The West Virginia. Cyclopedia

Hinton, West Virginia

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The county seat of Summers County, Hinton, WV, (map) was established in 1872 and chartered by the State of West Virginia on September 21, 1880. It became a city in 1897. Hinton is situated around the confluence of the New River and Greenbrier River. It was named for John (Jack) Hinton, a prominent lawyer and the husband of Avis Gwinn Hinton, whose family owned the land upon which it is located. Hinton remained a rural community until the Chesapeake & Ohio (C&O) Railway was completed through the town in the 1870s, after which it became a commercial and transportation center. By 1880 the population of Hinton was 879 and by 1890 the town's population had increased to 2,570 persons, according to the New American Supplement to the latest edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica (1897).

Hinton, WV
Hinton, WV, Hotels

Real Estate: Hinton, WV, Real Estate

See also: Hinton, West Virginia

Hinton, WV

Hinton, WV, is located approximately 23 miles north of Athens, WV, 25 miles west of Alderson, WV, 26 miles southeast of Beckley, WV, and 30 miles northeast of Princeton, WV.


Attractions in Hinton

Bellepoint Park
Bluestone Dam
Bluestone Lake
Campbell-Flannagan-Murrell House
Hinton Historic District
Hinton Railroad Museum
Hinton Sidetrack Park

Other Attractions Nearby

Bluestone Lake WMA
Bluestone National Scenic River
Bluestone State Park
New River Gorge National River
Pipestem State Park
Sandstone Falls
Sandstone Visitor Center
Willowwood Country Club


Radio Stations

WMTD (AM 1380)


Summers County Library


Summers County Schools



Map of Hinton, WV showing streets and highways, and nearby airports, parks, hospitals, buildings, churches, cemeteries, trails and more; with link to driving directions.

Topo map of Hinton, WV, and vicinity

Census Data

Population: 2,880
(2000 Census)


Elevation: 1449 feet
Longitude: -80.8894
Latitude: 37.6739

Historic Hinton

Hinton Depot, Hinton, WV

Hinton, WV - Circa 1906

Hinton Railroad Museum

Hinton Depot: Scale Drawings

When the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway (C&O) built its rail line through the region in the 1870s, Hinton was established as a major terminal point on the railroad. Located at a point where the river levels lines meet the mountain division, the steam locomotives on most trains would be changed and serviced in Hinton.

Circa 1905, Hinton had a population of nearly 6,000 people, a well-equipped hospital, three flourishing banks, a new and magnificent hotel, a foundry and machine shop, two grain mills, several wholesale concerns, numerous retail stores, two newspapers, a planning-mill and the large repair shops of the C&O that employed hundreds of workers.

But by the mid-1950s, as the railroad changed from steam powered to diesel powered locomotives, fewer workers and engine crews were required to maintain and to operate trains from the Hinton terminal. During this years that followed, Hinton slowly began to decline in population, and the town's once busy streets became less and less active.

As the nation's demand for coal continued to decline so did Hinton's importance as a major staging area for making up coal trains. By in mid-1980s the once busy Hinton yards, that had been usually filled with hundreds of railroad cars in early years, were now virtually empty.

Today, the City of the Hinton retains much of the appearance today that it did during its booming years of the late 1800's. It's street are filled with "architectural gems" from a historic era. Visitors can easily enjoy the town's turn-of-the-century architecture via walking tours or driving through the streets of the historic town. Since 1987, community leaders and the National Park Service have been working together to revitalize Hinton as a living museum. Many building and homes have been renovated since the project began and the Hinton Railroad Museum opened.

CSX Transportation still makes much use of the mainline track that still runs through Hinton, although the town is no longer an important terminal point on the railroad. But this is not to say that the "good old days" of railroading in Hinton are a thing of the past. Each year, on two separate weekends in the month of October, the New River Train excursions run between Huntington and Hinton. During those four days, Hinton celebrates "Railroad Days", and the center streets of the town are blocked to make room for rows of booths where retailers sell crafts and food.