Hinton West Virginia
“Where Friends and Rivers Meet”
Town of Hinton WV
The city of Hinton is located in Summers County, within the Appalachian Mountains along the New River in West Virginia. Hinton is rich in history and natural beauty and the gateway community to the New River Gorge National River, as well as Bluestone and Pipestem State Parks providing a variety of outdoor recreation.
Hinton’s tourism market is left over from the past days of the railroad. Hinton’s downtown district is an architectural gem of American Gothic, Classical, High Victorian, American Four Square and Greek Revival styles waiting to be discovered Hinton’s downtown is filled with many choices of lodging, restaurants, art galleries, unique shops, and culture.
History of Hinton WV
Had it not been for the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad Company, Hinton would have had no reason to exist. The aftermath of the Civil War had left the railroad in shambles.
The Ballengee family located here first, before 1778, and owned all the land that would later become Hinton. It wasn’t until 1835 that John Hinton (1788-1858) moved his family to the area and purchased a 175 acre tract from Henry and Rachel Ballengee.
In 1871 about six families lived in the vicinity of what would become Hinton and only three houses existed in the Hinton/Avis/Bellepoint area. These were the homes of the Isaac and George Ballengee family and John Hinton’s family.
In 1907 the population of Hinton was about 6,000 and by 1925 Hinton and Avis together had grown to over 8,800. On January 19, 1927 Hinton and Avis, along with the community of Foss (Bellepoint), an area of approximately five square miles, were consolidated and incorporated as the City of Hinton by the West Virginia state legislature. By 1929 the city could boost of having eighteen miles of paved and improved streets and twenty-one miles of first class sidewalks, that 70 percent of the working people in Hinton owned their homes, that the city had three national banks, two inter-city bus lines, two hospitals, ten wholesale firms and seventy-five retail stores.
The coal fields kept the trains rolling and the economy of Hinton stable into the years following World War II, but the railroad was phasing out coal fired locomotives and converting to diesel. The trend toward private auto and airliners also marked a sharp decline in passenger service. Hinton was entering the years of change.
The Bluestone Dam was completed in 1949 and along came the Bluestone Public Hunting and Fishing Area and Bluestone State Park. This brought a resurgence into the Hinton economy and the focus turned to tourism as the railroad industry here faded into history.
- Bluestone State Park
- Bluestone Lake
- Sandstone Falls
- Hinton City Railroad Museum
- Wild Water Express
- Sandstone Falls Overlook
- Hinton Rail Road Days
- Festival of the Rivers
- West Virginia State Water Festival