10 Ways to Explore Rivesville, WV

people drinking beer in a craft brew pub

With summer comes adventures and new explorations, all of which are tantalizingly close. While we impatiently wait for it, let me outline for you all the places you can explore this summer in Marion!

Throughout the next few weeks, we’ll be taking a more in-depth look at Marion County’s parts. That is all those individual nooks and crannies that make Marion what it is.

(What some call nooks, others may call tiny towns. City dwellers may even refer to them as burroughs. Tomato tomato. Same thing. So hopefully we’re all on the same page now.)

Today, we’re driving to Rivesville, what was once called Pleasantville for a reason. It’s a riverside town right outside of downtown Fairmont. This is one of those places in West Virginia where it would be fitting to say it’s just a hop, skip and a jump from town.

In between the hop and the jump is Bellview.


Woodlawn Cemetery is not just any old, creepy cemetery. It holds over 11,000 graves. And that, my friends, is a lot of ghosts. But they’re not your average, run-of-the-mill sort of ghosts. Woodlawn is known as the resting place of many great people who helped to actually make Fairmont and Marion County and even West Virginia and, yes, the nation. Prominent decedents include the state’s first governor Francis and his wife Julia Pierpont.

Colasessano's Pepperoni Bun

Colasessano’s Pepperoni Bun

Down the hill is a more seasoned restaurant. Colasessano’s is the local hangout for Italians and those who wish they were. Here are the cheesiest pizzas, the biggest pepperoni buns and the hefty feel of Italian American pride.

Skate A Way. It’s retro. It echoes of a simpler, albeit a more neon time for kids. Skate your little heart right out and away. Remember the past or experience it for the first time. Lights. Music. Skate A Way.

Backwoods at the Belmont is a local favorite. It’s the only place in Fairmont you can get Poutine, a Canadian “delicacy.” Other items on the menu include trout almondine, bruschetta salad, and lobster bisque. (They also have something for the burger kind of crowd like a WV Giovanni, Swiss Melt and traditional Reubens and clubs.) It’s hidden ever so slightly next to the Belmont Inn. Get a special, have a drink, enjoy the time.

The Broken Egg is a mainstay in the community. It’s an all American diner without even trying to be. It’s so confident in its identity that it has Chinese Tuesday and Cabbage Roll Wednesday. But don’t worry, all burgers, hash browns, and buckwheat cakes are on the menu each and every day.

Here feel free to take a walk around the neighborhood. Play in the park. Admire the gorgeous Methodist church. Then, jump in your car and drive down the road, over the train tracks, and past the river.


Town of Rivesville

Now, you’re officially within Rivesville ‘city limits.’ (The town also serves as a mid-point along the back roads to Morgantown).

It used to be a coal town, but now it’s just cool. Check out the history specifically if you’re here in November.

The George Pinkney Morgan House, built in the 1840s, still has a slave entrance and dove coops. Referred to as the Pinkney-Morgan House, it’s the harrowing site of Morgan’s famous fight against two Native Americans, and it’s regularly on the Annual Holiday Historic Homes Tour.

Remember that river? Bring your kayak and be outdoorsy. Launch yourself into the Monongahela River and enjoy the ride … if you dare. The first sighting of the Rivesville River Monster was in 1983, and the fear has yet to die down. (Sorry. Poor choice of words.)

And if you ever happen to be in town the Saturday before July 4, enjoy the Riverfront Festival.  It’s not just about live music and food, but frog jumping contests and of course, freedom. Enjoy the fireworks along the riverfront!

The newest addition is what I call the crepe place, but it’s actually called Full Circle Kitchen. It’s Rivesvillian portions of intrigue: The Fried Bada Bing (ham, salami, pepperoni, capicola, roasted red peppers, and ricotta cheese in a deep-fried crepe), Undo Your Thai (chicken or shrimp, colored peppers, carrots, peanuts and Asian ginger sesame dressing in a crepe). And then there are dessert crepes: The Sinatra (cheesecake filling, chocolate chips, strawberries and chocolate syrup), The Mona Lisa (cannoli filling, chocolate chips and crushed sugar cones) and of course Death By Chocolate (chocolate mousse, red velvet oreo cookies, chocolate tips with chocolate syrup).

record store

Assumption Records

Go around a nice big turn to the left and look for an old church. That is where you’ll find Assumption Records. I’ve seen album prices as low as 25 cents. There’s a drawing each month for music from Violent Femmes, Velvet Underground, Wilco Shmilco and T. Rex. Records range from famous to cult to classic.

Down the road from Assumption is Short Story Brewing. It’s a local brewery with an international menu. Street Food Kitchen is housed here, providing international food with local ingredients. Scrumptiously Instagrammable, if I do say so myself! Get some pork belly tacos, try a flight and enjoy!

If you happen to drive through Rivesville in June, head to the fairgrounds for the Paw Paw District Fair. Watch mud fly during the mud bogs; feel the warmth of cars exploding at the demolition derbies; devour cotton candy and ride the rides. You can also bring a pole and catch some fish in Paw Paw Creek. If you’re there at just the right time, you might even get to try some of that sweet yet ephemeral pawpaw fruit.

For Rivesville, that’s about it. Now you’re a bit closer to understanding the parts and pieces that create the character of this here whole Marion County.

And by the way, Rivesville is pronounced with the long e sound and not a long i. Thought you would want to pronounce it like a local!

What’s your favorite Rivesville destination?

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