Few People Know There’s A Ruined Mansion Hidden In Mountwood Park In West Virginia
There’s something so fascinating and mystical about hidden or abandoned ruins, and West Virginia has more than a fair share of them. Some are famous, like the ruins of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Harpers Ferry. Some, though, receive much less attention.
Thornhill, the mansion of William Stiles (also known as Stiles Mansion) is one of those ruins that doesn't get very much attention. Few people even realize its here, tucked away along a quiet trail in Mountwood Park in Wood County.
With 2,600 acres, a 50-acre lake, an 18-hole disc golf course, a visitor’s center and museum, a dog park, an archery range, camping, cabins, picnic areas, and over 35 miles of mountain biking and hiking trails, Mountwood has numerous attractions to offer visitors, so it's easy to see why the Stiles Mansion might get overlooked.
But don't make the mistake that many do of failing to seek out this fascinating historic site that represents the history of an entire ghost town, the old oil boom town of Volcano, West Virginia.
You see, William Stiles was the "Father of Volcano." He's a bit of a mystical figure, and his ruined West Virginia mansion still carries about it a bit of a mystical air.
Back in the 1800s, Stiles discovered oil on this land that is now Mountwood Park. He built an oil company here, he founded a town here, and he built his mansion here.
Alas, dust we are, and to dust we shall return. William Stiles's boomtown now sits abandoned. His mansion has crumbled.
Yet the outline of the mansion can still be seen, along with multiple partial walls, along the Walter Tait Trail, a 1.9-mile trail that leads to the 0.7-mile Mansion Trail Extension.
Hike these gently rolling gravel paths for yourself next time you are in Wood County, and check out what remains of Thornhill before the rest of it is lost to time as well.
Learn more about all Mountwood Park has to offer, including the old Stiles Mansion ruins, at the Mountwood Park
website or Facebook page. For more hidden West Virginia ruins, try Ben’s Run.
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Stiles Mansion Ruins, Co Rte 5, Walker, WV 26180, USA