Volunteers Spruce Up Historic Blackwater Canyon Site


Volunteers from the conservation group Friends of Blackwater recently partnered with the U.S. Forest Service to improve the historic railroad roundhouse foundation located along the Blackwater Canyon Rail Trail near the Tucker County, West Virginia Town of Thomas.

The roundhouse was used to turn trains arriving in Thomas around, and send them back down the Canyon. All that is left today is its massive foundation, which shows today’s visitors the huge scale of industrial operations in the area.

The roundhouse foundations were overgrown and difficult to see from the new historic signs that Friends of Blackwater had installed in June to interpret the site.

Volunteers Lucy Duff, Moriah Munsch, Angie Lipscomb, Tom Rodd, and Ira Rodd worked to clear vegetation and make the structure visible from the trail. Forest Service archaeologists Gavin Hale and Jesse Morton were on hand to help with the work and provide historic information about the site. The event was organized by Friends of Blackwater director Judy Rodd and staffer Kate Leary who also took part in clearing the old train maintenance area.

Film makers David and Melissa Rohm of Wild Excellence are working on a short film about the Blackwater area, and they filmed the beginning of the volunteer event. Thanks to everyone! For more information about volunteer opportunities contact Friends of Blackwater at 304-345-7663.