Friday, September 26, 2008

Creative Communities Under Construction: Richwood, WV

Richwood, WV: My home town. Ramp Capitol of the World. The Lumber City. Richwood is many things, and it is also a Creative Community Under Construction.

Photo by Oncee

Richwood is named for the large timber holding around the town. It was once home to the largest saw mill in the world. It was also at the regional center of a coal boom in the 70s. While Richwood is still the Home of the Lumberjacks, the Big Mill isn't so big anymore. The train tracks have been replaced by hiking and bike trails.

Why is Richwood a Creative Community Under Construction? Richwood has "Quality of Place". Richwood is the Gateway to the Monongehela National Forest. Three tributaries of the Gauley River (Williams River, Cranberry River, and Cherry River) all flow wild within the forest. The Cherry River flows through the town. These rivers has home to some of the greatest trout is the nation.

The forest is also the home of the Highland Scenic Highway, Hills Creek Falls, Summit Lake, and Cranberry Mountain Visitors Center are a few miles east at the intersection of WV 39 and WV 150, which is close to the Cranberry Glades Botanical Area and the Cranberry Wilderness, and some of the best biking and hiking trails in the nation. The Cranberry Glades Botanical Area is the southernmost Canadian bog in the world.

A hour drive to the east is Snowshoe Mountain Ski Resort, the National Radio Astronomy Observatory at Green Bank, which is home to the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope, the world's largest fully steerable radio telescope and the world's largest land-based movable structure, and Cass Scenic Railroad State Park.

"The Sterling Spencer Memorial Sculpture Garden replaced a dilapidated vacant hotel that had partially collapsed near the center of town. The park is named in honor of a respected wood sculptor from Richwood." (Source: Wikipedia)

For a list of other Creative Communities Under Construction see or


Blogger Skip Lineberg said...


You've painted a wonderful picture of the hamlet of Richwood! Great post.

It never dawned on me, the etymology of the place name: Richwood, a town rich in wood. Now, I feel "Doh!"

Reading your words transported me there in my mind. I could smell the fresh mountain air with a hint of sawdust. And I flashed back to an amazing little restaurant/diner with great food and wonderful homemade pies.

I posted a creative community profile of my homeland, the Eastern Panhandle of WV. It's up over at Marketing Genius now

But again, "Doh!" you already knew that, didn't you.

Thanks for being a part of this!!!


11:55 AM  
Blogger Chris James said...

Are you for or against the lake up South Fork?

12:57 PM  
Blogger oncee said...


I'm for it. It will add to Richwood's "Quality of Place," and will make the largest lake in West Virginia. Hopefully we will see it in our lifetime.

4:01 PM  
Blogger oncee said...

Thanks Skip. Enjoyed your post on your hometown as well. Thanks for asking me to be a part of this project.

Since many of the people headed for the CreateWV conference might pass through Richwood on their way to Snowshoe, they can check out Richwood for themselves.

4:04 PM  
Blogger Fred said...

My uncle Mark Neal operated a grocery store
in Richwood for years. He bought several of the houses that the lumber company left behind. My cousin (deceased) was William Neal.
I grew up in Charmco and have since moved to Florida.
Fred Neal
DeBary, Florida

10:15 PM  
Blogger Fred said...

My uncle Mark Neal operated a grocery store in Richwood for years. William Neal was my cousin and he grew up in Richwood.
My home town is Charmco but I have since moved to Florida.
By an odd set of circumstances I am an Admiral
in the Cherry River Navy.

10:18 PM  

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