On November 6, 1863, Union troops defeated Confederate forces camped on Droop Mountain. With a Union loss of 119, and with 275 Confederates killed, wounded, or reported missing in action, this was the largest Civil War battle fought within the state. The surviving Confederates retreated across the mountains to Virginia, never again to pose a threat to the area.
To commemorate the battle, a park, now West Virginia's oldest state park, was dedicated on July 4, 1929. For several years it served for picnics and reunions, but in 1935, a Civilian Conservation Corps camp was established to build permanent facilities. These included an observation tower, picnic shelters, and three rental cabins, all of log construction. The remaining cabin (the other two were demolished in 1961) serves as the park museum. The tower