quilt square backroads covered bridge kayaking mountain meadows

Attractions in and around Monroe...

There is a sense that bygone times are integrated with current times to create the peaceful, rural nature of the place.

 

Monuments

Confederate Soldiers of Monroe County

Plot was donated to the Daughters of the Confederacy in the late 1890's by a descendant of Allen Caperton, both a U.S. and C.S.A. Senator, and Hugh Caperton, a congressman from 1813 to 1815. The monument was dedicated in September of 1901.

  • PO Box 341
    Union, WV 24983
  • 304.772.3003 x15
    866.677.3003 x15

    e-mail us

Grist Mills

Cook's Old Mill

Erected in 1858 on the site of the original mill dating to the late 1700's. Much restoration has been done by present and previous owners. Grounds are open to the public for photography, picnics and fishing. Mill tours can be arranged by request.

Cooks Mill

McClung's Mill
Moved to its present site in the early 1900's from Craig County, Virginia. The mill was used almost continuously for the grinding of grain through the late 1960's. Not currently open to the public.

 

  • PO Box 341
    Union, WV 24983
  • 304.772.3003 x15
    866.677.3003 x15
  • e-mail us
Reed's Mill
Water powered grist mill constructed in 1791 by Archibald McDowell and on the National Register of Historic Places. The mill is located on Second Creek, a stream of about 26 miles which originates on Peters Mountain and drains a large portion of Monroe County's eastern section. The creek is a "power creek" along which as many as 26 different mills were located over the years -- grist, powder, hammer, saw and woolen. The mill is a significant example of timber framing. The entire weight of the building is carried by massive, hand hewn beams held together by wooden pegs. Not currently open to the public.

Reeds Grist Mill

  • PO Box 341
    Union, WV 24983
  • 304.772.3003 x15
    866.677.3003 x15
  • e-mail us

Springs and Resorts

Old Sweet Springs

Old Sweet Resort was a popular mineral springs resort from the late 1700s to the early 1930s. Many dignitaries – such as Queen Victoria and the King of England and 6 US presidents – visited the Old Sweet in its “heyday.” The resort featured the famous mineral spring, cool evenings, the splendid Sweet Springs Valley and the Allegheny Mountains.

 

  • PO Box 341
    Union, WV 24983
  • 304.772.3003 x15
    866.677.3003 x15
  • e-mail us
Red Sulphur

Aside from the village itself, nothing remains of the old spa except for the stone spring enclosure.

 
  • PO Box 341
    Union, WV 24983
  • 304.772.3003 x15
    866.677.3003 x15
    e-mail us  
Salt Sulphur Springs

Listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Opened as a resort in 1820. Martin Van Buren, Henry Clay, and John Calhoun among prominent guests. General Jenkins and other Confederates made their headquarters here during several campaigns. Buildings still standing include: main part of the hotel, bathhouse, spring house, chapel, store building and two cottages. It is the largest complex of stone buildings in West Virginia.

Old Salt Sulphur
  • PO Box 341
    Union, WV 24983
  • 304.772.3003 x15
    866.677.3003 x15
    e-mail us

Covered Bridges

Indian Creek

The Indian Creek Covered bridge was built by two teenagers in the early 1900s along the route which would later become US 219. The road closely followed an old Indian path known as the Seneca Trail, or alternately, The Warrior's Path. Present day US 219 doesn't vary too greatly from the course of the footpath used by tribes of the Iroquois Nation.

  • PO Box 341
    Union, WV 24983
  • 304.772.3003 x15
    866.677.3003 x15
  • e-mail us

Laurel Creek

Still in use on Laurel Creek Road, between Lillydale and Greenville, the bridge has the distinction of being the smallest remaining covered bridge in the state of West Virginia.

  • PO Box 341
    Union, WV 24983
  • 304.772.3003 x15
    866.677.3003 x15
  • e-mail us

Covered Bridge

Colonial and Civil War Sites

Cook's Fort
A marker notes the location of a wooden stockade which reportedly enclosed an area of roughly 1.5 acres. 300 settlers took refuge there in 1778. Nothing remains of the structure itself.
 

 

  • PO Box 341
    Union, WV 24983
  • 304.772.3003 x15
    866.677.3003 x15
  • e-mail us
Wood's Fort
A small stockade fort, and one of several fortifications which were erected in the county prior to the American Revolution. Nothing remains at the location now. The property is owned by the Monroe County Historical Society.

 

  • PO Box 341
    Union, WV 24983
  • 304.772.3003 x15
    866.677.3003 x15
  • e-mail us
West Virginia Civil War Trail Sites

 

  • PO Box 341
    Union, WV 24983
  • 304.772.3003 x15
    866.677.3003 x15
  • e-mail us

Train Station

Alderson Depot

Historic C & O Depot (circa 1896).

  • City Hall, Box 179
    Alderson, WV 24910
  • 304.445.2916

Amtrack

Schools and Churches

Union Academy

This impressive structure, located on the Union Historic Walking Tour, was formed by the Presbyterian Church and incorporated in 1820. It is the oldest standing private school in West Virginia. The school was first an academy for young boys. In the mid 1850s the school was changed to the Monroe Presbyterian High School and then, in the latter 1850s, Union College. The buildings sat idle after the Civil War for a time and then, under management of the Methodist Church, functioned as the West Virginia Female Seminary and Johnson Female College.

 

  • PO Box 238
    Union, WV 24983
  • 304.772.3003 x15
    866.677.3003 x15
    e-mail us  
Ames Clair Hall, Union

A restored 1857 African-American church, owned and maintained by the Monroe County Historical Society. Currently used for concerts and community gatherings.

 

Old Brick Church, Union

This 1845 structure is owned and maintained by the Monroe County Historical Society.

 

Old Rehoboth Shrine and Conference Center

Old Rehoboth Shrine is the oldest church building still standing that is located west of the Alleghenies. The church was completed in June of 1786. An iron plaque spells the sentiment of those who gave the land and church for worship "as long as the grass grows and water flows." There is a museum and conference center adjacent. The museum houses significant historical artifacts. Church building and adjacent museum are open April through October; Thursday - Saturday 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. or Sunday 1:00 - 5:00 p.m. or by appointment. A large picnic shelter is available. Rehoboth is an excellent place for a family reunion, a church picnic, or a planning retreat. To arrange a visit or to obtain further information, contact the caretaker Rev. Herman Jones at 304.772.3518.

Rehobeth Church

St. John's Catholic Chapel, Sweet Spgs.

Oldest continuously used Catholic Church in West Virginia, having been erected before 1859 and maybe as early as 1839. It was erected by slave labor and is extremely unique in its construction, particularly the last row of bricks before the roof line. Services held each Memorial Day, Feast of the Assumption, and All Souls Day. Can be open for tours or visitation by appointment. The "old" Catholic cemetery is 9/10ths of an acre on the hill northwest of the remains of the Lynnside Plantation and adjoins the family cemetery. This cemetery has, among others, Virginia Gov. and Mrs. Floyd's gravesite. These may be visited by appointment (hiking wear recommended). The "new" Catholic cemetery is at the rear of the church lot.

 

  • West Main Street
    White Sulphur Springs, WV 24986
  • 304.536.1813
  • e-mail us
St. Michaels

This beautiful stone church was erected about 1830 by the Fullen Brothers. During the time that the Salt Sulphur Spring resort was in operation the church served as an Episcopalian Church in the morning and a Presbyterian Church in the afternoon. About 1912 the property was deeded to the Episcopalian Church proper and named St. Michaels. The building was closed recently and is under restoration by a Salt Sulphur Springs restoration group.

 

  • PO Box 238
    Union, WV 24983
  • 304.772.3003 X15
    866.677.3003 X15
  • e-mail us

Museums

Clark-Wiseman & Neel Houses
Adjacent to the Monroe County Museum and owned by the Monroe County Historical Society, these reconstructed log houses are furnished in period furnishings entirely from Monroe County.

 

Monroe County Historical Society
This historic building serves as a depository for the Monroe County Historical Society’s archives and provides a seasonal Visitor’s Information Center. This museum is located in an 1820 brick building which was once the law office of Allen Taylor Caperton. Caperton served as a Senator to the Confederacy and, after the Amnesty Act of 1872, became a Senator to the United States. The Bank of Union was also located in the building in 1880. The vault is still there and serves as storage today.

 

Organizations

Monroe Arts Alliance

The Monroe Arts Alliance, Inc. was formed in 2002 for exclusively charitable purposes and for the enrichment of the general public by promoting the arts in Monroe County and surrounding areas. Many cultural programs are offered throughout the year including: performances in dance, music, drama, and art classes. Fundraising is ongoing to provide scholarship monies for exceptional students in art, music and dance. Membership support enables the MAA to meet its mission.

Monroe Arts

Monroe Historical Society

Society for the preservation and detailing of the history of Monroe County. Dues are $20 per year ($30 Family; $200 Life) and include the newsletter, which is issued quarterly. Historical Society meetings normally occur quarterly, on the second Sunday of March, June, September, and December, at 2pm, in the lower level of the Monroe County Public Library in Union (entrance in rear). Society maintains the Monroe County Historical Society Museum in Union. Several publications on Monroe County history for sale. Go to web site for more information.

Historical Society

Orchards

Morgan Orchard

Morgan Orchard is a historic orchard that has Pick Your Own berries, peaches, plums, grapes, sweet corn, pumpkins, and apples. There is also a farm store with in season fruits and vegetables as well as jams, sauces, and cider. For a fun family activity, come to Morgan Orchard.

Orchards

  • Rt 2 Box 114
    Sinks Grove, WV 24976
  • 304.772.3638
  • e-mail us

Farms

Byrnside Branch Farm

Corn maze and pumpkin patch open every weekend from September 15th through November 5th. Fun for kids and adults. Try the Twilight Maze with glow sticks or flashlights. Hay rides. Hay mazes for the little ones. Campfire sites available. Mini horse wagon hitch available on Saturdays. Groups welcome. Weekday field trips available upon request. Friday: 4:00 pm - 10:00 pm, Saturday: 9:00 am - 10:00 pm, Sunday: 1:00 pm - 10:00 pm. One mile from Union just off Willow Bend Road. Corn maze: $5, under 4 free. Hay ride: $2. Horse wagon hitch ride: $1. Group rate available for 15 people or more.

pumpkins

  • HC 76, Box 13A
    Union, WV 24983
  • 304.772.3131
Glory B Farm

Glory B Farm is a full service alpaca breeding farm that breeds the rare huacaya and suri alpaca. Breeding stock, fiber animals, fiber, yarn, roving and finished products are available for sale. Operated by Barbara and Barry Bales in the Red Sulphur District of Monroe County. Over nine years experience and offering excellent bloodlines for sale. The alpacas are friendly, easy to handle, and socialized. We mentor alpaca purchasers on alpaca care, etc. and are members of various alpaca organizations, Reliable Merchants, and Biltmore Who's Who VIP Member. Farm visits are scheduled by appointment Monday – Saturday only.

Alpacas

  • HC 77, Box 409
    Ballard, WV 24918
  • 304.466.0575
  • e-mail us

Markets

Monroe Farm Market

A vibrant open-air market providing fresh produce including apples, peaches, sweet corn, tomatoes, sweet peppers, lettuce, green beans, squash, onions and other fruits and vegetables as they become available during the growing season. Customers can also buy meats, including grass-grown beef, free range poultry, swine and lamb, and goat. Food vendors, including not-for-profits groups, will offer baked goods. All products are locally produced and grown and the market is managed and conducted by volunteers and citizens from the community. On-line market delivers to Union, Beckley and Charleston year round.

Geography

Great Eastern Divide

Monroe is the only West Virginia county which straddles the eastern divide. Rain falling in Sweet Springs Valley east of the divide will eventually empty into the Chesapeake Bay by way of the James River. Rain falling west of the divide finds its way to the Greenbrier and New Rivers and will reach the Gulf of Mexico through the courses of the Kanawha, Ohio, and Mississippi. Although Peters Mountain still looms high over the valley at the location of the divide, the valley floor here is in excess of 2600 feet above sea level.

 

  • PO Box 341
    Union, WV 24983
  • 304.772.3003 x11
    866.677.3003 x11

    e-mail us   

Caves

Organ Cave

See Organ Cave! A National Natural Landmark/National Historic Landmark. Second longest commercial cave on the East coast. Site of first sloth found in America -- the "megdonyx Jeffersonii." General Lee''s underground headquarters and ammo factory. Largest collection of Civil War hoppers in USA. Two miles walking trips in the cave daily plus extended exploring expeditions. Lots of extra summertime activities on grounds.

 
  • Rt. 2, Box 417,
    Masters Road
    Ronceverte, WV 24970
  • 304.645.7600
  • e-mail us  

Rural Heritage Quilt Trail

Quilt Trail

You are invited to take a trip back in time as you slow down and enjoy Monroe County's scenic countryside. For your pleasure we have displayed the artistry of the traditional quilt on a backdrop of historic barns and buildings, schools, and local businesses. Take your time, pack a lunch or better yet stop at a local country store or diner to enjoy some local flavors. You will find a variety of historic sites and other places to entertain you along the way. Please note: the map that is on the monroewvquilttrail website does not stand alone. When traveling around the county looking for the quilts, the map should be accompanied by the directions from the "Quilt Blocks" section of the website.  http://www.monroewvquilttrail.com

Historic Routes

The Springs Trail

More than a humdred years ago, in what is today one of the most pristine rural areas in West Virginia, visitors came by the thousands to visit the many natural springs in Monroe, Greenbrier, and Summers Counties. Where the healing waters flowed, grand resort hotels flourished. Some of them, such as the Greenbrier and Salt Sulphur Springs, continue to operate today. Others are abondoned now, their vast edifices and cool spring houses still whispering of past grandeur. Of some, only memories remain. The Springs Trail is a driving tour of these historic springs. Brochure available.

Country Roads

Bozoo Road

Scenic, rolling farmland en route to the Shanklin's Ferry Wildlife Management Area. Two lane paved, one lane paved, and gravel.

Cove Creek Road

An interesting, and fairly short trip through a secluded valley. One lane paved.

Farm Heritage Road

A West Virginia Scenic Byway (part of the National Scenic Byway System), this road offers a picture of life in rural, agricultural communities which in many ways, retains the character imparted upon it by previous generations. The route encompasses three distinct geographical settings: the quaint winding course of Indian Creek; the gently rolling plateaus of karst farmland; and finally, the picturesque Sweet Spring Valley, nestled alongside the lofty ridge of Peters Mountain in the Appalachian Ridge and Valley region. The push of industry and commercialism has largely by-passed the area, therefore, many old homes, farms, and public buildings remain from throughout the county's 200 year history. Two lane paved road.

Gates Road

This drive offers nice views of the range of Little Mountain and the lofty ridge of Peters Mountain beyond. One lane paved, gravel, and two lane paved.

Hillsdale Road

Attractive rolling farm country. Nice views of the Pickaway plains and Swopes Knobs. One lane paved.

Knobs Roads

This road offers spectacular views to the north and east as you descend the mountain toward Sinks Grove. Once off the mountain, the route offers a chance to admire the farmland around Pickaway, a WV Rural Historic District. Or, a leg may be added which follows the gravel road descending to the Second Creek Fly Fishing area. Steep one lane paved, reasonably wide gravel, normal one lane paved, and two lane paved.

Neff Orchard Road

Cattle and sheep farms and a modern working orchard. A place to rest your eyes wherever you look. Investigate branch roads: Moore Road and Rogers' Mill Road where there is catch and release stocked trout fishing on Second Creek. One lane paved and narrow gravel.

Mountain's Shadow Trail

A West Virginia Scenic Backway, this road carries on the same theme and general character as the Farm Heritage Road, though in a slightly more rugged fashion. The farms carved out of these mountain valleys reflect the handiwork of settlers who, by choice or economic necessity, created an existence for themselves in somewhat isolated areas. The variety of the backway is bound together by the tangible presence of Peters Mountain, the 40 mile ridge of which is undoubtedly the county's most notable geographic feature. Although wildlife is abundant throughout the area, it is perhaps even more easily seen along these less traveled roads. One lane paved and narrow gravel.

Salt Sulphur Turnpike

The old turnpike came into being in the years between 1835 and 1860 as a stagecoach road which connected Christiansburg and the resorts in Montgomery County, Virginia, with Salt Sulphur Springs. The Mountain Lake Hotel, which was featured in the film Dirty Dancing, originally developed as a stagecoach stop along this route. The present condition of the peters Mountain section of this old road is probably not that different than it was in the days when it was traveled by stage. Road is presently suitable for high-clearance 4-wheel drive vehicles, hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding.

Turkey Creek Road

The route is mostly wooded as it passes through the range of Little Mountain, then the countryside opens up a bit as one enters the rolling hill country near Willow Bend and Union. The stream crossed twice by the road is the upper portion of Turkey Creek; one of the few streams in the state where native Rainbow Trout are known to spawn. Road is narrow gravel, and one and two lane paved. Backing up to a wide spot may be occasionally required to allow passage of oncoming traffic on one portion of the road. Use caution in bad weather.

Pyne's Mountain Road

There are very few homes along this road, but it is a lovely woodland drive, particularly in autumn. After crossing the mountain, return to Union on Willow Bend Road, passing by scenic, open farmland. Narrow gravel and one and two lane paved. Some portions of the gravel road may require backing up to allow passage of oncoming traffic. Use caution in bad weather.

Potts Valley Roads

This road crosses Peters Mountain; passing by the parking lot for the Allegheny Trail and the Hanging Rock Observatory, then descends into Potts Valley. Views are extensive to the north and south on either side of the mountaintop, particularly after foliage has been shed in the fall. One lane paved and two lane paved. Use caution in winter weather. Conditions at the mountaintop are sometimes quite different than in the valleys below.

Wayside to Lindside

This road winds around the southern end of Swope's Knobs offering nice views back toward Greenville. Route passes through the Laurel Creek covered bridge and to the community of Lillydale. One lane paved, and narrow gravel. Use caution in bad weathr. May occasionally need to back up to permit passage of oncoming traffic.

Wolf Creek Backway

A West Virginia Scenic Backway, this road winds into karst topography with 18th century settlements -- Wolf Creek, Pickaway and Sinks Grove -- and great farm scenery. Alderson, at the spot where the backway joins the Lower Greenbrier River Byway, showcases its history with an arched bridge, old depot and several unique shops. Two lane paved.

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