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Thurmond, West Virginia

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This is a contributing entry for Thurmond, West Virginia and only appears as part of that tour.Learn More.
A crucial component of steam engine operation was water. A pre-1900 wooden water tower was constructed to supply trains stopping in Thurmond. By 1914, it was no longer sufficient and a supplementary steel tower was built by the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad. The steel tower had a capacity of 100,000 gallons. The wooden water tower was razed in 1927 and replaced with a cylindrical steel tank. The new tank had a capacity of 210,000 gallons. A nearby pumphouse moved water from the New River into the towers. As rail travel waned in Thurmond, so did use of the water towers. The structures were officially unused by the 1970s. CSX Railroad (formerly Chesapekae and Ohio Railroad) demolished the water towers in 1998 over fears of structural instability.

This photo was taken circa. 1914-1927, after the construction of the first steel water tower but before the demolition of the older wooden one. The steel tower is on the left and the wood is on the right.

Building, House, Monochrome, Landscape

On the left is the 1914 tower and on the right is the 1927 cylinder. They held 100,000 and 210,000 gallons of water, respectively.

Sky, Black, Black-and-white, Tree

Harper, R Eugene. Thurmond Historic District, National Register of Historic Places. September 15th 1983. Accessed April 29th 2021.

National Park Service. “Thurmond Historic Structures Assessment New River Gorge National River West Virginia.” Accessed April 29th 2021.

Thurmond Walking Tour, National Park Service. January 6th 2020. Accessed April 29th 2021.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

National Park Service. Accessed April 29th 2021.

National Park Service. Accessed April 29th 2021.