As famous in her heyday as any contemporary author today, Gene Stratton-Porter was a celebrated naturalist, author, photographer, and film producer. Born in Indiana in 1863, she grew up with a love of nature, especially birds, and spent her childhood roaming farms and forests, learning about their unique habitats and capturing the beauty of the […]
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.
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 […]
Have you seen the historic signs that FOB installed from Thomas to Douglas along the Blackwater Rail Trail? They cover topics from coal mining to railroad operation through the Blackwater Canyon, to historic local businesses and more. Friends of Blackwater is hosting an open house and reception in Parsons, WV on March 9th from 5-7 […]
The National Bank of Davis building is nominated to the National Register. The application will be reviewed by the WV Dept. of Arts, Culture & History on February 20. If that body approves the nomination then it goes on for federal approval. The required public meeting for comment will be held on January 13 at […]
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 […]
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 […]
We’d like to share a huge shout out to the community members who showed up to our Blackwater Rail Trail Historic Sign tour on October 26th. This tour was led by speaker, and sign collaborator, David Vago who provided animated narration and expansion on the signs and the histories they tell. Mr. Vago is a […]
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, […]
Join Friends of Blackwater on Saturday, October 26th, from 2-4pm on the Blackwater Rail Trail below the Purple Fiddle in Thomas, WV as we embark on a 2 mile tour of the Blackwater Rail Trail, featuring Friends of Blackwater’s newly installed Rail Trail signage, the Coke Ovens, historic railroad bridges, Engine House remains, and other […]
Join us for an exciting lecture about local, turn of the century immigration on October 27th at 2 pm in the Cotrill’s Opera House on Front St in Thomas, WV. When the timber and coal industry in Davis and Thomas exploded in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, European immigrants were brought over to do […]
Thank you to all of the volunteers and Forest Service partners who participated in our historic Engine House clean up this past Saturday! We cut down large brush, cleared out mats of tangled invasive grasses, created a path from the Blackwater Rail Trail to the foundation, and cleaned up the existing signage so that these […]
Hello Friends of Blackwater community! I am Sean Coffers, and I am so excited to be joining Friends of Blackwater. I’m a West Virginia native, originally from the Morgantown area. I’ve just returned to my home state after 8 years in New Jersey and New York. I have a mixed background in teaching and working […]