Thousands of travelers migrated to West Virginia, whether to visit or to stay, via the Gauley Bridge station and several other similar and nearby stations including the Norfolk Western Railway through Pocahontas, and the Virginia Railway through Winding Gulf. Many of these visitors came in search of jobs maintaining railroads and/or working in the countless nearby coal mines.
The majority of workers who constructed the Gauley Bridge Railroad Station along its winding path through the mountain state between 1869 and 1873 were African Americans, many of them former slaves. Many of these laborers, following the railroad’s completion, were also able to find jobs working at the new stations during a time when job opportunities were scarce, especially for black men in the Deep South and in Jim Crow-segregated southern communities. Despite having the opportunity of employment, many of these workers continued to suffer as a result of their incredibly demanding work and comparatively miniscule salaries.
After closing in 1958, the Gauley Bridge Railroad station was converted into a fire station on behalf of the Gauley Bridge Volunteer Fire Department. In 1973, the building was abandoned seemingly permanently, but it has since undergone significant restoration and now serves as the Gauley Bridge Town Hall building.