Open-shafted and surface coal mines, massive ovens, scattered coal and coking debris, smoke-belching steam engines, and construction and industrial activities all had environmental impacts. Smoke wasn’t the only consequence.
When workers . . . — — Map (db m210126) HM
The soft, crumbly, low-sulfur coal extracted from this valley was ideal for processing into a charcoal-like substance called coke. Coke was and remains an essential fuel for blast furnaces in the nation's steel mills.
To turn coal into . . . — — Map (db m210124) HM
This area, part of the community of Coketon, was once the site of a large coal mining and processing complex, pictured in the main photo below. Underground mining ended here in the 1950s. A few foundations remain, along with some coke ovens, but . . . — — Map (db m210123) HM
The last underground coal mine closed in the early 1950s, leaving a legacy of acid mine drainage, abandoned industrial structures, coke ovens, and debris.
A major reclamation effort was conducted by the West Virginia Department of . . . — — Map (db m210127) HM
This area became a full-fledged member of the West Virginia Park System on October 5, 1953. It was made possible by a gift to the West Virginia Conservation Commission by companies of the Allegheny Power System, which includes Monongahela Power . . . — — Map (db m205460) HM
Early visitors to this area scrambled down a boulder-strewn path and climbed over fallen trees to view Blackwater Falls. As one of today's visitors, you are enjoying a boardwalk of more than 200 steps that will take you to the closest viewing . . . — — Map (db m153050) HM
Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge works to preserve the unique, wetlands and uplands of this high elevation, moist valley, providing a haven for a diverse collection of plants and animals. Take time to talk Refuge trails. View red spruce on . . . — — Map (db m210149) HM
Approximately 820 feet east of here, Camp 70 Road intersects the historic Fairfax Line, the western boundary of about 5,000,000 acres inherited by Thomas Lord Fairfax in 1719. In 1746 a survey party that included Peter Jefferson, father of Thomas . . . — — Map (db m210152) HM
This memorial honors all American veterans who, although separated by generations, shared a common, undeniable goal -- to valiantly protect our country's freedoms.
The memories of these American veterans will continue to live or whenever and . . . — — Map (db m153047) WM
You are standing near the site of Camp 70, one of the numbered logging camps built by the Babcock lumber Company of Davis during the early 1900s. Temporary camps like these were located along railroad lines. Babcock Lumber built the railroads to . . . — — Map (db m210150) HM
Beginning in 1853, David Hunter Strother, writing under the pen name of "Porte Crayon," wrote a series of articles about his various adventures into the Blackwater region for Harper's New Monthly Magazine. His colorful descriptions and . . . — — Map (db m153051) HM
The resistant Homewood and Conoquenessing sandstones, the “Salt Sands” of the driller, form the Canyon Walls and Blackwater Falls. These sands produce oil and natural gas in West Virginia and commercial brines on the Kanawha and Ohio . . . — — Map (db m69720) HM
💧 The resistant Homewood and Conoquenessing sandstones, the “Salt Sands” of the driller, form the Canyon Walls and Blackwater Falls. These sands produce oil and natural gas in West Virginia and commercial brines on the Kanawha and Ohio . . . — — Map (db m205458) HM
Just below Douglas is the crest of a steep, 10-mile railroad grade. Trains from Elkins reached the grade in Hendricks, where crews added locomotives called “helpers”. Heavy locomotives could handle long trains in most places, but the 3% grade . . . — — Map (db m210147) HM
Company-owned mining towns usually included a railroad station, a company general store, a school, a post office, churches, and multi-family homes. Douglas was named for Douglas Gorman, Jr., an associate of Henry Gassaway Davis. At its peak, . . . — — Map (db m210143) HM
The Seneca Trail, or Warriors' Path, was the Indian highway from New York to the South. In West Virginia, it followed in general the Alleghenies and this trail, made by moccasined feet centuries ago, may be seen at many points today. — — Map (db m24412) HM
In 1892, Coketon Colored School teacher Carrie Williams sued the local school board for equal pay. She was represented by the first African American lawyer in WV, J.R. Clifford, in front of Judge Hoke. Local jury found for her and she won appeal at . . . — — Map (db m74854) HM
In the spring of 1861, Union forces into northwestern Virginia to secure the vital Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, protect important turnpikes, and support Unionists against Confederates. The two sides fought numerous engagements between June . . . — — Map (db m159726) HM
Federal victory at Rich Mountain on July 11, 1861, forced Confederate Gen. Robert S. Garnett's 4,000 troops to retreat from Laurel Hill in Barbour County. Garnett, fearing that his escape route was blocked, struck northeast. His goal was to circle . . . — — Map (db m23746) HM
After the Confederate defeat in the Tygarts Valley early in 1861, Gen. R.S. Garnett, the Southern leader, withdrew. Here he was overtaken by Federals under his West Point classmate, Gen. T.A. Morris, his army defeated, and himself mortally wounded. — — Map (db m169577) HM
1861 - 1865 Corrick's Ford Battle engagement between Federal troops under Gen. T.A. Morris and Confederate troops under Gen. R.S. Garnett, one mile south, July 13, 1861. Garnett, mortally wounded in this action, was the first general to . . . — — Map (db m33621) HM
"No shaft of shining marble, new From the sculptor's hand we raise for you No, here we lay A boulder drawn from the river-side Where brave men battled and bled and died." Karl Myers, Ode to the Battle of Corricks Ford, 1926 On US Route . . . — — Map (db m23766) HM
"How gallantly he died in the discharge of his duty." President Jefferson Davis CSA On July 13, 1861, some 3,500 Confederate soldiers under Gen. Robert S. Garnett crossed Shavers Fork here while chased by Union forces in a desperate bid to . . . — — Map (db m23769) HM
Rocks of destruction shaped with pride, form an ark of strength for those who survived, and a monument of glory for those who died, in the Flood of November 4-5, 1985.
Cleta M. Long
In memory of
Raymond D. Bonner 1926 - . . . — — Map (db m153103) HM
Trains in operation
from 1889 - 1983
Parsons Railroad Depot
Parsons, West Virginia
has been placed on the
of Historic Places
by the United States . . . — — Map (db m153124) HM
This plaque is a testament to the spirit of patriotism inherent in all of the courageous women who volunteered to boldly defend, loyally uphold and valiantly preserve the liberties and freedom of this great land through their service in the armed . . . — — Map (db m153114) WM
The memorial honors all American veterans who, although separated by generations, share a common, undeniable goal—to valiantly protect our country's freedoms.
The memories of these American veterans will continue to live on whenever and . . . — — Map (db m153118) WM
They told us, "We are going to have peace even if we have to fight for it." So we fought in the mountains on Heartbreak Ridge and waded ashore at Inchon.
We froze in the winter and baked in the summer sun.
At times, we were greatly . . . — — Map (db m153117) WM
This Memorial is in honor of the men and women who served to liberate the Iraqi people from the Regime of Saddam Hussein. Standing tall and supporting what our nation is all about, freedom.
The actions of those who were called to duty will . . . — — Map (db m153112) WM
"I have seen in your eyes a fire of determination to get this job done quickly so that we may all return to the shores of our great nation. My confidence in you is total. Our cause is just! Now you must be the thunder and lighting of Desert Storm." . . . — — Map (db m153111) WM
This memorial was erected in memory of the young individuals who went to war as kids and lost their youthful dreams, and some their lives, for a cause—freedom and honor—and came back as men with the horrors of war instilled in every . . . — — Map (db m153115) WM
It was known as the Great War … the war to end all wars.
We went "over there" to the songs and cheers of our countrymen, and marched right into the grim reality of twentieth century warfare. Poison gas, machine guns, tanks, aircraft and . . . — — Map (db m153120) WM
This memorial is in honor of all of the World War II veterans who were involved in the fight for the freedom of America and the free world.
Whether they fought in the Pacific or European theater, they faced a resolute and often brutal enemy; . . . — — Map (db m153119) WM
Confederate cavalry led by Col. John Imboden entered Pendleton County on August 17, 1862. On the 19th, Mary Jane Snyder, daughter of Union scout Capt. John Snyder, rode 25 miles through wilderness to warn Union Capt. William Hall, who was camped at . . . — — Map (db m210403) HM
John Crouch, pioneer settler, established "tomahawk rights" here in 1766, but the town was not incorporated until 1893. Here Shavers Fork and Blackwater unite to form the Cheat River. Hu Maxwell, the historian, lived near.
After the battles of . . . — — Map (db m23641) HM
"We had [the general's] body taken to the house of Mr. Corrick, on the adjacent hill...and the next day we selected Garnett's own ambulance for his remains, which were placed in a box with salt." Capt. Henry W. Benham USA In front of you is . . . — — Map (db m23729) HM
The original county seat at St. George was forcibly moved to Parsons at night on August 1, 1893. With the construction of the brick courthouse hopes of the return to St. George were lost forever.
Declared a Tucker County Historic . . . — — Map (db m34640) HM
Elmer L. Barkley • Jack D. Blosser • Delbert L. Cosner • Thomas R. Harper • Leonard Hebb • Denzil L. Judy • Andrew R. Ketterman • Warren G. Long • Leonard D. Nestor • Doyle D. Pennington • Forrest C. Poling • Forrest J. Poling • Ross D. . . . — — Map (db m153108) WM
Capture of St. George.
On November 9, 1862, Colonel John Imboden’s 1st VA Partisan Rangers captured the town of St. George. Having a larger Confederate force, he compelled Union Captain William Hal (6th WV) to surrender his command with . . . — — Map (db m184472) HM
First County Seat.
Here stood Tucker’s first courthouse. Confederate flag raised over it, May, 1861. The town changed sides ten times during the Civil War. "County Seat War" ended Aug 1, 1893, when records removed by armed men.
Fort . . . — — Map (db m184485) HM
Incorporated July 20, 1885 by William H. Lipscomb, John J. Adams, Bascom B. Baker, Ezekiel Harper, Sansome E. Parsons, Wilson B. Maxwell, Adam C. Minear, and William E. Talbott. The school ceased to operate in June, 1893. — — Map (db m203448) HM
First county seat. Here John Minear and son, Jonathan, after early visits, settled in 1776. Bot of them were killed by Indians, 1780–1781. Captain James Parsons and brother, Thomas, made settlements in the Horseshoe, 1772–1774. — — Map (db m74908) HM
The town is well equipped with store and shops, and for its population, of unusual size and attractiveness. In them can be found all that humanity could desire in the way of merchandise." — T. Nutter, Thomas, WV: History, . . . — — Map (db m153087) HM
The Thomas National Register Historic District is considered significant under Criterion A for its association with the settlement and development of Thomas and of Tucker County.
Though remote, the area has been of interest to explorers . . . — — Map (db m153055) HM
The People of Thomas
The history books of Thomas are full of fascinating stories of the people who built these buildings and lived their lives here. Hundreds of people from around the world came to Thomas to seek their fortunes, . . . — — Map (db m153066) HM
Thomas's National Register Significance
The Thomas Commercial Historic District was listed as a National Register Historic District in 1997. In order to qualify for the National Register of Historic Place, a property must be at least 50 . . . — — Map (db m153057) HM
Segregated school located along the North Fork of the Blackwater that served Coketon, center of coal and coke empire of H. G. Davis. In 1892 teacher Carrie Williams, represented by J. R. Clifford, state’s first African Amerian lawyer, sued when . . . — — Map (db m82119) HM
The West Virginia Central and Pittsburg (WVC&P) (Former Railyard, Tour No. 36) was founded by Henry Gassaway Davis, one of the most important figures in West Virginia history.
Davis began his career as a . . . — — Map (db m153060) HM
Residential Architecture in Thomas
Modern society places value on home ownership, especially a house with land. However, families that moved from Europe or large cities such as New York in the early 20th century were not necessarily . . . — — Map (db m153071) HM
Underground coal mining is dangerous and labor-intensive. Mine tunnels required careful engineering, and the Davis Coal and Coke Company built this Engineering Building to enable planning for efficient operations and good record-keeping. A . . . — — Map (db m153052) HM
Exploring the Coketon Industrial Site
More than 100 years ago, massive steam engines pulling tons of coal-filled cars roared along this busy railroad route. The trains connected the rich coal mines of West Virginia to hungry steel mills in . . . — — Map (db m153095) HM
The Fairfax Stone (½ Mi. E.) marking the Potomac's headwaters, was a corner of Lord Fairfax's vast estate. The line of 1736 was checked in 1746 by a survey on which Peter Jefferson, father of Thomas Jefferson, was engaged. — — Map (db m3945) HM
This monument, at the headspring of the Potomac River, marks one of the historic spots of America. Its name is derived from Thomas Lord Fairfax who owned all the land lying between the Potomac and Rappahannock rivers. The first Fairfax Stone, marked . . . — — Map (db m3946) HM
The Fairfax Stone (½ Mi. E.) marking the Potomac's headwaters, was a corner of Lord Fairfax's vast estate. The line of 1736 was checked in 1746 by a survey on which Peter Jefferson, father of Thomas Jefferson, was engaged. — — Map (db m164885) HM
Historic Thomas and the Coketon Industrial Complex
Past and Present Co-Exist Easily
Recognized today as the gateway to the historical and recreational resources of the Blackwater River region, Thomas offers a unique glimpse into the . . . — — Map (db m153098) HM
Social Life and Entertainment
Thomas residents enjoyed a variety of entertainment and social activities.
The town had many musicians, including Patsy Sangangelo, a gifted trumpet player and owner of a shoe repair shop (Tour No. 40). . . . — — Map (db m153063) HM
To the southwest is Blackwater Falls, 63 feet high, and its rugged gorge. It drains lovely Canaan Valley, which may be seen from the mountain top, 3700 feet high. It was made famous in “Blackwater Chronicles” by “Porte . . . — — Map (db m74823) HM
A company store provided an industrial community with the necessities of life—as well as a means for a company to control its workforce. Lured by the lucrative prospect of mining coal for steelmaking, Henry Gassaway Davis and other . . . — — Map (db m153053) HM
Immigration and Ethnic Diversity
After the railroad and coal industries began operation, Thomas made a rapid transformation from isolated mountain town to small cosmopolitan city. The Davis Coal and Coke Company recruited workers from . . . — — Map (db m153062) HM
The Story of a River
Welcome to the Thomas Interpretive Area. During the 19th century this area was renowned as a remote, forlorn wilderness, but the discovery of coal in the region and the advent of the Industrial Age, became a center of . . . — — Map (db m153092) HM
Coal and Its Impact on Thomas
The history of the coal industry is inextricable from the development of the Thomas Commercial Historic District. If the Davis brothers had not invested in coal mining and transportation in the area, the town . . . — — Map (db m153089) HM
The Thomas-Davis Lions Club proudly dedicates this memorial plaque to the memory of these miners who lost their lives in Thomas, West Virginia mine disasters.
Mine No. 25
February 4, 1907
Allen, Oscar • Arcani, Joe • Benuemento, . . . — — Map (db m153083) HM
Every city grows and evolves over the years. Compared the various photos with what you see in Thomas today to see what is different and what has stayed the same.
The Imperial Hotel, formerly located between the Schilansky . . . — — Map (db m153084) HM