Stroll Through the Ages
Take a stroll straight through the history and heritage of West Virginia. Spend three days exploring the early frontier, walking the same paths as Civil War soldiers, and learning more about West Virginia’s history.
The Early Frontier (Fairmont)
Catch heritage crafting from the 18th Century living history museum, then compare frontier life to the original home from just a few generations later.
Pricketts Fort State Park 88 State Park Road, Fairmont, WV 26554
Experience real frontier life, hands-on. Gather together with fellow pioneers behind Prickett's Fort's timber gates to escape the threat of Native American attacks. Meet Colonial characters, and they'll share their stories and teach you about traditional crafting, from wool spinning to blacksmithing.
Job Prickett House 88 State Park Road, WV 26554
Just a short stroll from the Colonial fort and built by the great-grandson of the Captain the original Fort was named for, the Job Prickett House is a perfectly preserved look at the vastly changing world just a few generations later. Learn more about the family's lifestyles as you browse the historic home, including original art and antiques.
18th Century Christmas Market 88 State Park Road, Fairmont, WV 26554
If you're looking for the perfect holiday gift, seek it back through the ages. Prickett's Fort's Annual 18th Century Christmas Market has an array of Colonial crafts, decor, and wares from the old-fashioned era.
The Civil War (Marion County)
See how the Civil War shaped Marion County (and the state of West Virginia) on the Civil War Trail. Along this route, you'll find seven interpretive markers — part of a multi-state initiative by Civil War Trails® — that signify a notable event that occurred in Marion County during the mid-19th Century.
Battle for Barrackville Bridge Barrackville, off U.S. Rt. 250 N, County Rt. 21
The Barrackville Covered Bridge was built in 1853 by brothers Eli and Lemuel Chenoweth, who were known for constructing several bridges on western Virginia — later West Virginia — turnpikes. Part of the Fairmont & Wheeling Turnpike, the Barrackville Covered Bridge was one of the few landmarks saved from destruction during the Jones-Imboden Raid in Fairmont on April 29, 1863. It is said that the Ice family, nearby mill owners, and Southern sympathizers convinced Confederate General William "Grumble" Jones to spare the bridge, even though highways and railroads were significant to each side's strategy in terms of transportation. Two other B&O bridges in the area were devastated by Jones' men. The 148-foot, single-lane bridge is located in Barrackville across Buffalo Creek and is in near-perfect condition.
An example of a modified Burr truss, which integrates an arch into the truss framework, the bridge has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1981. It was restored in 1999 and is bypassed by a modern road and bridge.
Attack on Fairmont Foot of Madison Street, Fairmont
After Barrackville, Confederate General William "Grumble" Jones and his men proceeded to Fairmont in an attempt to attack the city and weaken critical infrastructure. Jones directed the troops to divide, with one column going up the Beverly-Fairmont Turnpike to the B&O Railroad bridge (located upstream at present-day 12th Street) and the other fighting their way across the 1852 Fairmont suspension bridge (which spanned the Monongahela between Fairmont and Palatine), where Jones stood at the foot watching. A few hundred defensive Union forces were up against nearly 2,000 Confederates, and even though reinforcements eventually arrived, the damage had been done. The B&O Railroad bridge was destroyed (though repaired a few weeks later).
The Confederates made their way through the area and headed towards Bridgeport. The bullet-pocked bridge piers of the suspension bridge can be seen on the Monongahela River's riverbanks. The marker is at the foot of Madison Street, where it intersects with Cleveland Avenue.
Beverly-Fairmont Turnpike 117 Benoni Avenue, Fairmont
Completed in 1852, the Beverly-Fairmont Turnpike was a gravel toll road that connected Western Virginia to Richmond and Norfolk via the Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike. It provided access to the then-new B&O Railroad. On April 29, 1863, during the Jones-Imboden Raid, Confederate General William "Grumble" Jones' main column of Confederate soldiers rode by here en route to attack the B&O Railroad bridge on the northern end of the road (see: Attack on Fairmont).
Fleming House 220 Jefferson Street, Fairmont
The Fleming House was home to the eighth governor of West Virginia (1890-1893), Aretas Brooks Fleming. During the Civil War, Fleming was the prosecuting attorney for Marion County and served in the Fairmont Home Guard. During the 1863 Jones-Imboden Raid, Fleming's military garrison was stationed in Palatine to protect the eastern end of the suspension bridge that crossed the Monongahela River and the railroad bridge upstream. The Federals detached the floorboards on the suspension bridge to hinder the Confederates from crossing. Still, the Confederates fought their way across the bridge by laying timbers for flooring as they progressed. The Confederates secured the bridges in Fairmont and captured many Federal soldiers.
Fleming was promoted to Captain by the Paw Paw Militia for his service during this raid. He later became a West Virginia politician and industrialist. The Fleming House is located on Jefferson Street in downtown Fairmont, on the former American Legion Post.
Pierpont House 366 Quincy Street, Fairmont
The Pierpont House was home to the "Father of West Virginia" and governor of the Restored Government of Virginia, Francis H. Pierpont; his wife, Julia Augusta Robertson Pierpont, and their four children. In this house, Francis Pierpont outlined the plan to restore loyal Virginia to the Union and give independence to West Virginia during the Civil War. In April 1861, after the Commonwealth of Virginia seceded, the delegates from the Unionist counties of Virginia met in Wheeling to carry out the plan Pierpont had created in his library. When the Jones-Imboden Raid was happening in Fairmont, Pierpont was in Wheeling, and his family was visiting relatives in Washington, Pennsylvania.
Confederate forces, provoked by not finding Pierpont, burned the books from his library in Fairmont's streets. The Pierpont House is located in Fairmont at the intersection of Quincy and Jackson Street. See the marker at the City of Fairmont Public Safety Building parking plaza.
Pierpont Graves 335 Maple Avenue, Fairmont
The Pierpont Graves are Francis H. Pierpont, Julia Augusta Robertson Pierpont, and three of their four children. Francis Pierpont met Julia in 1847 when he interviewed her for a governess position. She accepted and then, in 1854, married Pierpont. The couple both played significant roles during the Civil War. Francis Pierpont devised plans to gain West Virginia's independence. Julia Pierpont became known as the originator of Decoration Day (now known as Memorial Day). In May 1866, she gathered a group to work with her to clean and decorate the neglected graves of Union soldiers in Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia. Julia Pierpont died in Fairmont on March 25, 1886. Francis Pierpont lived in Fairmont until becoming ill in 1896.
He lived with his daughter in Pittsburgh until his death on March 24, 1899. The Pierpont Graves are located in the Woodlawn Cemetery in Fairmont. Two West Virginia governors, 113 Civil War veterans, and West Virginia's first state school superintendent are also buried in the same cemetery. The marker is at the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue, near the entrance of Woodlawn Cemetery Historic District.
Jones-Imboden Raid (Battle for the Bridge) Everest Drive, Fairmont
During the Jones-Imboden Raid of 1863 (the largest battle of the Civil War in northern West Virginia), a battle of the suspension bridge spanned the Monongahela River between Fairmont and Palatine took place on April 29 at the site of the Palatine foundry. The raid, led by Confederate Generals William "Grumble" Jones and John D. Imboden, began in Virginia and went through present-day West Virginia against the B&O Railroad. During the raid of Fairmont, units from several Union troops attempted to block Confederate soldiers from crossing the suspension bridge. Jones divided his force, sending the leading platoon to the railroad bridge, while the 12th Virginia Cavalry and the 35th Virginia Battalion fought their way across the suspension bridge to go upstream.
The Union soldiers had removed the floorboards to deter the Confederates from crossing. Still, the Confederates replaced them with timber as they fought their way across, ultimately overcoming the Union garrison. The marker for this battle can be found at Everest Drive and Water Street at Palatine Park.
Economic Revival (Mount Clare)
Relive the nation's rebound from the Great Depression.
West Virginia Civilian Conservation Corps Museum Mount Clare, WV
Housed in a historic schoolhouse, the West Virginia Civilian Conservation Corps Museum looks at the government program's successes in its short decade of economic development after the Great Depression. Projects in West Virginia included everything from firefighting to planting trees and preserving park and farmlands. For more information about what to see and do near Mount Clare, visit the Clarksburg CVB.
Shaping Appalachia (Fairmont)
Get a closer look at West Virginia's iconic history.
Coal Country Mini Golf 22 Coal Country Lane Fairmont, WV 26554
Take a closer look at one of West Virginia's most vital industries and something that remains a significant piece of our story today— coal. Play your way through a family round of putt-putt in the heritage-themed course.
Folklife Center 1201 Locust Avenue Fairmont, WV 26554
In charming small-town Fairmont, you can see how heritage has shaped the area's values and attitudes. At the Frank & Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center, you can connect all you've learned on your historic journey to the modern-day Appalachian spirit and understand how the region's past helped create the kind, innovative culture of today.
Marion County Historical Society & Museum 211 Adams Street Fairmont, WV 26554
See the compass used to survey present-day West Virginia and other exhibits related to the state's past. You can also tour the old Marion County jail!
Wilson School Museum 915 E. Main St. Mannington, WV 26582
Find Francis H. Pierpont’s original bed, chair and dresser on display at the Wilson School Museum. The museum, which is located in Mannington, is under the direction of the West Augusta Historical Society.