The Spooky (Almost) Ghost Town In West Virginia With Fewer Than 10 Residents
West Virginia is riddled with ghost towns that will either give you the creeps or fill you with intrigue. Perhaps the tiny (almost) ghost town of Thurmond does a little of both for most people. First settled in 1844 by W.D. Thurmond, a surveyor who eventually served in the Confederate Army, the town of Thurmond was incorporated in 1901.
Most people don't realize that until 1921, Thurmond was only accessible by way of rail. There were no roads and the only way in, or out, of the town was on board a train.
Yet somehow the town grew to nearly 300 residents by 1920. After the first road was built, the population of Thurmond swelled to nearly 500 in 1930 and the town became a bit of a resort.
But not THAT kind of resort. You see, W.D. Thurmond banned alcohol from the town. It wasn't long before a hotel popped up just across the river and it was filled with all sorts of debauchery.
Legend has it that a poker game that went on for 14 years took place across the river. It goes without saying there was likely an abundance of alcohol on that card table.
Today, visiting Thurmond is like dropping into a ghost town where everyone just picked up and moved. Many of the buildings are in a state of decay (a photographer's paradise), and the trains still eerily thunder right through Main Street only a few feet from the front doors of the now closed shops.
Fortunately, you won't have to hop a train to GET to Thurmond. There's a unique single lane car/train bridge that crosses the New River into town. It's a bridge like no other and a fantastic way to begin any journey back in to time to this 1920s-era coal town in the Mountain State.
Waiting on the other side of the bridge is the Thurmond Depot, now a visitor center. Nearly all of the (almost) ghost town of Thurmond is owned an managed by the National Park Service. The train depot is their visitor center.
At last count, the Town of Thurmond had five residents.
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