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Project Work

Cultural Landscapes Inventory
Thurmond Historic District, New River Gorge National River

Taking the first comprehensive look at landscape resources within the Thurmond Historic District, the Cultural Landscapes Inventory assessed the town of Thurmond, West Virginia, located deep in the mountainous region in the southern part of the state.

Developed in the late 1800s as a stop along the C&O Railroad's line that transported coal from the mines upriver, Thurmond developed a lively economy and a population of 315 at its peak around 1910. The railroad tracks served as Thurmond's main street, providing the only transportation into and out of this steep-sloped town until the 1920s. However, as early as the 1920s changes in transportation routes and the coal industry began to strip the town of population, purpose, and prosperity.

The complex site located in a remote region of the New River Gorge National River required extensive mapping to document existing conditions. These maps, along with a landscape history of the town, contribute to the CLI that has been used in stabilization efforts and will inform the general management plan now underway for the entire park.

 

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New River Gorge National River

 

(Photo) Surveying the cultural landscape at the Thurmond Historic District within New River Gorge National River, West Virginia