Bluefield West Virginia
“Nature’s Air Conditioned City”
Town of Bluefield WV
The city of Bluefield is located in Mercer County West Virginia at the base of the 3,400ft, East River Mountain. Bluefield is the most elevated town in West Virginia, at an elevation of 2,655 feet above sea level. The town is sometimes called “Summit City”, because of its high altitude, and “Nature’s Air-Conditioned City” for its pleasant summer temperatures. When the temperature exceeds 90 degrees you will see people waiting in lines due to an old tradition since 1941 that “Lemonade Lassies” are passed out for free throughout the city.
Bluefield is a community of a combined metro and small town recognized as a certified retirement community as well as one of the top 100 communities for young people. With all this and an affordable cost of living, Bluefield offers an unparalleled quality of life for residents and visitors to the city.
Bluefield West Virginia offers many activities to visitors such as performing arts, history and culture, college and professional sports, whitewater rafting, skiing, downtown restaurants, seasonal festivals, outdoor recreation and accommodations of many types within and surrounding the city.
History of Bluefield WV
The area was first settled in the 1780s, the city of Bluefield was incorporated in 1889, and named for the blue flower chicory fields in the area. Bluefield was a hub for the coal industry until the decline of coal in the 1960s. The city is beginning an aggressive revitalization and focusing on tourism as a source of revenue. The town still retains its Appalachian charm, with friendly people and beautiful scenery.
The history of Bluefield begins in the 18th century, when two families The Davidson and Bailey family settled in a rugged and remote part of what is now southern West Virginia. They built a small village with a mill, a church, a one-room schoolhouse, and a fort for defending the small settlement against invasions by Shawnee Indian tribe on the banks of the Bluestone River.
Beneath the land of the Davidsons and Baileys lay the largest and richest deposit of coal in the world. The first seam was discovered in nearby Pocahontas, Virginia in the backyard of Jordan Nelson. Many mines opened up in the area such as the Harman, Bluefield, War, and Pocahontas; known as the Pocahontas Coal Fields.
The coal mines helped drive the Industrial Revolution in the United States and fuel the American and British navies during both World Wars. The effort to extract the coal from the mountains created a boom in the local and national economy, bringing emigrant European workers to the mountains in search of work. Similar to the gold rush out West, Bluefield became a city that sprang up overnight. The rise and fall of the city depended almost entirely upon Norfolk and Western Railroad.
- Pinnacle Rock State Park
- Lotito City Park
- Ridge Runner Train
- Glenwood Recreational Park
- West Virginia Hotel
- East River Mountain Overlook