History & Culture


The New River is like a ribbon tying together all the people, places, and events sharing its course through time. New River Gorge National River protects a rich variety of this history: from the subsistence lives of the native peoples and the later pioneers, to the coming of the railroad and the many peoples involved in the ensuing boom and bust of the coal mining and logging industries. You can visit the remains of the former boomtown of Thurmond, retrace the path of pioneer Mary Draper Ingles' amazing journey, learn of the legend and the facts of the "Steel Driving Man", John Henry, or read the oral history of an immigrant coal miner from the 1800s.


Read the stories of the many people who contributed to the rich cultural history of New River Gorge. more...


Learn more about the history of the coal, railroad, and timber towns, farmsteads, churches, schools, and homes that are all a part of the New River Gorge story. more...


Read some of the unique stories that combine to form the rich cultural legacy preserved at New River Gorge National River. more...


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