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Difference between revisions of "Prince, West Virginia"

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[[Image:Prince-export-1913.png|thumb|USGS 1913 map showing location of Prince]]
 
[[Image:Prince-export-1913.png|thumb|USGS 1913 map showing location of Prince]]
 
[[Image:Chessie.jpg|thumb|Chessie cat mosaic set in floor of Prince Depot]]
 
[[Image:Chessie.jpg|thumb|Chessie cat mosaic set in floor of Prince Depot]]
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[[Image:Prince Highway Bridge 1965 Article.jpg|thumb|Highway bridge across New River was built in 1931 and operated as a toll bridge until 1946]]
 
Located on highway WV-41 (formerly US-19), Prince, WV is on one of the few major automobile routes crossing the [[New River]] deep within the [[New River Gorge]]. As a result, the community is among the most populous of the inhabited communities in the New River Gorge. In 1910 its population was estimated at 235 and today is estimated at nearly 100.  A relatively large number of vacation homes have been built along the [[New River]] near Prince.
 
Located on highway WV-41 (formerly US-19), Prince, WV is on one of the few major automobile routes crossing the [[New River]] deep within the [[New River Gorge]]. As a result, the community is among the most populous of the inhabited communities in the New River Gorge. In 1910 its population was estimated at 235 and today is estimated at nearly 100.  A relatively large number of vacation homes have been built along the [[New River]] near Prince.
  
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''Rafter's Reference:'' Prince is located on an elevated bench of land at river-right, upstream of the C&O Railroad bridge over New River. As the community is located upstream of the primary New River Gorge whitewater rafting area, Prince is not generally visited by rafters.
 
''Rafter's Reference:'' Prince is located on an elevated bench of land at river-right, upstream of the C&O Railroad bridge over New River. As the community is located upstream of the primary New River Gorge whitewater rafting area, Prince is not generally visited by rafters.
  
The highway bridge across New River near prince was originally built in 1931 by the Prince Bridge Company, which was organized on August 8, 1928.
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The first highway bridge across New River near Prince was built in 1931 by the Prince Bridge Company, which was organized on August 8, 1928. The bridge was operated as a toll bridge until August 8, 1946.

Revision as of 17:16, 12 July 2015

Prince Depot
USGS 1913 map showing location of Prince
Chessie cat mosaic set in floor of Prince Depot
Highway bridge across New River was built in 1931 and operated as a toll bridge until 1946

Located on highway WV-41 (formerly US-19), Prince, WV is on one of the few major automobile routes crossing the New River deep within the New River Gorge. As a result, the community is among the most populous of the inhabited communities in the New River Gorge. In 1910 its population was estimated at 235 and today is estimated at nearly 100. A relatively large number of vacation homes have been built along the New River near Prince.

The Chesapeake & Ohio Railway (C&O) first established a station at Prince in 1880, enlarging the structure in 1891. A fire destroyed the station in 1917 but it was replaced that same year. In 1946, the C&O opened a new brick station at Prince, said to have cost $200,000. The community was established by William Prince, who in 1870 purchased, with his brother James, 300 acres thereat from Alfred Beckley at $3,000. They built a home near the present-day junction of the Piney Creek railroad branch line with the mainline and established a mercantile business during the construction of the C&O rail line and Stretcher's Neck Tunnel.

Just prior the turn of the 20th century, William Prince becoming involved in the coal business, as a part-owner of the mine on the opposite banks of New River at Royal. In the 1890s, the Royal mining operation built a tipple and a battery of 78 coke ovens at Prince, just downstream of the Prince Depot. Coal was transported from the mine (on the south side) across the New River to the tipple (on the north side) utilizing buckets suspended on a wire cable that spanned New River. Although some people of the 21st century seem to believe that Prince "was never a coal mining town" the historic record states otherwise.

Because the land of the town was owned by the Prince family (who preferred to rent, rather than sell) the town never grew or expanded during the period of coal boom. The very few businesses located in the town were owned by the Prince family.

Prince was an important stop along the main line of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad, though nearby Quinnimont was the shipping outlet for freight passing off the many local branch lines. Quinnimont and Prince (to a lesser degree) benefited in part from their location nearly midway between the railroad's important branches on Piney Creek, which ascended into the highlands of central Raleigh County, and Laurel Creek, which ascended into the highlands of eastern Fayette County. The passenger station at Prince is an acclaimed example of the Art Modern style of Architecture as applied to railroad structures, and the Prince Station remains a regular Amtrak stop, providing service to Beckley and other nearby communities.

Parts of Prince have been protected by the National Park Service as part of the New River Gorge National River. Three park service camping areas are located near the Prince, and hiking, biking, kayaking, and float-fishing are popular outdoor sports that draw visitors to the area.


Amtrak's Cardinal roars into Prince Depot
Highway side of Prince Depot
Railway side of Prince Depot
Autumn morning scene at Prince
Coal mining mural in Prince Depot
Backus Mountain looms in the distance


Rafter's Reference: Prince is located on an elevated bench of land at river-right, upstream of the C&O Railroad bridge over New River. As the community is located upstream of the primary New River Gorge whitewater rafting area, Prince is not generally visited by rafters.

The first highway bridge across New River near Prince was built in 1931 by the Prince Bridge Company, which was organized on August 8, 1928. The bridge was operated as a toll bridge until August 8, 1946.