered a better water supply be provided. The solution was to access nearby Glade . . . Map (db m197782) HM
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Jun. 3, 2023