Thomas West Virginia
Town of Thomas WV
The town of Thomas is located in Tucker County in the highlands of West Virginia. Thomas is an important tourism center, serving the ski resorts of the Canaan Valley and hundreds of square miles of the surrounding Monongahela National Forest. The town’s national historic district includes shops, art galleries, and restaurants.
History of Thomas WV
The town of Thomas was platted in 1884. The town of Thomas was named for Thomas Beall Davis, brother of Senator Henry Gassaway Davis. In 1883 the Davis brothers opened a mine and had coal ready for shipment when the railroad arrived one year later. By 1892 Davis Coal and Coke was among the largest and best-known coal companies in the world, holding over 100,000 acres of coal lands. The one-and-one half mile stretch between Thomas and Douglas was aglow with the fires of over 1,000 coke ovens.
In 1901, in less than two hours, nearly half of Thomas (83 buildings) was destroyed by a fire. The town was quickly rebuilt with fine hotels and a new opera house. The Cottrill Opera House had a saloon on the first floor which was by far the most elegant of the eight bars located on Front Street. In 1909, Front Street (also known as First Street, Main Street, and East Avenue) was laid with brick to become the first paved street in the county.