Sophia West Virginia
“Gateway to the Winding Gulf Coal Fields”




Town of Sophia WV

Sophia is located in Raleigh County, West Virginia. The town was an important commercial center for the surrounding coalfields of the Winding Gulf Creek of the Guyandotte River.


History of Sophia WV

Sophia was incorporated in 1912 and named for Sophia McGinnis, who lived near the site of the town. The Winding Gulf Coal Fields refers to a continuous region of western Raleigh and eastern Wyoming counties. It is named after the Winding Gulf Creek, a tributary of the Guyanedotte River. The Winding Gulf, including the rest of West Virginia, was the historical hunting ground for the Shawnee, Cherokee, Delaware, Seneca, Wyandot, Ottawa, Tuscarora, Susquehannock, Huron, Sioux, Mingo, Iroquois, and other Native American tribes. The Native American tribes and early European settlers of the Virginia Colony were aware of the “rock that burns” located all over this region. Only after advances in transportation (rail) and industrial techniques was the commercial value for coal realized; this region being an especially rich resource. Over fifty little communities, or coal camps, sprung up in the Winding Gulf during the hayday of extracting this “burning rock”; a few are still in existence. Today, residents and visitors to the Winding Gulf Coal Fields enjoy its beautiful scenery, recreation trails, rivers and little known spots of interest for which only a handful of people still recall its history and mystery!



Back to West Virginia Mountains Cities & Towns Travel Guide