West Virginia is Home to an Abandoned Town Most People Don’t Know About

West Virginia, renowned for its rich history and stunning landscapes, hides a secret: the presence of abandoned towns largely unknown to the public.

These towns, once vibrant and full of life, now stand in silence, bearing witness to the inexorable passage of time and each holding its own distinctive narrative.

Virginius Island, Harpers Ferry

Among them is Virginius Island, situated on the Shenandoah River. Established in the early 1800s, it flourished as an industrial hub with factories, mills, and a population of nearly two hundred. The ravages of the Civil War and subsequent floods led to its demise and eventual abandonment. Today, although uninhabited, the island is open to the public, inviting visitors to explore the ruins embraced by nature.

Lake Shawnee Amusement Park, Princeton

Another captivating location is the now-abandoned Lake Shawnee Amusement Park in Princeton. Prior to its construction, a chilling event occurred here involving settler Mitchell Clay and his family. Now, the dilapidated amusement park stands as one of West Virginia’s most unsettling abandoned sites.


Nuttallburg, situated in south-central West Virginia, was once a thriving coal mining town named after prospector John Nuttall. Flourishing from the 1870s until the closure of mines in 1958, the town is now under the ownership of the National Park Service. Visitors can explore the deserted mine buildings and hike through a verdant river gorge.


Brooklyn, an abandoned mining town along the New River, thrived with the Finlow mine producing coal from 1894 to 1895. Supporting a population of just under 200 before abandonment, today, scattered across the woods, old foundations, ruins, and concrete structures bear witness to its bygone era.

These abandoned towns in West Virginia stand as poignant reminders of the state’s industrial legacy, providing a unique glimpse into history and showcasing nature’s resilience as it reclaims these once-vibrant communities. Visitors are urged to respect these sites, refraining from trespassing on private property or entering structurally unsafe buildings.

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