Ansted West Virginia
“The Town that Coal Built”
Town of Ansted WV
Ansted is a small town in Fayette County located in West Virginia. The town is situated on high bluffs along U.S. Route 60 on a portion of the Midland Trail near Hawk’s Nest overlooking the New River far below. Ansted is located midway between Charleston and Lewisburg, and in its hay-day it was known as the “stopping-over” place for the stage coaches as it was a two day journey from one city to the next. U.S. Rt. 60, also known as Midland Trail, runs through the heart of Ansted and was very import in the early years of the town as this was the only road that ran between East and West.
Ansted has the distinction of having Hawk’s Nest State Park located within its borders. The park at Hawk’s Nest features a small museum and gift shop, an aerial tram ride to the New River Gorge, and spectacular overlooks including the famous “Lover’s Leap”.
Ansted hosts the Country Roads Festival each September and the Festival of Lights over the Christmas holiday season, a time when the Fayetteville theater produces an annual holiday play. Ansted also hosts annual PRO-AM Street luge competition.
History of Ansted WV
Ansted, originally settled by squatters, was first incorporated on the 16th day of September in 1891. It was named after David Thomas Ansted, a famous English geologist and author, who came to the area and realized the wealth to be found in these hills from the abundance of hardwood timber and rich seams of coal.
The area of what is now southern West Virginia was long a hunting ground for nomadic tribes of Native-Americans before the arrival of Europeans in the 17th century. Around 1790, the area now known as Ansted was settled by a group of Baptists who did not hold legal title to the land. These people were known as “squatters,” and built the Hopewell Baptist Church nearby. In 1792, a 400-acre (1.6 km²) tract of land in the area was patented to Charles Skaggs.