Parsons West Virginia
“A Small City with a Big Heart”
Town of Parsons WV
The city of Parsons located in Tucker County, West Virginia, is rich in history and culture. Parsons has many landmarks from the prosperous years of the coal and timber industries. From civil war battlefields to downtown buildings over a century old. Parsons not only is steep in history but visitors enjoy many fine hotels, motels, local restaurants, outdoor recreation and nearby attractions.
History of Parsons WV
Parsons was named for Ward Parsons and although he was not the first to settle in the area, he built the first house and was the largest land-owner. In 1876 he was elected sheriff of Tucker County. In 1888 a decision to bring the railroad to the area was made, and Parsons hired a civil engineer to lay out 135 lots of his land on the west side of Shaver’s Fork River for a town. The West Virginia Central and Pittsburg Railway was built into Parsons in 1888. The railway caused the town to boom by the 1890s. The railway was later merged into the Western Maryland Railway and provided passenger train service until the 1950s.
In February 1889, Parsons and a number of other men petitioned the county court to relocate the courthouse from St. George to Parsons.
In the early 1890s, a dispute known as the Tucker County Seat War took place between the people in the town of Parsons and that of St. George over the location of the county seat. Although nobody was killed in the “war,” the situation came to a climax when a mob of armed men from Parsons marched on St. George and took the county records by force.
Parsons is the county seat of Tucker County. It is located at the head of Cheat River, at the intersection of U.S. 219 and State Route 72. Parsons became an incorporated town on June 12, 1893, and an incorporated city on February 18, 1907.
The 1985 Cheat River flood caused extensive damage in Parsons. Over 90 percent of the businesses and hundreds of homes were damaged or destroyed. Twenty-five years later, in 2010, several empty storefronts lined the street up to the courthouse. Bars, restaurants, clothing stores and other businesses never returned to Parsons. The floods caused an estimated $570 million in damages. More than 3,500 homes and 180 businesses were destroyed.
Parsons entered the 21st century as a town in transition, building its way from an economy based on natural resources to one based on tourism, while recovering from the setback of a great natural disaster.
- Tucker County Bank Building
- Tucker County Courthouse and Jail
- Western Maryland Depot
- Corrick’s Ford Battlefield
- Fairfax Stone and the Potomac Stone
- Blackwater Falls State Park
- Canaan Valley Resort State Park
- Monongahela National Forest
- Potomac Highlands
- Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge
- Dolly Sods