trail between pine trees, with a blue trail marker showing the way

Resource: West Virginia Tourism Analysis

A project partnership, between the Monongahela National Forest, West Virginia University, and local stakeholders investigated the role of tourism in West Virginia. Several case studies were used to represent different phases of tourism development. The New River Gorge has a well-developed trail system and a supportive alliance of stakeholder groups, and have already seen economic […]

SS850032Mon Forest closeup of Ginny held

West Virginia’s Wild and Wonderful Rare Species

Indiana Bat These small bats weigh only one quarter of an ounce, but in flight they have a wingspan of 9 to 11 inches. The Indiana Bat’s range covers all of West Virginia, but with their population severely diminished by the effects of the fungal disease white nose syndrome, the odds of spotting this Endangered […]

Henry Gassaway Davis on a horse

Henry Gassaway Davis

Henry Gassaway Davis was an early industrialist and politician who helped shape West Virginia history. Born in 1823, Davis came from humble origins, and did not get a formal education beyond elementary school. After a youth spent working as a farmhand, he joined the Baltimore and Ohio railroad  at the age of 19, saving his […]

historic photo of street in Hendricks

Hendricks History

Featured image: Street scene in Hendricks, circa 1910 The first settler arrived in what is now the town of Hendricks in 1803, when a Revolutionary War soldier named Henry Fansler made his homestead there. The town was not incorporated until 1894, and is named for Thomas Andrew Hendricks, who was the vice-president at the time […]


Travelling 219: The Carrie Williams Civil Rights Trial

A few years back, the radio program Travelling 219 visited Tucker County to learn about the history of the Carrie Williams case, a trail that set the precedent for equal education in West Virginia. Listen below for this short radio story. You can hear Friends of Blackwater board member Tom Rodd telling part of the […]

six people standing outside of DePollo's Store in Thomas in 1914

Tucker County’s Immigrant History

For those who couldn’t make it to the July 1st lecture on immigrant history, we’ve put together some of the key information. Thank you to Prof. Gorby and his students, Corey Ptaszek, Elena Dugan, Matthew Tenaglio, and Ashton Wilson for their great research.   In 1916, Tucker County had the highest proportion of foreign-born residents […]

view from Lindy Point in autumn

Letter to the Editor Advocates for Blackwater Canyon

We recently spotted a great letter about Blackwater Canyon in the Inter-Mountain. Thomas resident Joseph Dumire wrote into the paper to discuss the importance of protecting West Virginia’s crown jewel from deforestation and development. He writes that the area should be set aside “so the forest can continue to grow untouched as old growth timber […]

view of Douglas Falls from above

New Grant to Improve Water Quality Monitoring

Friends of Blackwater is excited to announce that we will be adding to our water quality monitoring program, with help from the North Face. The new grant we have received from the North Face will help us purchase 8 automated sensors, that will collect continuous data on local waterways. This will provide much more detailed […]

tour group learns about old growth forests

Nature Walk Celebrates Old Growth Forests

On July 15th, 20 nature lovers met at Blackwater Falls State Park to learn about the characteristics of old growth forest in an event presented by Friends of Blackwater. The event was led by naturalist Doug Wood, who gave practical lessons on how to identify old growth, as well as some information on the ways […]

a flying squirrel being held in a glove

Attacks on the Endangered Species Act continue

The Endangered Species Act never seems to catch a break, and this summer looks to be no exception. Senator Barrasso of Wyoming has just introduced a bill to radically change the way species recovery is managed under the Act, shifting the balance of power towards state appointees and away from federal experts. Although he’s calling […]