September Community of the Month – Richwood

Richwood is a hub for outdoor recreation and industry history, located at the confluence of the North Fork and South Fork of the Cherry River in Nicholas County. Founded as a sawmill town by the Cherry River Boom and Lumber Company, Richwood was incorporated in 1901. The area originally was known as Cherry Tree Bottoms but was renamed Richwood to reflect the wealth of timber in the area.

The town was once home to several large businesses and industries. In addition to the sawmill and the clothespin factory, there were other factories that produced wood-based products such as axe-handles and paper. Coal also came into the industry picture during Richwood’s boom-era during pre-Depression years. Banking was a white-collar industry that succeeded in the city with the large companies investing into the city’s financial corporations. Once the large factories closed or relocated, many of the people followed. The final hit was when the coal industry took a downward turn and most of the local coal mines ceased operation.

In more recent years Richwood has been growing. There has been a disc golf course installed and and a diverse group of small businesses have opened including a coffee shop, and restaurants. Additionally Richwood City Park saw a new update of: new paint, 8 new swings, 2 new toddler swings, 1 adult swing, and 1 full body support handicap swing was made possible by local nonprofit, Bens Friends Charity Autism & Sensory Store. Richwood is also a launching point for trail hiking, mountain biking, cross-country skiing, fishing, and whitewater kayaking.

The Monongahela Outdoor Volunteers, in partnership with the Monongahela National Forest, seek to provide a beginner to intermediate mountain bike trail system for the residents and tourists of the Richwood area. Recreation user surveys have been distributed and funding plans are progressing. This vision is to see the trail system sustained by its own non-profit and fundraising.

Bikers are invited to come to the trails to explore and join in following the progress of the Monongahela Outdoor Volunteers group. Read more about the work being done here.

With all the new and exciting things happening in the town of Richwood, Active SWV is looking for volunteers in the community that would be interested in leading some outdoor physical activity programs. No experience is required and training is FREE. Learn more about becoming a Community Captain and physical activity opportunities you can bring to your community here.

For Richwood residents looking for current activities in their area check out the Nicholas County running group and walking group in Nettie at www.activeswv.com/events.

For more information please contact Erin Reid, [email protected] or call 304-254-8488.

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