Updated: Nov 5, 2021
Okay, so the town isn't completely abandoned. It's home to five citizens and likely a slew of ghosts, maybe the Mothman, and Bigfoot, which is a far cry from the booming town it used to be.
In the first two decades of the 1900's, Thurmond was the happening place to be. The significant amounts of coal brought in from area mines was the highest revenue on the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway. Having many coal barons among its patrons, Thurmond's banks were the richest in the state. Fifteen passenger trains a day came through town-its depot serving as many as 95,000 passengers a year. The town's stores and saloons did remarkable business, and its hotels and boarding houses were constantly overflowing. Like many communities built around coal, over time the town began a steady decline.
You have to drive across this bridge
What is unique about Thurmond is that while it is mostly empty, it is clean and intact making it a cool destination to check out. If you come here for a visit, just remember, it is empty, you're not gonna find restaurants or shops. Being a big zombie/doomsday movie lover kinda gal, I actually really loved the emptiness. It was odd and a bit euphoric to be surrounded by empty buildings and there be no one around (at least no one you could see).
The post office
There are a few signs giving you a brief descriptive history about the town. All buildings are locked up and closed, though you can peek through the windows to see much of what you'd expect to find in an empty town (emptiness). So, you might be asking yourself, what is the point of even going there then? Well like anything you do in life, it is 100% what you make it.
A positive point is that it's pretty close to the New River Gorge Bridge, so, if you plan on going there, make this a little stretch your legs pit stop. Also, the New River runs parallel to this little town and with that comes some beautiful river views.
Let's be honest though, most people feel over stimulated and overwhelmed. Little unique spots like Thurmond give people the opportunity to explore a new location, without the crowds and the hustle and bustle of life. You can hear your own heartbeat and know that you're still alive regardless of how empty you feel inside. I'm joking, but really I'm serious, you know I'm right. In my opinion, this is the perfect spot to clear your head, consider the days of the past, get some nature inspiration, hear yourself think, have some prayer, and not be bombarded by people. If you do happen to stumble upon others visiting the area, they likely wont linger long, due to the lack of entertainment and you can have this little town all to yourself again.
My personal tip, grab you some grub and come chill in the spender of nothingness for awhile in the heart of the wild mountains of West Virginia. Get away and get renewed.
A quick selfie in the alley way
While in this town, I did leave a message written in the dirt for the city folk to discover. I wrote "Don't fall asleep" and "We're watching." I hoped someone would find it and would think the "Hills Have Eyes" kinda peeps were watching them.
Additionally, just note, we did not have cell service in this area. Also, I could not find an official name for it, but there is a lovely little waterfall off the side of road on your journey here. It is a bit easier to spot on your way out, and the pull off to view it I felt was quite obvious.
As always, keep it safe, keep it cool, and stay curious.