Thurmond, West Virginia

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Thurmond is a town in Fayette County, West Virginia, United States, on the New River. The population was 7 at the 2000 census. During the heyday of coal mining in the New River Gorge, Thurmond was a prosperous town with a number of businesses and facilities for the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway. The town was the filming location for John Sayles' 1987 movie Matewan since it still possesses many of the characteristics of a 1920s Appalachian coal mining town.

Today, much of Thurmond is owned by the National Park Service for the New River Gorge National River. The C&O passenger railway depot in town was renovated in 1995 and now functions as a Park Service visitor center. The entire town is a designated historic district on the National Register of Historic Places.

During the June 14, 2005, city elections, six of the city's seven residents sought elected office.

Contents

Rail Transportation

Amtrak, the national passenger rail service, provides service to Thurmond under the Cardinal route.

Geography

Thurmond's level land is almost entirely consumed by CSX(formerly the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway) operations. Apart from a strip of commercial buildings that front directly onto the train tracks with no intervening street, the remainder of the town climbs the hill behind the bottomland. Thurmond was an important switching center for the C&O, a place where short trains from mines in the area were assembled into longer trains for shipment to markets on the main line.[3]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 0.3 km² (0.1 mi²), all land.

History and description

Thurmond was incorporated in 1900 and was most likely named for Captain W.D. Thurmond, who settled here in 1844. He served in the Confederate Army and died in 1910 at age 90.[5] Thurmond post office was established in 1888 and discontinued in 1995.[6] The community remained small until Thomas G McKell of Glen Jean negotiated with the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad for a crossing at Dunloup Creek in 1892.[7]

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