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hotels near princeton wv

1 May 2022

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History of Princeton West Virginia

Princeton, West Virginia is a city in Mercer County, West Virginia, United States. The population was 6,432 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Bluefield, WV-VA micropolitan area which has a population of 107,342. The community was incorporated as "Matoaka" in 1887 and later incorporated as the City of Princeton in 1924. The city is named for Princeton University and shares its name with Princeton, New Jersey; however, it does not share its namesake's postal code of 08540.

The area was originally settled by the Flat Top Copper Mining Company. The mining company built a narrow gauge railroad to transport coal from its mines down to the town where it would be loaded onto barges and taken down the New River to markets elsewhere on the East Coast of the United States. The mining company also built a hospital in 1889 and used flat cars fitted with seats to bring patients to the hospital from as far away as Charleston and Huntington.

In 1921, two years after Princeton's incorporation, a flood swept through the town killing more than 200 people and destroying most of the town. As a result of this disaster, flood walls were built along the banks of Wolf Creek to prevent further damage from future floods.

The Town of Princeton was chartered on January 24, 1837 by an Act of the Virginia General Assembly. Princeton is the county seat of Mercer County. The town was named after General Thomas Hewes Princeton, a Revolutionary War veteran who served under General Washington. The early settlers were largely veterans of the Revolutionary War and their descendants. The first courthouse was built in 1840, and is now a museum. An early historical landmark is the Mercer Street Cemetery where many Confederate soldiers are buried.

In its earliest days, Princeton was not easily accessible by land or water since it was located in a narrow valley at the head of Wolf Creek, a tributary of the New River. By the late 19th century, railroads were being built westward from Richmond and northward from Bluefield to connect with mines in Mercer County the tracks passed through Princeton near the site of its new courthouse which had been built in 1907. A spur track from Athens (west of Bluefield) connected with another line passing through Princeton to link up with the Norfolk & Western Railway at Matoaka (east of Bluefield). It was during this period that the economy began to shift away from agriculture towards industry as timber operations increased in size and importance.

Landmarks in Princeton West Virginia

Princeton, West Virginia is a city with many landmarks. The first of these is the local courthouse. The Mercer County Courthouse was built in the year 1858, and is the oldest standing courthouse in West Virginia. It was designed by architect Thomas A. Tinsley, and constructed by A.M. Swartz and Company of Logan, West Virginia.

The Princeton Railroad Museum is another place of interest for visitors to the area. Built in 1902, it was originally operated by Norfolk Southern Railroad as a freight outlet for coal companies, and continued to operate as such until 1985. It then became a museum in 1987, and remains one today.

The Princeton Town Clock Tower is one of the most well-known landmarks in this city. It was built in 1934 by the Works Progress Administration during the Great Depression, under President Franklin D Roosevelt's New Deal program to create jobs for Americans suffering from the economic collapse at that time. The tower stands 53 feet tall, and has four clock faces which are each six feet in diameter.

The last landmark is Bluefield College's Chapel of All Faiths. This building has stood since 1894, when it was constructed by James O'Hagan as an Episcopal Church named St Paul's Chapel.