Capitol Market is a commercial and social hub in Charleston, WV. It is housed within what was once the freight station of the Kanawha & Michigan Railroad, and is the sole surviving structure that was once part of a large marshaling yard and service center for the K&M Railroad. Adjacent to the old freight depot/Capitol Market stood the now-demolished K& M passenger depot. When the Kanawha & Michigan RR came through the area in the late 1800s it reached Point Pleasant on the west and Gauley Bridge on the east. After the freight & passenger depots were built in the late nineteenth century the area bustled with activity important to the economic growth of Charleston for decades.
Backstory and Context
Capitol Market sits where the New York Central freight house once stood. New York Central was a combination of previously existing railroads running through Charleston, WV: the Toledo and Ohio Cenral, the Kanawha and Michigan, and the Kanawha and West Virginia Railroad. The Kanawha and Michigan, completed in 1888, entered West Virginia at Point Pleasant and followed the 58 mile track down the Kanawha River to Charleston. The Kanawha and Michigan eventually expanded both east and south with the purchase of the Charleston and Gauley Railway. The Toledo and Ohio Central purchased both the Kanawha and Michigan and the Kanawha and West Virginia in 1900. New York Central purchased the Toledo and Ohio Central in 1938, and combined both the K&M and the K&WV; in 1952, New York Central combined the Toledo and Ohio Central into the system.
The old New York Central Depot originally belonged to the Kanawha and Michigan, along with the freight house. The New York Central passenger depot was built in 1897, and was demolished in 1975. As the railyard was falling into disrepair, the city of Charleston decided to give new life to the freight house, as it was converted into an outdoor market and an indoor collection of shops in 1997. Today, the eclectic collection of shops include restaurants, wine shop, coffee shop, meat market, fresh produce/food store, and more. Capitol Market continues to serve as an economic and cultural landmark in Charleston.
The Capitol Market Story. Capitol Market. Accessed March 21, 20178. http://www.capitolmarket.net/our-story.
The Century Chronicle. 1901.
Snyder, R. N.. Illustrated and Descriptive Charleston, WVa. Charleston, WV. News-Mail Company, 191?.