Cunard Road construction completed
Construction on the Cunard Road has been completed and the road is now open. Access may be delayed at times while striping is being painted.
Rend Trail closure
Repairs to the stone retention wall will cause closures from June through September, 2013. More »
During the first two decades of the 1900s, Thurmond was a classic boomtown. With the huge amounts of coal brought in from area mines, it had the largest revenue on the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway. Having many coal barons among its patrons, Thurmond's banks were the richest in the state. Fifteen passenger trains a day came through town-its depot serving as many as 95,000 passengers a year. The town's stores and saloons did a remarkable business, and its hotels and boarding houses were constantly overflowing. With the advent of diesel locomotives, and less coal coming in from local mines, the town began a steady decline. The many businesses closed down, and most residents moved on.
Today, the town of Thurmond remains surprisingly untouched by modern development. It is a link to our past, and a town with many stories to tell. New River Gorge National River invites visitors to experience the impact of the industrial revolution, and the mission of the National Park Service to preserve our nation's heritage.
To reach Thurmond, take U.S. Route 19 to the Glen Jean exit, north of Beckley. Follow the signs to Thurmond, seven miles down WV Route 25 (Route 25 is a narrow, winding road and is not recommended for RVs and trailers).
Download the Thurmond Walking Tour brochure.
Visit the Teaching with Historic Places website for a lesson plan for Thurmond.
It is a stormy evening in Thurmond, West Virginia, in the late 1940s. Next to the depot, a steam engine sits on the tracks; the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway, where passengers await the next train departure. This scene is depicted in the painting Midnight Thunder, a look back at a moment in time to this once-bustling railroad town of southern West Virginia.
Midnight Thunder's Story
For information about hiking trails around Thurmond, check out the Thurmond Area Hiking Trails page.
Did You Know?
The New River was designated an American Heritage River on July 30, 1998. There are currently fourteen American Heritage Rivers in the country.