Haywood Junction State Police Camp
View of the Haywood Junction from the hill behind the camp
The horses had to be trained to not bolt while gun fire was taking place
The horses were also sometimes used as cover during combat.
Trainees being practicing long range firing
Historical marker for the Haywood Junction Police Training site was placed in 2017.
Backstory and Context
The Company A headquarters of the West Virginia State Police moved from Elkins, WV to the Haywood Junction Police Camp Harrison County in June of 1922.
The Haywood Junction training facility was leased from the large Jefferson-Bartlett farm. The site accommodated 48 horses, shooting range, and barracks. The site was located close to the main highway as well as the B&O railroad which made it easy for the men to be able to travel quickly throughout the jurisdiction.
As well as the Company headquarters the site functioned as a training facility for police.
According to Police Superintendent Jackson Arnold “Everything is kept spick and span, and already the place looks like a military academy. There are three frame buildings there that are to be used as barracks, and in the winter will house a police school. Officers of the state police, as well as men, skilled in criminal research from outside the state, and professors from the University of West Virginia will be asked to address the men on police work. Colonel Arnold stated that the school will not be for state police alone, but police departments of every municipality in the state will be invited to send policemen there for further schooling.”1
Troopers and horses from all over the state were sent to the farm for equestrian training. Arnold stated “All the horses for the West Virginia state police will be sent to company A for training in police duties. Picked riders from the force throughout the state will be located there to ‘break’ the new ones”2
At the time many of West Virginia’s road was still underdeveloped. A 1914 report by the state road bureau proclaimed that West Virginia had “the worst roads in the United States.” Traveling by horseback was still the fastest ways to get to more remote communities throughout the state.
In later years the camp became less focused on horse training on more focused on the use automobiles and motorcycles. There was more of a focus raining for highway patrol missions because of the improvement of roads.
The State Police left Haywood Junction in late 1933, as a result of budget cuts stemming from the Great Depression. Company A’s headquarters moved to Fairmont, in Marion County.
1State Police Company Moves Headquarters,” Charleston Daily Mail, 11 June 1922:18;
2“Modern Barracks and Police School Is Planned by White,” Charleston Daily Mail, 23 July 1922:2;
F. A. Parlington, “Military Formations Taught Horses Used by State Police,” Charleston Daily Mail, 29 Oct. 1922:10.
Cole, Merle T. A Century Ago: Creating State Constabulary for West Virginia. Beckley, WV. 2016.