Hinton, WV

brick buildings along a main street through an old town
Hinton, WV

Mark Bollinger

Quick Facts
Hinton, WV

ATM/Cash Machine, First Aid/Medical Care Available, Food/Drink - Restaurant/Table Service, Fuel (Diesel), Fuel (Unleaded), Groceries/Convenience Items, Historical/Interpretive Information/Exhibits, Parking - Auto

Had it not been for the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad Company, Hinton would have had no reason to exist. The aftermath of the Civil War had left the railroad in shambles, its goal to reach the Ohio River on the verge of collapse. While struggling to obtain capital, in early 1869, then president Gen. Williams C. Wickham, recruited railroad capitalist Collis P. Huntington. After making a tour of the whole line, Huntington, fresh from his work building the Central Pacific, became interested in the C&O as a link in a true coast-to-coast rail line.

The tour took him through what would later become Hinton and Summers County. At that time the territory was entirely in timber and farm land, owned by the Ballengee family and the Hinton family. The Ballengee family located here first, before 1778, and owned all the land that would later become Hinton. It wasn't until 1835 that John Hinton (1788-1858) moved his family to the area of Hinton, a 175 acre tract that had been purchased from Henry and Rachel Ballengee and now known as Avis, after his second wife. They were married on July 4, 1843.

When Huntington and Gen. Wickham reached Hinton's Ferry they engaged two of John and Avis Hinton's sons, William and Joe, and Parker Adkins to take them down the River for a view of the proposed route. Even Hinton, a half-brother, was among the few that knew the railroad would be following the river; and, with Virginia attorney, James Furgeson, the two went to Charleston in 1871 when the Legislature was in session and lobbied for the creation of the new county. His argument and with some boundary line adjustments was successful and the new County of Summers was created on Feb. 27, 1871. In 1871 about six families lived in the vicinity of what would become Hinton and only three houses existed in the Hinton/Avis/Bellepoint area. These were the homes of the Isaac and George Ballengee family and John Hinton's family.

New River Gorge National Park & Preserve

Last updated: March 21, 2022