West Virginia is well known for its part in the Civil War, however, has had a hand in history throughout time. From The McNutt House to the Virginian Railway, there is a slice of history for everyone!


1837:     Mercer County was created out of Giles and Tazewell Counties. Mercer County was named after General Hugh Mercer.

1838:     Princeton was established and was named after Princeton, New Jersey where General Hugh Mercer was killed in the Revolutionary War.

1839:     The original Mercer County Courthouse was built.  The building was built so poorly that it was torn down and rebuilt the following year.

1840:     The McNutt House was built. The foundation consists of 15-inch hickory sill logs. This house still stands and currently houses the Princeton Mercer County Chamber of Commerce. This home marks the first site on the West Virginia Civil War Trail. This building is the only Civil War Era structure that still stands in Princeton.


1862:     Bramwell was settled by the Flat Top Coal Land Association, the largest holder of coal lands in Southern West Virginia.

1862:     The Battle of Pigeon Roost, a Civil War battle where 23 Union Army soldiers died and 3 Confederate soldiers were killed in action. Many buildings, including the courthouse, were ordered to be burnt to the ground by Captain Jenifer of the Confederate Service.


1898    The Virginian Railway began building a railroad through the mountains of West Virginia.


1903:     The Princeton Inn was built by Dr. Robert Blaine McNutt. The Inn was built right next door to the original McNutt House and still stands today as a private residence.

1920    The Virginian Railway acquired PA classes of steam locomotives which were used to power passenger trains.


1930:     The Mercer County Soldiers’ & Sailors’ Building was erected and was used as a headquarters for local branches of the Civil Welfare Societies, Red Cross, and the American Legion.


1931:     The Mercer County Courthouse was dedicated. The Courthouse was designed by Alex B. Mahood and has been serving Mercer County ever since.

1937:     The Princeton Airport was dedicated.


1943    Maidenform, a women’s undergarments manufacturer, opened a plant in Princeton on Straley Avenue.


1951    The Oakwood Motor Court was opened as the first modern motel facility in the region.

1954:     The West Virginia Turnpike was dedicated and is still used today. Interstate 77 made Princeton a crossroads and growth is still seen every year.

1955:    The passenger trains Numbers 3 & 4 made their last run through Princeton.  Today a replica of the original passenger station stands where the original station stood. It is used as a museum and houses artifacts from the Virginian Railway.