The stories and historic artifacts of the Blackwater region are a colorful and inspiring part of today’s vibrant culture.

Friends of Blackwater is installing interpretive signs along the Blackwater Canyon rail grade, explaining historical structures associated with the railroad, the coal and coke industry, and the communities of the Canyon.

We also operate the J.R. Clifford Project, which since 2004 has celebrated the history of civil rights in West Virginia by highlighting local heroes.

To get more details about our history projects or see the latest signs, click the button below.


beginning of history hike at B&L

Latest News

Coke Oven Clean Up 2020

Coke Oven Clean Up 2020

On Saturday, August 15th at 10 a.m., we will be cleaning up the iconic coke ovens along the Blackwater Rail Trail to Douglas Falls. These ovens have interpretive signs, benches, and a bike rack, but have become so overgrown with vegetation that threatens to cover them up and weaken the structural integrity of these historic […]

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Meet our new Heritage Vista!

Hello, Friends of Blackwater supporters. My name is Alicia Erjavec and I have been raised in West Virginia almost my entire life. I grew up in Clarksburg and graduated from Robert C. Byrd High School in 2015. I also graduated from Fairmont State University this past December with a degree in English Literature and a […]


Watch Now – “Shootout at the Depot” Webinar

Thanks to everyone who joined us for  “Shootout at the Depot” – How a 19th Century Tucker County Gunfight Became a National News Sensation, and Pitted Neighbor Against Neighbor! Between Zoom registrants and Facebook attendees, we had over 50 people attend the live stream of this event, and we’re excited to share a recording of […]

heritage parsons reception (2)

Heritage Open House

Our Heritage Signage Open House in Parsons, WV was a success! Thank you to all that attended this reception on Monday, March 9th, to view the newly hung miniature copies of our Blackwater Rail Trail signs in Piccolo Paula’s. Joe Dumire gave a great lecture about the local railroad industry and how it changed through […]

joe dumire volunteer award

Volunteer of the Year

Congratulations to Joe Dumire for receiving the Friends of Blackwater Volunteer of the Year award! Joe has been a tremendous help with the heritage preservation work that FOB does in Tucker County. A Thomas resident, Joe knows the ins and outs of this town’s local history and worked tirelessly to help FOB curate and install […]


We’re Hiring: Heritage VISTA Member

Friends of Blackwater is looking to hire a new team member focused on Tucker County, regional history, 20th Century industry, and cultural heritage. If you’re interested in these topics, we want to hear from you! This Heritage VISTA Member position will be focused on studying and creating materials related to the industrial and cultural history […]

WVGS Studies Core Samples

Engineering Building Update: West Virginia Geological Survey Record Keeping and Clean Up

We are glad to announce that our friends at the West Virginia Geological Survey have been amazing by helping us archive and re-home a number of the engineering and industrial artifacts found inside the Engineering Building. The Engineering Building has long been the temporary turned semi-permanent home of a large number of core drilling samples, […]