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Hinton…Historic Railroad Town

Many of Hinton's historic buildings are still in use and the town actively promotes its history as an important stop on the old Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad. There are over 200 vintage buildings in Hinton's historic district…and one of these is a nice railroad museum. One of the exhibits is dedicated to the legendary John Henry. The late Charlie Permelia, a retired railroader and self-taught sculptor, spent the last years of his life carving the 100 figurines in the John Henry exhibit. Nearly every job that existed on the railroad is depicted in the exhibit. There's also a Veterans' Memorial Museum which features artifacts on all the country's military conflicts. Each October, Hinton holds its Railroad Days Festival to celebrate the town's colorful history. Check out other attractions at www.summerscvb.com.

To get to Hinton from Fayetteville, WV, go south on US 19 and get on the WV Turnpike at exit 48 in North Beckley. Follow the signs to I-64 East, go about 18 miles and exit on Route 20 at Sandstone. Follow Rt. 20 to Hinton. As you leave I-64 and head toward Hinton, you'll be travelling along the New River. A few miles before you reach Hinton, stop and check out Sandstone Falls, a magnificent river-wide waterfall. The National Park Service has built walkways to make the falls accessible. Don't miss seeing Sandstone Falls.

Pence Spring Hotel / Prison / Hotel

The original Pence Spring Hotel was built in 1918 and served as a popular spa until the Depression in the 1930's.

The wooden structure deteriorated and was purchased by the state in 1947 for use as a women's prison. By 1984, the place had decayed so badly that the state closed the prison down and looked for a buyer to take the old hotel off their hands.

That buyer turned out to be Ashby Berkley, who has restored the venerable old hotel to its original glory and operates it today as a luxury hotel of the old style.

The town of Pence Spring is located just a few miles east of Hinton on Route 3.